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Do you have a most treasured possession? A 7-foot, 1912 Mason & Hamlin BB, the piano that is more beautiful than most concert grands. Would you agree with what Sergei Rachmaninoff once said: “Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.” I do agree. I think it takes more than one lifetime to be mature enough to interpret and comprehend the way the composer wants us to explore and experiment with the music. The interpretation changes so much as you live and experience life. It’s too bad we don’t have 400 lifetimes. You recently performed with the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra — on your Mason & Hamlin — the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3, known as The Rach 3, arguably one of the most difficult pieces  ever written. How did you prepare for that performance? I dropped everything in life except for my teaching and my family. For ten months straight. I didn’t do anything but work on the Rachmaninoff, and really, I could have used another year. What was the most difficult obstacle you had to overcome? At first I sat down and went through every section, all of the phrases and segments. I said to myself, “You can handle all of this technically.” That didn’t mean I could play it well. The most disturbing aspect of working on the piece day after day was realizing that each day I had only managed to practice a small fraction of the 55-minute concerto. As a musician encounters a work that is so heavenly and passionate, and at the same time so awkward and demanding, one is nearly overcome with frustrations, which in turn can lead to great fear. I had nightmares every single night. How did you feel about your performance? Even though I have had many wonderful responses, I did not have the courage to listen to the recording of it until a few days ago. I was actually very happy with most of it and am pleased that it went so well considering the stress involved with such a huge project. The audience was so enthusiastic that night, and listening to what they heard I was thrilled to know the essence of this fantastic piece was well presented by the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra and me. How would you best describe yourself? Determined, not afraid of hard work concerning performing and teaching, love my family and canines. How would your three daughters describe you? I would hope the same way. You have three multi-talented daughters: Molly, working on a graduate degree in violin at Baylor University; Emily, a pre-med student at NC State University; and Katie, an equestrian, who is a senior at Hoggard High School and also quite musical. You have performed in concert with Molly? Oh yes. Molly is a wonderful violinist, very artistic, and plays the piano very well also. I want to continue performing with her as long as I can. I love it.  You came from a family of seven children, six girls and one boy. Your husband was from a family of six boys and one girl. How has growing up in large families with lots of activities and fun affected your roles as parents? Jon and I both believe in having an encouraging environment in our home. Interaction and creativity are key to getting along in today’s world. Cameron Art Museum is Celebrating CLAUDE HOWELL Save the Date LIVE! Claude Saturday, March 21, 2015 engaged rigorous academics learning VALUES exploration individualized teaching Schedule a tour today! • 18 mos – 8th grade 910.791.8221 | www.fsow.org 1/12 page 2x2.28 82 WBM february 2015


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