Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

MOLLIE MCDOUGALL

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Mollie McDougall plays the French Horn and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2005. She is a Band and Orchestra Director and lives in Evanston, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? Syracuse, NY – my grandmother used to play piano and everyone would stand around and sing – I wanted in on the action and started playing piano when I was 6 and horn when I was 10.

What do you enjoy most about playing? I love making music with others and finding what the greater group can create together. I love my friends in the band that support me and l love learning from them and passing on what I learn to my students.

Do you have a favorite musical memoryPlaying chamber music at Sarasota Chamber Music Festival with musicians from all over the world.

What are your musical influences? Gail Williams, Greg Miller

Who was your most influential music teacher? My high school band director, Andrew Perry

Does anyone in your family play music? My sister is a singer and violinist, my grandmother was a pianist and a great music appreciator.

What’s on your iPod? EVERYTHING – U2, Jazz, Rachimoninoff, Mahler, Bach, Beatles, Death Cab for Cutie, middle school band music….

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Stick with it! It gets more and more rewarding and fun!

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? Amazing leadership, musicianship and friendship

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Inspiring, motivating, engaging

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you.  I teach middle school band and orchestra in Highland Park and have twin 3 year olds and a golden doodle.

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

MANUEL RAMOS

Manuel Ramos

Manuel Ramos plays the Clarinet and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2015. He is a Private Lesson Coordinator at Merit School of Music and lives in Chicago, Illinois.

When and why did you start playing? I started when I was 10 years old because my friends and I wanted to join the school band!

What do you enjoy most about playing? Creating connections between music and people. I think of it in terms of interpretation: You’re using your own musical words to create a personal understanding which you then pass on to the next person.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  When I was 16 years old, my high school took a trip to Sydney, Australia to premiere a Frank Ticheli work at the Sydney Opera House. I knew from that moment I wanted to perform for the rest of my life.

What are your musical influences? I’m not sure it’s a what but more a who! When I was younger I heard a clarinetist by the name of Sabine Meyer and haven’t stopped listening to her since. She’s a German clarinetist who has a career as an international soloist, talk about inspiring!

Who was your most influential music teacher? My high school band teacher, Michael Hutchinson. He was crass, hard-working, and wouldn’t settle for a mediocre performance. His challenging me set the standard for my work ethic today.

Does anyone in your family play music? Not professionally. My mother played violin for ten years when she was younger and my father dabbles in drum playing from time to time.

What’s on your iPod? A large variety spanning from Mozart and Brahms to popular music such as Drake or The Weeknd. I also have a soft spot for bossa nova music from artists like Bebel Gilberto!

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Practicing is never measured in quantity, only quality.

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? Some groups have a cap to their limits but the NCB is always growing.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Education, Engaging, Inspiring

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you. When filling out college applications my original plan was to go to Emory University and study medicine!  

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at http://www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

The Northshore Concert Band Welcomes Guest Soloist Gene Pokorny, Principal Tuba of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

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The Northshore Concert Band is honored to welcome Gene Pokorny, Principal Tuba of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for his first solo performance with NCB!

The program, entitled Reflections, is on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 3:00 pm at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and is conducted by Artistic Director Mallory Thompson.

This concert opens our season of musical “Reflections” with a diverse program that embraces a world of freedom and fellowship. The concert’s driving opener, Magnolia Star, is a jazz and blues-inspired work by emerging American composer Steve Danyew that celebrates the Illinois Central Railroad and the symbolic way that its route brought art together in America.Reflections concludes with two contrasting works by Dmitri Shostakovich that commemorate the October Revolution of 1917. His familiar and celebratory Festive Overture was written and premiered in just three days in 1954. October, the composer’s only tone poem, was written in 1967 and depicts the struggle and triumph of humanity throughout history.  Program highlights featuring Mr. Pokorny  will include Turbulence by Bruce Broughton and Over the Rainbow by Harold Arlen, arranged by  Alan Morrison and transcribed by Joseph Kreines.

Gene Pokorny has been the tuba player in the Chicago Symphony since 1989.  Previously, he was tuba player in the Israel Philharmonic, the Utah Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition to playing film scores in Hollywood such as Jurassic Park and The Fugitive, he has played in chamber music, opera orchestras and orchestra festivals worldwide. He grew up in Downey, California, about a mile from where the Apollo command modules that first took man to the moon were built. He studied tuba in Southern California with Jeffrey Reynolds, Larry Johansen, Tommy Johnson and Roger Bobo.  In recent years, he has annually returned to Southern California teaching, playing and lecturing at the Pokorny Seminar given at the University of Redlands.  He assisted Rolling Stones’ trombonist, Michael Davis, in the production of his “Twenty Minute Warm-Up” along with having solo and educational CDs of his own. He has received an Outstanding Alumnus Award and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Southern California and University of Redlands, respectively. Pokorny is a member of the Union Pacific (Railroad) Historical Society and spends time as a “foamer” (watching and chasing trains). He is a card-carrying member of The Three Stooges Fan Club (a “victim of soicumstances!”) and is an avid enthusiast of his good friend David “Red” Lehr, the greatest Dixieland sousaphonist in the known universe. Gene, his wife Beth Lodal (the one in the family with a three-digit IQ) and their basset hounds, (nonmusicians who happen to have real lives), regularly forage from their refrigerator, which is located in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago.  (Biography courtesy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra )

Reflections

Sunday, November 6, 2016
3:00 pm
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, Illinois

Please join us for this special performance!  Individual concert tickets are $20, tickets for seniors (65+) are $15 and student/child tickets are $10. Tickets are available in advance or at the box office on the day of the concert. The box office opens at 2:00 pm on the day of the concert.

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For More Information visit www.northshoreband.org or call (847) 432-2263.

 

 

 

Support the Northshore Concert Band!

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Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, the Northshore Concert Band just completed its historic 60th season.

NCB is unique in the exceptional quality of its performances and in its outreach to young musicians. Among other accomplishments this season, we were joined by nationally recognized artists, over 20,000 audience members enjoyed NCB performances, thousands of young music students participated in our multi-day festival of music at Northwestern University, selected Chicago area students performed alongside NCB musicians at our Lifetime of Music concert in February, and dozens of alumni joined us for our June concert.

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We work hard to make our concert income and Festival registration fees stretch as far as possible, but those sources don’t cover the cost of our musical productions and educational programming.  And, for the past two seasons, the Illinois Arts Council has been unable to offer grants which are so important to us, leaving NCB with a deficit of approximately $10,000.  We depend on the generous donations of our supporters.

We respect the demands on arts supporters in these difficult times.  We hope, though, that you value our musical and educational work, and we ask that you support us with a generous donation.

Support Your Favorite NCB Member’s Passion for Music!

 $5,000 Supports the Conductor’s Podium for the season.

 $1,500 Supports the Conductor’s Podium for one concert.

 $400 Supports an NCB musician for the season.

 $150 Supports an NCB musician and a student musician at Lifetime of Music concert.

 $100 Supports an NCB musician for one concert.

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Unrestricted gifts provide the Band with the most flexibility and offset expenses not covered through ticket sales or Festival registrations. Quick, easy, and secure contributions can be made at www.northshoreband.org or via mail with a check to the Band at Northshore Concert Band, 1555 Sherman Ave. #315, Evanston, IL 60201-4421.

Thank You for Supporting the Northshore Concert Band!

The NCB is a not-for-profit (501c3) organization.

Your gift is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

 

 

 

 

 

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

LAUREN WHISNANT

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Lauren Whisnant plays the French Horn and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2014. She is a Music Teacher and lives in Glendale Heights, Illinois. Lauren is also the business manager for Northshore Concert Band.

When and why did you start playing? I started band in 7th grade, but I was originally a clarinet and later oboe player. I finally started learning horn after playing mellophone in marching band (we needed more, I couldn’t play oboe in marching band, so I volunteered!). While I still play oboe from time to time, I definitely identify as a horn player. It fits my personality perfectly!

What do you enjoy most about playing? I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from practicing something difficult & finally mastering it. I also love the camaraderie of playing in an ensemble with other people.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  It’s definitely hard to pick a single memory, but I’d have to say my first Rush concert was definitely memorable. It was incredible – those guys rock!

What are your musical influences? I’m a big classic rock fan, and two of my favorite musicians are Geddy Lee & Neil Peart from Rush. I try to see the Chicago Symphony as much as possible – they keep my ears “fresh”!

Who was your most influential music teacher? Dr. Scott Tobias, currently the Director of Bands at the University of Central Florida. He was the Associate Director of Bands at Appalachian State University when I completed by undergrad degree & taught at a summer camp I attended in high school. After one week of being in his ensemble, I knew I wanted to be a music teacher – he made it look fun! Later on he became & continues to be one of my most influential mentors.

Does anyone in your family play music? Yes, my dad sings & plays electric bass in his church’s praise & worship band.

What’s on your iPod? Right now I have a very weird collection of music from different genres that are at certain tempos to use while running. Everything is between 160 & 176 b.p.m., because those are the paces I’m working on. Everything from rock to movie soundtracks to punk to classical – it’s eclectic, but it works!

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Keep at it, and keep your mind open. My first music career goal was to be a professional oboist that would play for movie soundtracks. Now I’m a high school band director in a place I never thought I would live, and I LOVE it! Life is funny that way!

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different than performing with other groups? The level of performance is astounding, and it makes me constantly work to become a better musician. I love coming to rehearsals & being inspired by something that’s either said by Dr. Thompson or when I hear someone play a phrase in a way that was different than how I interpreted it.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Passionate, inspiring, awesome!

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!

Musicians & Music

Meet the extraordinary men and women of Northshore Concert Band who have dedicated their lives to making music!

KENDRA GOHR

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Kendra Gohr plays the Euphonium and has been with the Northshore Concert Band since 2005. She is a private teacher and lives in Libertyville, Illinois. Kendra is also the Northshore Concert Band’s Festival of Music Manager.

When and why did you start playing? I began playing euphonium when I was 9-years old. Both of my grandfathers (and two of my aunts) also played euphonium so I figured I was destined to play as well. My first horn was my grandfather’s 60 year old euphonium…played under the baton of J.P. Sousa! It was a 3-valve horn (that smelled bad and made my thumb turn green due to the raw brass) with a case that was falling apart, but it served me well for five years!

What do you enjoy most about playing? I love making beautiful music with good friends.

Do you have a favorite musical memory?  I have many, but probably one of my favorites is playing on the Grand Ole Opry stage in Nashville when I was a freshman in high school with the Naperville North High School Wind Ensemble.

What are your musical influences? So many! My private teachers, especially Chad Allen, Ron Keller, Bob Hess, Jim Stombres, Mark Moore, Ken Steinsultz, Pete Griffin & Velvet Brown.

Who was your most influential music teacher? Has to be Jim Stombres. He was my high school band director. He inspired me to not only be a great musician, but also a great person. He really did help mold me into the musician that I am today by teaching me to play the music not just on the page, but from the heart.

Does anyone in your family play music? My mom played the flute and directed children’s choirs at church. My dad is an athlete…he doesn’t play an instrument, but he can whistle in two parts! My husband plays the trumpet and is a high school band director. My son plays the cello and my daughter plays the string bass.

What’s on your iPod? Actually, I don’t have an Ipod, believe it or not… I still listen to c.d.’s 🙂

Do you have any advice for young musicians? Just keep playing!! Whether you major in music or not, just enjoy the music and keep playing!

What makes performing with Northshore Concert Band different from performing with other groups?  We all have a common goal of playing good music well. We work hard and achieve great things in performance.

List three words to describe the Northshore Concert Band. Inspiring, Exciting, Family

Please add anything else that you would like our readers to know about you.  I played lead trombone in my high school jazz ensemble and traveled all over Europe with the band, but because I am a classically trained musician, I DO NOT improvise!! 🙂

 

Learn more about the Northshore Concert Band at www.northshoreband.org

Follow this blog to receive more informative and entertaining interviews of Northshore Concert Band members in this Musicians & Music series!