By: Rebecca Kirkpatrick
Each concert week we will highlight a musician with a few fun facts our patrons may not have otherwise known. This week our Musician in the Spotlight is Carolyn Brown. You may have already known that Carolyn is the Principal Flutist for the ASO, but here are some facts that you may have missed:
What is your hometown?
Shell Rock, Iowa
What is your favorite food?
What instrument(s) can you play?
I first learned to play piano and then fell in love with the flute in 4th grade but continued to study both through college.
Who is your favorite composer and why?
It is impossible to pick a favorite. Bach, Mozart, Ravel, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, to name a few. I do love the symphonies of Sibelius. My husband (ASO pianist Carl Anthony) just gave me Leonard Cohen's last CD and it is terrific.
What sparked your initial interest in music?
Both of my parents were musicians -- my mom was a pianist and my dad played trombone. His dream was to play in a big band but he didn't think he could manage a family with such a career so he became a school band director. But I loved hearing him play along with big band records when I was growing up. He had the sweetest sound -- just like Tommy Dorsey!
In what store could you max out your credit card?
What are three things still left on your bucket list?
I don't have a bucket list but I would love to visit Africa to see the wildlife
Do you have any pets?
Yes, we have four feline members in our family. Our cat Rosey is the first cat we've had that loves to listen to me practice, except for piccolo. She will leave the room when I bring it out of its case and another cat, Ronnie, will cry and scratch outside the door until I stop.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Eating dark chocolate! (But I don't really feel guilty!)
How long have you played with the ASO?
I can't believe it but I have played with the ASO since 1983. At that time I auditioned for the third flute/piccolo position, and then when the second flute position became available, I auditioned for it and finally auditioned for the principal position. I must hold the distinction of being the only person in the orchestra to have auditioned for 3 different positions!
What is your favorite movie?
My favorite line from a movie is "Is this heaven? No, it's Iowa." from Field of Dreams
What is the last book you read?
Billy Collins' "The Rain in Portugal"
What is your best childhood memory?
Being a caddy for my dad while he golfed. Sitting under a tree in the park and singing songs with my mother.
Who inspires you?
Sitting in the middle of the orchestra with my amazing ASO colleagues and sharing incredible music with our audience. There is nothing else like it.
Who is your favorite composer and why?
My mother took me to my first orchestra concert when I was pretty young. I remember thinking it was going on too long and was so excited to stand up and clap with the audience until my mother leaned over and said, "You know, since we're clapping so hard, they are going to play another piece."
We have a concert this weekend - "Beethoven and Blue Jeans" - what excites you particularly about this concert? What inspires you about the repertoire? Is there anything in particular we should be listening for?
I am excited about the upcoming week! Mother Goose Suite by Ravel is one of my favorite pieces -- no composer can bring out the colors of the orchestra like Ravel. And of course, Beethoven' "Pastoral Symphony." I broke my femur in December and one of the things I miss the most are my daily hikes in the woods near our house. Beethoven loved his time in the woods as well and captured nature's essence so beautifully. He musically portrays many sounds of nature; in fact, in the second movement you will hear three bird calls: the flute is the nightingale, the oboe is the quail, and the clarinet the cuckoo. Then, the following Tuesday my dear friends Diane McVinney, Gabriel Vega, and I will perform a Beethoven flute trio at the Clinton Library at River Rhapsodies', "Beethoven Festival"!
Didn't you love getting to know about Carolyn? To hear those bird calls played to perfection, join us for Beethoven and Blue Jeans, this weekend, April 14th and 15th. Tickets can be purchased at www.arkansassymphony.org .