By: Rebecca Kirkpatrick
February 7, 2018
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 Leanne Day-Simpson. Leanne is not only an ASO Violinist, but is also the Orchestra Librarian and Education Coordinator. Here's a little more about Leanne you may not know:
When is your birthday?
December 17th. I usually celebrate by playing in the ASO Holiday concerts!
What is your hometown?
What instrument(s) can you play?
As well as violin, I studied percussion from 3rd through 12th grade.
What are three things still left on your bucket list?
To scuba dive in the ocean, to take a ride in a hot air balloon, and to play on Broadway!
How long have you played with the ASO?
This is my lucky 13th season playing in the violin section of the orchestra. I've also been the orchestra's music librarian for all 13 years and the Education Coordinator for the past 6 years.
Do you have any pets?
We have the sweetest dog named Icy because of her piercing blue eyes.
What is your best childhood memory?
When I was eight, my music school in Australia, the Stoliarsky School of Music, took a small orchestra of students on a European tour. I was fortunate to be one of the soloists performing with the orchestra and we presented concerts in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy, including a concert at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II. He came to greet us and kissed me on the head. I've often looked back on that moment and remembered how overwhelming it was to be in his presence.
This weekend the ASO will perform "Music City Hit-Makers," highlighting Nashville's biggest songwriters. What excites you most about the concert this weekend? Any special challenges? Anything out of the ordinary you'd like to mention?
I had the chance to play a pared-down version of this show when the Music City Hit-Makers were in Mountain Home a little while ago, so I'm very excited to hear this with the full symphony orchestra. I like all kinds of music, but country music has a special way of telling a story. When sung by the people who actually wrote the songs, the music really comes to life in a totally new way. We heard from the horse's mouth what went into writing these songs made famous by Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, the Dixie Chicks, Rascal Flatts and more. You won't be disappointed that those stars aren't on stage, though, because the songwriters are amazing singers in their own right!
That concludes this week's "Musician in the Spotlight"-- to see Leanne live, join us for "Music City Hit-Makers" this weekend! You can still purchase your tickets by visiting https://www.arkansassymphony.org/hitmakers .