TCS: Would you tell us a little something fun about yourself that isn’t in your bio?
VW: Once my stage combat teacher found out about my cello background, she suggested that we recreate the hysterical snow scene from 007: The Living Daylights when Bond and Bond girl outrun the villains on a cello case, using the cello endpin as a ski pole. We’re still holding on to the idea.
TCS: How did you come to choose your instrument?
VW: When I was choosing my second instrument in the third grade, my first choice was actually the flute. My mom shut me down saying, “You can’t play the flute with buck teeth.” I then suggested the violin, which was a no-go because my brother already played the violin. We eventually settled on the cello because, well, my mom adores Yo-yo Ma, and also because my family would be able to play together with my Mom on the piano, brother on the violin, me on the cello, and my dad singing. I was instantly attached to my first quarter size cello when we picked it up from the music store.
TCS: When was your first TCS concert? What brought you to the group?
VW: “Eroica” in St Paul’s Church during the 2018-2019 season, almost exactly 3 years from the Remembrance concert this week. I remember my stand partner was Kurt and he was very welcoming and generous. At that time, I was studying acting in the basement of a Broadway all day, every day and I missed playing in an orchestra incredibly much. So I googled “NYC” orchestra and TCS popped up. Thanks Google!
TCS: Do you have any favorite TCS memories?
VW: Definitely the season opener “Back On The Town” a month ago! It was levitating to be back after 18 months of… the panorama. And to be playing a fantastic list of music including “On the Town” really made New York’s revival official.
TCS: What sets TCS apart from other orchestras?
VW: I feel that no matter where TCS musicians come from or how their days went, they come to TCS because they chose to be here and WANT to be here. There’s no sense of obligation and that energy is great to be around.
TCS: What do you carry with you in your instrument case?
VW: Spare set of strings, rosin, a mute, nail clipper and file, cleaning cloth, and a note of dates I changed the strings and bridge.
TCS: What do you do to set yourself up for success on the day of an important performance?
VW: I’m still learning how to work with the stress. How it affects my performance is out of my control. But one thing I always do to help with that is to give myself ample time to slowly warm up my scales, stretch, and remember to breathe.
TCS: What are some things you learned while preparing?
VW: That you can never do too much slow work with a metronome. Slowing down moves me further along the process. Also to not judge the process too quickly based on one or two bad days, and encourage myself to keep showing up.