Whatcom Symphony players do it for love

Posted on: March 27, 2013

In Sunday’s (3/24) Bellingham Herald (Washington), Mary Passmore writes, “ ‘My mother was my first violin teacher,’ remembers Grant Donnellan, professor of violin at Western Washington University, ‘and concertmaster of the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra. When I was in middle school, she made me play in the orchestra, with the incentive of dinner at McDonald’s after each rehearsal—complete with a hot fudge sundae. She would endure the car ride to rehearsal with four squirrely boys in order to provide a quality orchestral experience for us.’ His mother’s lessons and bribes paid off, and, in 2006, Grant stepped into her position as concertmaster. … As Whatcom Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster, Grant has the leading role among all of the players. … A few chairs away, Kathy Diaz is the principal player for the 14 ‘second violins.’ ‘We are second to none!’ laughs Kathy, ‘We may not play the melody as often as the first violins, but our part often includes beautiful harmonies and contrasting rhythms, which we love.’ Kathy, who teaches orchestra at Whatcom and Shuksan middle schools, has played in the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra for 36 years and is a founding member, along with Joanne Donnellan. … The violinists who play alongside Grant and Kathy volunteer their time to rehearse and perform six or more concerts a year.”

Posted March 27, 2013