Faculty Friday with Beth Graham
Welcome back to Faculty Friday! For first time readers, our Faculty Friday blog is a series of questions and responses meant to feature instructors from Luzerne Music Center in a unique light. Focusing not only on their professional career, we ask faculty questions that give students and readers a glimpse into their daily lives.
This week's focus is on Senior Session French Horn instructor, Beth Graham. Recently established in Sarasota, Florida, Beth Graham is a current member of the Florida Orchestra and is co-founder of the Warsaw Horn Workshops- teaching and giving masterclasses worldwide. She was even invited to join the World Orchestra for Peace horn section in 2014, led by one of her favorite mentors, Gail Williams. Joining us for her third year on faculty, Beth has been familiar with Luzerne for longer than that- she is actually an LMC alumni!
Tell us a little bit about your history with LMC- I hear you are a Luzerne alumni! What was a favorite memory as a camper?
Luzerne was the first place I ever played in an orchestra. I vividly remember my first rehearsal with the full orchestra on the Shed stage -- I absolutely loved it!
One of our favorite moments of last summer was watching you play with the Philadelphia Orchestra. What have been some of your favorite professional accomplishments or moments?
Playing with the Philadelphia Orchestra is always an amazing experience, and one of my favorites was years ago, when I got to join them on tour as fourth horn. On that tour the orchestra was arranged with the basses on the conductor's left, and I was practically sitting in the bass section, right next to principal Hal Robinson. What a sound!
Who has been one of your biggest music mentors?
I can't choose just one! From my mother, who started teaching me piano as soon as I could reach the keys, to Martin Ischia, who handed me my first horn in fourth grade, to Gail Williams and Dale Clevenger, my fantastic teachers at Northwestern University, to lessons in the studios of the legendary Arnold Jacobs and Frøydis Ree Wekre... the list goes on!
When you’re not practicing or teaching, what might we find you doing?
Meditating, playing chess, doing yoga... or spending time with my three-year-old son Max!
If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a medal for?
Snack-wise, salty or sweet?
Yes and yes. All the snacks!