EMSO has only had two concertmasters in its 10 years as an independent, non-profit, community orchestra. Here’s what they have to say about the experience.
What is a concertmaster and what does he or she do?
Michal Sobieski: The concertmaster is the first chair of the orchestra. He tunes the orchestra before rehearsals and concerts. He is responsible for leading, guiding, and coaching the string sections so that the ideas of the conductor are executed in a unified way.
Joan Molloy: They have extra responsibilities especially in terms of leadership and communications with conductors and guest artists. I see the role as sort of the point person for the orchestra. One of the responsibilities is deciding which way the bows should go – up or down – and helping all of the strings be coordinated in this way.
Tell us a little about you experiences with EMSO. What has been the best part of being part of EMSO?
Joan: I was hired for the 2017-18 season after playing the May concert of the previous year, so I am currently finishing up my second season with EMSO. The best part for me has been witnessing the growth of the string sections, both in numbers and ability, especially their willingness to step up and play with lots of energy!
Michal: I enjoyed partnering with Elizabeth Barnes to help the community’s musicians participate in performing great music. It was satisfying to know that members of the orchestra appreciated learning from my experience.
(To Michal) You are coming back for our 10th anniversary concert – what are you looking forward to about performing with the orchestra again?
Michal: I am looking forward to being with the musicians of EMSO and making music together again.
(To Joan) What are you looking forward to in the future for EMSO?
Joan: I am looking forward to continued growth and change and am also hoping to contribute in a positive way to both!
Come see both concertmaster Joan Molloy and guest artist Michal Sobieski as they help celebrate EMSO’s 10th anniversary at 10 Years and Still Celebrating! Honoring a Decade of Music and Community on May 19th.
(L) Joan Molloy EMSO concertmaster 2017- present
(R) Michal Sobieski EMSO concertmaster 2002-2016