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Musician Spotlights - Arlene Tayloe, Violin

Musician Spotlights - Arlene Tayloe, Violin
By Musician Spotlights • Issue #30 • View online
Continuing our spotlight on our violin section, Arlene!

Arlene Tayloe, by Christopher Briscoe
Arlene Tayloe, by Christopher Briscoe
Question 1: Could you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I lived until age 10 in Maryland while my father was a government employee. We then moved to Olympia, Washington and finally San Francisco when I was in high school (by then my father was a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals).
I got degrees in violin performance from Northwestern University and pursued a career as a symphony musician. This included 10 years in the Dallas Symphony and 17 years in the Denver Symphony and stints in Chicago Lyric Opera and Santa Fe Opera.
My move to Ashland in 2004 felt like a return to my roots.
Question 2: What brought or inspired you to pursue violin? If you’d like to share one of your favorite pieces of music as well, I’d like to know!
I began piano lessons when I was 7. But after the move to Olympia, I was encouraged to switch to violin. My uncle had a ¾ size violin that no one was playing, so I was selected. It came rather easily and playing in various groups was a great way to develop friendships in my new community. My favorite pieces include Tosca and anything by Prokofiev.
Question 3: What do you enjoy most about being with the Rogue Valley Symphony?
RVS is important to me as an outlet for my musical expression and a way to stay connected with the local musical community. The orchestra has grown a lot since I moved here and I enjoy being a part of it.
Question 4: What do you do when you’re not playing music i.e. what are your hobbies or interests?
I love to travel and have had many adventures since I moved to Ashland, including trips to Croatia, Vietnam, Sicily and Turkey. Cooking is a hobby of mine as is sampling Oregon wines! And I read constantly, both fiction and non-fiction.
Question 5: Finally, one unusual fact, story, or tidbit about you or your instrument?  
In the 1990’s when I lived 14 miles from Durango, Colorado at an altitude of 9000 feet, I was teaching violin lessons in town a couple days a week. In the winter I would strap the violin on my back, snowmobile a mile down the mountain and drive my car into Durango. The return trip would be in reverse.
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