Behind The Music: The Principals

Our first mini chamber of the season is coming up in just a few short days! The performance aptly named “The Principals,” includes 5 of BCO’s principal musicians Annamaria Karacson (violin), Christine Short (violin), Lauren Spaulding (viola), Joseph Howe (cello), and Kevin Sylves (bass). The concert includes George Onslow’s String Quintet “The Bullet,” and Dvorak’s string Quintet No 2.

In true BCO style we thought it would be fun to get to know a little bit more about the people behind the instrument, so we sat down with 2 of the principals for a more “intimate” look.

Kevin Sylves (bass)

Kevin, how long have you been playing? 

I have been playing bass since 6th grade, for more than 25 years. I am also a "founding member" of BCO; I was there for the first rehearsal in 2004! 

That’s pretty incredible! How awesome to watch the organization grow over the last 13 years. Tell us what drew you to play the bass?

At the end of 3rd grade, the school music teacher held an assembly to demonstrate all the instruments of the orchestra that we could pick to play the next year. She played a few simple tunes on all the instruments, something like "twinkle, twinkle little star", but cello was her main instrument and she demonstrated by playing a movement from a Bach Cello Suite. I think I appreciated the step up in repertoire choice and was won over by the low sounds of the cello. The elementary school did not have any basses, but once I learned that an even lower and bigger instrument than the cello existed at the middle school, I had to play it!

What a neat story. I’m trying to imagine a little 3rd grader with a bass, my goodness it would be bigger than they are… I guess that’s why they didn’t have them!

 So what is your favorite classical piece to play and why?

I really enjoy playing a sonata by baroque composer Henry Eccles. I have been playing this piece on and off for 20 years; it was a real thrill to get to perform it with BCO a few years ago!

And what about your favorite composer?

My favorite composer is John Adams. I really enjoy his minimalist composition style, where he takes a short theme and repeats it, gradually changing it until it evolves into something completely new. Most of the time when I listen to music I am multitasking, but when the music of Adams is playing I just can't get anything else done; it demands my complete attention. 

So tell us more about you, what is your favorite food?

I have a massive sweet tooth; I love chocolate and pastries.

Oh my goodness me too! Sweets are my downfall. So we all know you are an amazing musician and you dedicate an insane amount of time to it, but tell us about your hobbies outside of music.

I really enjoy reading, skiing, and spending time with my husband and our dog. One of my favorite hobbies is playing board games and card games with friends. I have been playing the card game Android: Netrunner in tournaments around Colorado and recently finished in third place at a regional level tournament. 

Very Colorado of you Kevin! Thank you so much for taking time to let us get to know you today!

 Lauren Spaulding (viola)

 So Lauren, how long have you been playing the viola?

Since 9th grade of high school -- I was shoved into the back of the Viola section!!!

Why did you choose the viola?

I wasn't cool enough for the cello and the violin didn't have a warm enough sound.  I thought that the Viola was a good compromise :)

Oh my goodness I love your answer… tell me about your favorite classical piece.

My favorite classical work to play is Vaughan William's Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Talis. I love the sound density that the two orchestras create, but more so, the quartet and solo parts are probably some of the most beautiful writing out there!!

And what about your favorite composer….

I don't really have one as the experience seems to depend more on my mood or who I am playing with.

That makes sense. What about a non-classical piece?

I like playing along with the Muse albums for fun

 I feel like we are already getting a pretty awesome look into Lauren already, but tell memore about non music stuff, What’s your favorite food?

    Definitely Coffee! #Caffeine for the win

 Coffee is certainly a food group in my book!

 And maybe a favorite movie?

No one is ever too old to love the Lion King! :)

BEST EVER! Disney really outdid themselves with that classic. Just one last question, what do you do outside of music?

When there is time, I love exploring the outdoors! Hiking, camping, biking, Pokemon Go...

Thanks Lauren!

Come and meet these awesome musicians and the other principals this weekend!

From left: Joseph Howe, Lauren Spaulding, Kevin Sylves, Christine Shirt, and Annamaria Karacson.

From left: Joseph Howe, Lauren Spaulding, Kevin Sylves, Christine Shirt, and Annamaria Karacson.

Bahman SalessComment