Instrument: Double Bass
With the RPO since: 1995
Hometown: Albany, NY
Non-RPO activities and hobbies: tango and west coast swing dancing, Irish ceili dancing, movies at the Eastman House
What music school did you attend, and who were your most inspirational teachers? Undergrad at Eastman School and grad at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Jeff Turner at CMU was and is one of the most inspiring musicians and scholars in my life.
Favorite books/movies: O Brother Where Art Thou, Gone with the Wind, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Julia Child's My Life in France. I'm a sucker for food and travel books written with lots of detail.
What kinds of music do you enjoy listening to? Bela Fleck, but also early music - Jordi Savall, Andrew Manze
And if you had to pick just one, what’s your favorite piece? This is really an impossible question. Lately it would be the Goldberg Variations of Bach.
People would be surprised to know … that I often forget there is an audience until the applause wakes me out of the focused state of performing. It startles me in a nice way!
What do you most enjoy about living in the Rochester area? The seasons. Love kayaking and biking, but also love to get to the Finger Lakes for wine tasting and leaf peeping.
What are your favorite restaurants in Rochester, and why? Good Luck for the genial atmosphere, Shiki for the great sushi, and Dinosaur - who we love so much we had them cater our wedding after-party!
The RPO is essential to the Rochester community because… we provide outstanding live performances in a wide variety of spaces - churches, schools, as well as the beautiful Eastman Theatre.
What sports team(s) do you root for? hmmmmm.......
Favorite late-night snack: Ben and Jerry's Americone Dream
What is your favorite way to spend your day off? What's a day off? j/k - Relaxing with my toddler daughter and husband, playing in our yard, raking leaves together, and especially cooking good meals together.
What is your most memorable musical experience? Many of Christopher Seaman's concerts were musically memorable, but the performances of Mahler Sixth symphony with a guest conductor still stands out because of the incredible instrumentation and the enormous drum that is used for the “blows of fate.” The sounds we made in those concerts really can't be accurately captured in recordings, and remain one of the best reasons to get out and see music performed live!
Gaelen McCormick has been a member of the RPO bass section since 1995. Before joining the RPO, she held positions with the Erie Philharmonic, Binghamton Philharmonic and Albany Symphony. Ms. McCormick recently became a founding member of the Pittsburgh Live Music Chamber Orchestra. She has been the bass instructor for the Eastman Community Music School since 2001 and has also been on the faculty of Roberts Wesleyan College and Hochstein Music School. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Carnegie Mellon University.