Wendy Rios is next to be featured on our Member Spotlight!
Wendy has been our Concertmistress since our inaugural year. She is also the President on the Chamber Orchestra of Barrington at St. John’s board.
What was the first instrument you owned?
The first instrument I owned was a violin I received in the 4th grade.
How did you come to study the violin and what drew you to the instrument?
I heard a famous violinist, Itzhak Perlman, on the radio and told my parents that I wanted to play the violin like he does. I am still trying…
Who have been some of the most influential people in your life?
My parents were very supportive of my music from the start. My mentors include Carol Pellegrino, who taught me from the fourth grade through high school and John Sumerlin, who was my private violin teacher throughout high school and college and continues to offer me support and encouragement. And last, but not least, Dr. Edward Markward, who has offered me great opportunities as an orchestra musician and continues to inspire me to improve every day.
What is some of your favorite repertoire?
I enjoy playing all types of chamber music but my favorite repertoire is from the string quartet literature.
Are there any performances or moments in your performing career that stand out in your memory for their significance? Could you tell us what made these performances particularly special for you?
In college, I performed Mozart’s violin Concerto #5 with the RIC Chamber Orchestra. What made it significant for me was that Sylvia Coolidge, who attended my concert, approached John Sumerlin afterwards to offer me a very special violin, a 1762 Gabrielli, to play and own. I still play this instrument today.
What, for you, is the most fulfilling aspect of your life as a musician?
I love the process of learning new repertoire and having the opportunity to share what I learned through my performances.
What CD or playlist is in your car?
I often have whatever I am currently working on playing on repeat. When I am not working on anything specific, I have everything from classical, rap, jazz, show tunes, Spanish… nothing is off limits on my playlist.
And lastly, could you tell us a bit about upcoming musical projects outside of COBSJ that you are looking forward to?
Two musicals—Parade (January) and Lion King (March).
Three String Quartet concerts in February, March, and May.
One Solo recital—sometime this spring.
Hopefully some more chamber music collaborations with friends this summer.
Thank you Wendy!