A special message from Beverly: “On October 31, 2020, I will end my 37 year career with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with such wonderful musicians. Not only are they amazing at music making, but they are very special people and I am incredibly blessed to have them as friends and colleagues forever.
My relationship with the orchestra has been a unique one. I heard them at the age of 9 attending my first young person's concert. At the age of 16, I sat on the last stand of violas to learn how to play in an orchestra. I have enjoyed sitting principal viola since 1994 with the greatest viola section and I will miss them dearly, as I will all the symphony musicians. I am a native of the Hampton Roads area and to be able to work with my hometown orchestra has been even more special to me. I will always be part of the Virginia Symphony family and will give them my love and support as they move forward. I plan on spending more time with my husband and extended family and attending as many VSO concerts as I can. I hope to sub wirh the orchestra on occasion and attend the ladies clothing exchanges of course. As the orchestra moves forward, I will be the biggest and loudest cheerleader!”
Where are you from?
I was born in Newport News, Virginia and came up through the Hampton Public School System.
When did you start playing?
I began private violin lessons at the age of 6.
Where did you go to school?
I attended the Juilliard School of Music's precollege division and received a Bachelor of Music in Performance from University of Missouri-Columbia.
Tell us about your audition experience winning your job with the VSO.
I auditioned in 1983 for a section viola position. I was appointed Assistant Principal in 1989. I was Acting Principal Viola 1992-1994 and won the principal position "officially" in 1994.
Describe your musical life here in Hampton Roads.
I enjoy performing and making music with my colleagues. I am a member of the Ambrosia Quartet which allows me to play chamber music. I play with my church band and I have the opportunity to coach young musicians with the local youth orchestras.
What do you miss the most during the pandemic, musically and/or non-musically speaking?
I do miss playing with my colleagues and also the community we have within the orchestra. I miss the potluck dinners and the ladies getting together for clothing exchanges and going out during the holidays.
Did you acquire any new skills or hobbies during quarantine?
I think my cooking skills have improved a bit.
What music are you listening to?
I listen to gospel, jazz and classical music.
What are your interests outside of music?
I love playing in my church band. It has helped me flow more with improvisation and I love that. I have had more time with Norman, my husband of 41 years. We enjoy fishing on occasion and visiting our extended families in Hampton and Chesapeake and Pennsylvania.
What is your most memorable musical experience?
I would have to say April 15, 1997. The VSO's Carnegie Hall debut. Bernstein's Mass was memorable. YoYo Ma performing with VSO. Victor Wooten performing with the VSO on the night my Aunt Katherine (Katherine Johnson) was honored.
Is there a question everyone asks you once they know what instrument you play?
What made you switch to viola?
What do you enjoy about living in Hampton Roads?
I like being close to the ocean and being close to extended family.
Is there anything else you want us to know about you?
I have a special relationship with the VSO. I heard them at the age of 9 at a young people's concert. I played in the back of the viola section as a teenager and have been with the orchestra since 1983..my hometown orchestra..that is special to me.