Here's an interview with Bernard in 2020:
What instrument(s) do you play?
My primary instrument is the viola, although I also occasionally perform on the violin.
How long have you played your instrument(s)?
I started the viola in a beginning junior high class in Los Angeles, mostly because I was intrigued by the name "viola", and wanted to find out more about it.
I have been playing the viola for about 60 years. I feel like I'm still learning how to play it.
How long have you been a Wilmington Symphony Orchestra musician?
I started coming down from Jacksonville as a part-time player many years ago. When we moved to Wilmington about four years ago, I became a full-time member to the symphony.
What do you do for a career?
I am semi-retired now, but spent my career teaching music at all levels, and always, performing.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Highland Park, a suburb of Los Angeles, California. I have music degrees from USC, the Universities of Maryland and Iowa.
What is your favorite song, artist, and/or musical memory?
Some of my favorite musical memories from my long career are: performing in the orchestra for the Carmel Bach Festival in California; performing in the White House as part of the US Army Band strolling strings group, stationed at For Myer in Arlington, Virginia; performing in various string quartets, including a cultural tour of the Soviet Union during the Mikhail Gorbachev era.
Favorite meal or restaurant?
Mexican food at Tequila Comida and Cantina.
My favorite beverage is Cherry Coke or Cherry Pepsi.
What is your favorite vacation?
The Galapagos Islands, Fiji, and an African safari in Botswana (the only shooting we did was with cameras). I never thought that I would be so calm watching two lions walk past our vehicle or seeing a baby leopard sheltering under our jeep.
You're stuck on a desert island... What book, music/album/artist and/or movie do you want with you??
One of my favorite movies is "The Tall Blond Man with the One Black Shoe," the original version from 1972 with French subtitles (not the dubbed version).
We read a lot of mysteries. Some of our favorite authors are Martha Grimes, Carl Hiaasen, Dick Frances, and Lindsey Davis. If I had to choose a professional book on music, I would take the brilliant book by pianist Charles Rosen called "The Classical Style."
What's your pet situation?
We share our home with three cats, Karma, Sadie, and Mr. Feldman.
What do you want people to know about the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra?
I enjoy playing in the Wilmington Symphony because we rehearse in a relaxed atmosphere, with really pleasant people who are excellent musicians. Oh, I almost forgot, we also have a terrific conductor who picks really interesting and challenging pieces.
How are you keeping yourself occupied while being at home all day?
We read a lot, do yard work, and see various doctors. Professionally, I practice almost every day. What helps me keep up my musical "chops" is playing music on most Fridays with Beverly Andrews and her daughters.
Any words of wisdom to help others through this pandemic?
The best words of wisdom that I can give to younger people is, expect and even welcome changes in your lives. In a constantly changing world, one has to adapt to new situations and possibly learn new skills. In my own case, I have taught in public schools and colIeges, served in the Army, and performed in various venues in trios, quartets, orchestras, etc. I enjoyed them all. I would also like to add that you should follow your heart, which I have done throughout my life.
Beverly Andrews, Co-Concertmaster
Christine Maynard, Co-Concertmaster
Mary Jo White