Here is an interview with Kathy in 2020:
What instrument do you play?
Cello and pretty elementary piano proficiency.
How long have you played your instrument?
I started playing the cello when I was in sixth grade in public school in Atlanta. So I guess that means a lifetime... 55 years!
How long have you been a Wilmington Symphony Orchestra musician?
I joined the UNCW Community Orchestra in 1983 when my husband and I moved to Wilmington from Boston. Joe Hickman was the conductor at the time and a few years later, I was part of the orchestra’s committee tasked to give input to UNCW when they hired Dr. Steven Errante. Later the orchestra's name was changed to the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra, our own local orchestra... not to be confused with the NC Symphony which is based in Raleigh and funded by the State of North Carolina.
What do you do for a career?
I have done a lot of different things including healthcare, banking, flight attendant, private cello instruction... but none more important and rewarding than being a wife, mother of 3 and grandmother of 2.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up one house outside the City limits of Atlanta, GA. Since then I have lived in Greenville SC, Des Moines Iowa, and Boston MA. Before moving to Wilmington.
What is your favorite song, artist, and/or musical memory?
I guess as far as solo cello works, I would have to say the Bach unaccompanied suites and the 2 Brahms sonatas. I really love the Schubert “Death and the Maiden” string quartet and the Mendelssohn piano trios. Although there is so much symphonic music I love, I guess as a whole I would have to say the 9 Beethoven symphonies. They are wonderful to listen to and so much fun to play. My favorite personal music memory was participating in the World Congress of Cellos in Maryland and playing in a huge cello choir on stage with YoYo Ma, Janis Staker, Bernard Greenhouse, Steven Israelis, Gary Hoffman....on and on.... The most important work I did for my development was chamber music with Joseph Fuchs in Maine and cello pedagogy with John Ehrlich in Iowa. My most famous student was Alicia Keys when she was here working on a film, The Secret Life of Bees. Haha!
I am so pleased that all three of my children continue to enjoy playing string instruments. Each of them played in the youth orchestra program (my twins were principals in the very first group) and each has played for many years in the Wilmington Symphony and chamber music as well. My son David is now a surgeon in Boston, but he also has his undergrad degree in cello performance. I remember sitting on stage both nervous and excited as he performed the Elgar Concerto as a Richard R. Deas Young Artist Concerto Competition award winner. The WSO continues to use his “cello box” each time we have a cellist as a guest performer. I am so happy to play with both daughters, Christine Maynard, now a concertmaster for the WSO, and Katherine Meyer, a first violinist in the WSO, What a thrill it is to have this time together with them doing something we all love.
Favorite meal or restaurant?
Right here at home. Both my husband Clint and I like to cook.
Half and half iced tea, strong margaritas, and good Pinot noir.
What is your favorite vacation?
I love to travel. My husband and I really enjoyed flight benefits when I worked for Delta in Boston. I am so glad we were able to go to Vietnam and South Africa before the pandemic. As for my favorite, I have the most happy memories of family travel, both as a young girl in a station wagon pulling a pop up camper to national parks, and as a mom traveling with adult children to Alaska, Europe and Galápagos Islands.
You're stuck on a desert island... What book, music/album/artist and/or movie do you want with you??
I hope that never happens!
What's your pet situation?
We have a sweet yellow lab named Molly.
What do you want people to know about the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra?
This orchestra should be treasured by Wilmington. Not only does the WSO provide quality concerts for the community at an affordable price, but more importantly it provides:
1. A place for professionals and teachers in our area to practice their musical skills and remain dedicated to their art.
2. A wonderful symphonic youth orchestra program attracting students from all over South Eastern NC.
3. A huge junior strings orchestra to inspire students from an early age and provide a positive learning environment for a very diverse group.
4. The WSO provides valuable resources to churches, choirs, live theater, wedding vendors, and even the film industries. As a cellist, I have worked in our community in all of these ways.
How are you keeping yourself occupied while being at home all day?
I am playing catch up with a lot of household projects, working in my yard a lot, playing tennis, and enjoying my family. My 2 daughters and I have continued to play chamber music on the deck and I have spent quality time with my 10 month old grandson in town. It has been hard not to see my sixteen month old granddaughter often enough, and really hard not to see my 93 year old mother at all.
Any words of wisdom to help others through this?
Stay connected with friends and family outside. PLEASE WEAR A MASK in public places. My son has had Covid and says that we absolutely should continue to be careful and diligent. Many nonprofits, including the WSO, are trying to help others in need while trying to survive financially. Consider donating and volunteering in ways that are safe for you. Give Blood. VOTE!
Christine Maynard, Concertmaster
Mary Jo White