Mike Pope grew up in Cleveland County, which is in the NC foothills. Going to elementary and high school, he never had a school music teacher, and touched a cello for the first time as a freshmen chemistry major at Appalachian State. After two years he transferred to the University of Alabama where he studied cello with Margaret Christy.
After graduating, he and his wife joined the Peace Corp and spent two years in Uganda where he taught English, started the school's first basketball team, and directed the choir. Upon his return to the US, he accepted a position teaching orchestra with the Raleigh Public Schools. Five years later, he returned to Appalachian for his master's degree. He spent the next 7 years teaching blind students at the Governor Morehead School in Raleigh.
His family moved to Wilmington in 1982 where he taught orchestra until his retirement in 1998. Since then he has continued playing cello, teaching privately, and even spent a year and a half operating cameras for Carolina in the Morning at WECT-TV.
In addition to his time in the WSO, Mike also plays for weddings and other special occasions in a string quartet and performs with the Tallis Chamber Orchestra. He plays violin occasionally, as well as guitar and piano, but most of his practice time goes to the cello.
Beverly Andrews, Co-Concertmaster
Christine Maynard, Co-Concertmaster
Mary Jo White