Yvonne Smith is a principal violist and while she didn’t practice her music much when she was growing up, she now loves every minute that she gets to play. She was born in Iowa, but only lived there for a few years before moving to California, Upstate New York, Arizona, Maryland, and now Houston.
Yvonne’s mom was her piano teacher and her dad was a conductor. She was in a very musical environment growing up, which may have played a role in her earning her Bachelor’s and Master’s in music.
She started with other instruments, but she didn’t like loud noises. The viola looked like the best fit, as did classical music. Her favorite music growing up was Baroque and she started listening to it when she was eleven or twelve years old.
Yvonne begins to discuss her involvement with the musical ensemble, La Speranza Chamber Group. She shares when the group was founded, why they founded the group, and how the musicians are chosen to perform with the group. She also shares where they perform their music and is quite proud to announce that they play at a local Houston hospital.
At the end of this part of the interview, Yvonne talks about her viola, which she had made to look like one that was created during the 17th century. She shares how long it took to make the viola for her and what was going on when she received it in the mail. Yvonne also talks about the slight adjustments that she has made, which makes it easier for her to play.
This interview begins with how musicians need to be aware that there are numerous paths that they can take to get to where they want to be. La Speranza has grown quite a bit since it was founded, and Yvonne shares a little bit of where she sees the group in the future.
They have just secured their first grant and are looking to become a 501c by the of this year. Yvonne talks about how the season went and what everyone should expect for the season finale performance. This entire season has been filled with the early works of many well-known composers.
Being a part of La Speranza is a lot of fun, but Yvonne seems to be winging it many days, as she is not always sure of what she should be doing to get the group to a more successful point. However, she knows that this is part of creating something fabulous and thrives on those everyday challenges.
The audience at the performances is growing all the time, thanks to word of mouth and the help of advertising on radio. While they do post parts of their performances online, Yvonne is hopeful that they can eventually do livestreams for those that cannot attend in person.
Yvonne shares what her favorite part of every performance is and where they can be found on social media. She is quite thankful for all her musicians, as they are all helping her realize her dream of bringing music to as many people as possible.
More information is available at yvonnesmithviola.com.
Learn more about La Speranza: https://la-speranza.com/
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