Musical Musings

Sarasota Orchestra Musicians Celebrate Their Moms

Natalie Helm, Principal Cello 

The unwavering support of my Mom included driving me 90 minutes each way to lessons every week, supporting me after any and all failed performances, auditions, or competitions, and let's not forget the years and years of patiently listening to me practice ... before it sounded like real music! Even now, my Mom flies to hear my big concerts because that's really the only person I need there! The support never ends for Moms.
Natalie Helm with her mother

Jonathan Spivey, Principal Keyboard

My dear Mother, who passed in November of 2019, was more a lover than a talent when it came to music. Her slightly off-key, slightly off-rhythm singing style convinced me that everyone else sang our favorite songs wrong.

But boy, did she make me practice! 

Mom used to drive me crazy telling her friends that one day I might work for a symphony orchestra.

"That’s just not realistic at all," I said. "Most orchestras don’t even have a full-time keyboard player, and it’s impossibly competitive. I’ll just teach and freelance and hope it works out."

Well, after 30 years as pianist with Sarasota Orchestra, I guess she had more wisdom or faith than I did.

And now the angels can finally get those songs right in Heaven!
Jonathan Spivey with his mother

Bharat Chandra, Principal Clarinet

My mother, Jane, would sing and lightly dance along with her oldies station every evening in our kitchen. She sang quietly, but with such feeling and inner joy that the power of music elevated itself above all else in my life. Now, whenever I imagine how deeply people might feel the music we're about to play, I picture her face.
Bharat Chandra with his mother

Carlann Evans, violin

My mom was totally HUGE in supporting everything I even hinted at doing--just the mere mention of playing violin, and before I knew it, we were on our way to the Educator’s Music store in Lakewood, Ohio, renting my first violin in high school! She said, “Carlann, I know whatever you put your mind to, you can do it!” Those words and her love carry me every day.
Pictured (from L): Carlann's Aunt Marlene, Carlann Evans, her grandmother, and her mother.
Carlann Evans with her aunt, grandmother, and mother

Betsy Traba, Principal Flute

My family had many financial challenges, and we did without a lot of things. Somehow, my mother always found a way to pay for my flute lessons.
Betsy Traba with her mother

Chung-Yon Hong, violin

If it wasn’t for my mom, who stayed up with me till two in the morning at times so I finished my homework and got my practice in, I would have quit a long time ago! My mom is a saint. The most selfless woman I know.
Chung-Yon Hong with her mother

Yoko Kita, Principal Timpani

My mother always gave me unconditional support on whatever I wanted to pursue. Playing the percussion was no exception, but she gently and sweetly suggested to practice on the drum pad outside.
Yoko Kita with her mother

Carmen Bannon, flute

My mom made me feel good in general and always said she loved hearing me practice (I don’t remember her ever scolding me for not practicing). I drove myself to lessons when I finally signed up, and she always seemed so pleased that I was continuing with my pursuit of music.
Carmen Bannon with family

Jennifer Best Takeda, Assistant Concertmaster

My mom was the ultimate Suzuki mom when I was growing up, sitting through every single lesson and thoroughly taking notes. My practice sessions at home were met with, “That’s out of tune, Jennifer!” from the next room, among other constructive observations. In high school, she was my dedicated taxi driver, shuffling me between violin lessons and soccer practices and games. It is an understatement when I say I wouldn’t be where I am today without that woman. Thanks, Mama!
Jennifer Best Takeda with her mother

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Annual Fund

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Don't Miss These
Special Events

Join us to celebrate our 75th Anniversary at these exciting events.


Dinner Series
Six Dinners throughout the season

Orchestra Brunch
Sunday, November 12, 2023

Celebrate 75 Concert and Gala
Thursday, February 15, 2024

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Our mission is to engage, educate, and enrich our community through high-quality, live musical experiences.

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Sarasota Orchestra is committed to making our performances and facilities accessible to everyone in our community.

All of the Orchestra’s facilities are accessible to persons using wheelchairs.

Assistive listening devices are available for all Orchestra performances.