MOUNT VERNON ó The Knox County Symphony performance Sunday evening will be dedicated to Ann Kahrl Laudeman. Laudeman has played violin with the symphony for 40 years. Her career with the orchestra began while a student in high school and continued until the interruption of her college years as a student at DePauw University. She also took a year off after the birth of her eldest son.
Having been raised in a musical family, some of Laudemanís earliest memories include Saturday evening gatherings of a string quartet in which her mother, Evelyn Kahrl, participated. Though musicians in the quartet changed through the years, Laudeman recalls the presence of Bill McCullough, Franklin and Libuse Miller, and Jane Netolick. Memories of string quartet music drifting up the stairs to a child asleep are very dear of Laudeman.
Ann and her siblings all began their musical studies on piano before making the transition to strings. Ann began playing the violin in the fourth grade under the guidance of Robert Pforsich of the Mount Vernon City Schools. She stated that she really wanted to play the cello, but did not want to carry its bulk. By high school, Laudeman was accompanying her mother to rehearsals with the Knox County Symphony. One of the highlights of Laudemanís time with the orchestra was when, as a senior, she was selected to play a solo with the symphony. This tradition of giving students the opportunity to perform as soloists with the symphony at both the high school and college level continues today with the annual concert featuring the winners of the Young Musicians Competition.
When asked about the changes in the symphony during her 40 years of playing, Laudeman commented on the size of the symphony and the participation of the students. Since the inception of the Knox County Symphony by Dr. Paul Schwartz and interested community members in 1966, the symphony has grown dramatically in size. During the 27-year tenure of director Dr. Benjamin Locke, significant increase in the participation of college players has been a positive benefit to the symphony. There are now four concerts a year, with one of those being a free concert designed especially for children.
The public is invited to the final Knox County Symphony concert of the season on Sunday, May 1, at 8 p.m. at Rosse Hall on the Kenyon College campus. In addition, Meg Litteral will be recognized for 23 years of playing with the symphony and Ben Fry will be recognized for 21 years.
Tickets will be available at the door.
Published on April 30, 2011