November 9, 2015

Backstage at the Egyptian: An Interview with Amanda Nelson from the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra

Interview conducted by Brandon Pugh- Egyptian Theatre Intern. 

Amanda Nelson is a current member of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra. She is also general manager. The KSO will be performing at the Egyptian Theatre on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 11:00AM if you are interested in seeing this talented group of performers. 

Amanda Nelson KSO Brandon: How long have you been with the orchestra? How did you come to work for the orchestra? 

Amanda: I have been playing cello in the orchestra since 2005 and have been general manager since 2006. I joined the orchestra my first year out of college because I wanted to continue playing in an orchestra for me! It was a perfect fit because my cello teacher, Linc Smelser, was (and still is) the conductor. I am one to get involved in the community, so the following year when the general manager position became available and Linc approached me about the job, I was excited to get involved in this great organization on a different level!

Brandon: Have you ever performed in your life? If yes, has it been with the orchestra?

Amanda: I have been performing since a very young age. I have been involved in some sort of music lessons or ensemble practice since I was 8 years old. Performing solo is not my favorite thing to do, but playing in a group I love! I perform with the KSO and the Tom Sharpe World Music Ensemble. As a music teacher, I love running concerts for students and my summer orchestra program Garage Orchestra.

Brandon: What is one thing you enjoy most about working with the orchestra?

Amanda: I love working with KSO because it is a fantastic group of very talented musicians who want to make this community a better place!

Brandon: Do you have a favorite musical arrangement that either you’ve heard in the past or that the orchestra has performed?

Amanda: My absolute favorite orchestral piece is the second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. I was lucky enough to be able to play it with KSO a few years ago!

Brandon: If you could possess one talent that you don’t already have, what would it be?

Amanda:I have two! I would love to be a really good piano player (one that can read music and improvise) and a really good drum set player. So many times in my life I have needed a good piano player or a good drummer and it would have been so easy to just fill in myself!

Brandon: Have you visited the Egyptian in the past? If yes, what is your favorite memory?

Amanda: I have been there many times! The KSO Children’s concert is by far the best!


Interested in attending the KSO Orchestra Concert? Please visit our website for more information as well as tickets. Feel free to check out the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra as well!