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Jane Mitchell, Associate Principal Viola

Jane Mitchell, associate principal viola, received her Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory and her Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music. She studied with Peter Slowik and Ettore Causa.

In May 2017, Mitchell completed a three-year fellowship with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. Prior to moving to Florida, she was a member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra for two years. 

In the summer, she performs with the Britt Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon. She has participated in numerous other summer festivals, including the Tanglewood Music Center; the Lucerne Festival Academy; the Britten Pears Young Artist Program; Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival; the Pacific Music Festival; and the Sarasota Music Festival.

Name: Jane Mitchell

Instrument: Viola

Hometown: Almond, Wisconsin

At what age did you begin playing your instrument? Age 5

Who have been your greatest musical influences? My dad (I grew up listening to him sing and play guitar), my teachers: David Becker, Steve Bjella, Peter Slowik, and Ettore Causa.

Who are your favorite composers? Beethoven; Bartok; Mozart; Britten; Mahler.

What career path would you have taken had you not chosen music? I’ve thought a lot about being an elementary school teacher, specifically 4th grade.

What's currently playing on your iPod or CD player? Well, I listen to a lot of audio books and podcasts, and whatever music fits my mood on any given day.

Your hobbies and interests: Reading; running; traveling; baking bread; yoga.

Some little-known, yet interesting facts about you: I have a degree in English and creative writing, and I played the oboe in high school.

Funniest concert moment: Many summers ago, I was performing Mozart’s “Dissonance” Quartet at a small concert hall in Maine. The quartet is nicknamed “Dissonance” because in the slow introduction, the music builds note by note, layering to create a loud, unsettling, dissonant chord. We had rehearsed this part over and over to make it as dramatic as possible.  The day of the concert was sunny, but as we walked onstage, gray clouds started rolling in. And just as we reached the first loud dissonant moment, we heard a tremendous clap of thunder — perfect dramatic timing!  I have a recording of that performance that I will keep forever.

Daily practice rituals: Procrastinate a little, practice a lot, take breaks to listen to recordings of the music I’m learning and do some score studying.

 The question you're asked most often about your instrument (and your answer): Question: Wow, are we going to have live music on our airplane today? My answer: Silence (no time for chit chat, I’m on a mission to find room for my viola in the overhead bin!)

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