by Daniel Hathaway
Although this is not an optimal moment to start a new job, violinist Wendy Case is enjoying her new position on the faculty of the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University.
“So far it’s been fantastic. We’re doing all the classes online, and private lessons and chamber groups in person, both indoors and outside, where we have some spaces we can use.”
Case, who studied at the University of Michigan, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and SUNY Stony Brook, has recently held teaching positions in Chattanooga, Tennessee at Berry College, Covenant College, and Chattanooga State. Founding violinist of the Brahms’ Ghost Piano Trio, she has served as artistic director of the Scenic City Chamber Society and performed with the Tetris Duo, the Pitch Pipe Foundation, the Nashville Opera, and the Atlanta Symphony. Her current projects include recordings and a series of presentations on the interplay of advanced string technique and acoustical physics.
Originally a Michigander, Case says she’s excited to move back North. “I’m glad to be here. I’ve loved Northeast Ohio for a really long time.”
Her position at YSU involves both private and classroom teaching. “I have 13 violin and viola students, but with all the classes, I think it’s a total of about 65 students. I find teaching under these conditions fascinating. I miss talking to students face-to-face, but we’ve worked out a system in the last three weeks so the students and I can interact, and that’s becoming smoother. I think it’s really good for all of us because we have to figure out a lot of things for ourselves. That’s fantastic in terms of learning processes.”
Additionally, Case plays with the Dana Piano Trio, joining her faculty colleagues pianist Cicilia Yudha and cellist Kivie-Cahn Lipman, whom she describes as “delightful — really wonderful humans, too.” Click above to watch a video of their virtual performance at Youngstown’s McDonough Museum of Art streamed on Saturday afternoon, August 30 (click here to view the printed program).
How did it feel to make her debut with the trio with no audience present? “I didn’t miss not bowing at the end — I thought, ‘Oh, this is great!’ But when you perform, you feel the audience and their engagement level, and I missed that a lot. Music is really about the human connection and communication.” Case said she’s looking forward to moving from virtual to in-person concerts with the trio as soon as that’s a viable option.
Published on ClevelandClassical.com September 9, 2020
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