Spotlight #5: Annalisa Peterson

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Annalisa Peterson, French Horn with the MSO for 22 Years

Submitted by MSO Board Member, Richard Iascone

How did you get involved in music? What is your musical “history?”
I started playing piano at age 6, but in middle school I decided I wanted to play with other people.  I wanted to play oboe because of "Send In the Clowns," but there weren't any, and I guess they figured I was up for a tricky instrument, so they gave me a French horn.  I played a lot of instruments throughout high school including horn, trombone, trumpet, baritone, piano, recorder, voice, and bugle. I even taught the bugle, though I only started playing it a few weeks before my students. I once played "To The Colors" for thousands of people on the Boston Common! Then at Wellesley College I took up the sacbutt (a renaissance-era trombone) before settling on just horn. My family is musical, and I still play in the Lexington Bicentennial Band with my father.

Where did you study music?
I was a math and music double major at Wellesley College, and kept playing in grad school at Dartmouth College, and now I play in several of the regional orchestras, including Melrose, the North Shore Philharmonic, and the Lowell Philharmonic. My favorite music is Brahms, and anything with lots of horns!

What is your most memorable MSO concert or experience?
My most memorable experience with the Melrose Symphony was my first day. I was living in New Bedford, which is 70 miles from Melrose, and I drove up in a tremendous rainstorm - the October Nor'easter of 1995. Memorial Hall had flooded (which I didn't know) and I eventually found out that rehearsal had been moved to the high school.  I drove over there, and didn't see anything (the Fellsway was flooded too, of course) and when I saw a fountain of water coming up out of a manhole, I decided to wait for another day.

Special Note:
Ms. Peterson has also taught math at Melrose High School for the past 16 years and knows many of the student musicians in the Melrose Symphony.