Hometown:  Louisville, Kentucky

Member: 1982

In addition to her violin talents, Carol Whitman has played the organ for the First Presbyterian Church in Fernandina Beach for many years.

What do you want patrons of the Symphony to know about you?
My mother played violin in the Louisville Orchestra for more than 45 years including that orchestra’s performance in Carnegie Hall in 1950. While attending the University of Louisville, I won a position in the same orchestra and played in the same section with my mom for two years until graduation, marriage and moving south.

Do you have any pre-concert rituals or routines?
Before concerts (and rehearsals), I drive from Fernandina Beach, enjoying the current stages of road construction. Once I reach the hall, there are the usual warm-up scales and whatever tricky passages lie ahead for each show. Nothing weird, but I do tighten and loosen my bow 2 or 3 times.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a professional musician?
I’d probably be a teacher – I’ve volunteered in my children’s classrooms. Hard job!

What teacher, mentor or other influencer inspired you the most?
An elementary school teacher demonstrated to me the joy of giving the gift of music, a model which has been reinforced by many other teachers and colleagues.

What do you do in your spare time?
I love to read, walk, do needlework and visit with friends and family. My children and I have taken some vacations together and we want more! Gardening (dirt therapy) keeps my knees working – anybody want some dollarweed?

What has been your favorite moment on stage?
Favorite memories include our 1998 Carnegie Hall performance (gotta keep up with Mom!) and sharing the stage with my tuba-playing son during the Major/minor Concert. One special moment was during a runout concert when the bass drum got loose and went rolling down the risers, stopping beside the piccolo. No harm done, but hilarious!

Do you have pets?
I have three grand-dogs: Wrigley (“blue” pit bull), Desmond (boxer/pit mix) and Jack (mini-dachshund), who has been known to play “fetch the ball” for four hours without a break; the humans involved had to switch out!

Who is your favorite composer?
I can’t choose one but I have a favorite quote from a German opera house:
Bach gave us God’s word.
Mozart gave us God’s laughter.
Beethoven gave us God’s fire.
God gave us music that we might pray without words.

Career Highlights
I played in the Louisville Orchestra (with my mom!) for two years, then enjoyed playing with the Starkville Symphony, Aurora Symphony and the Savannah Symphony on my way to my time with the Jacksonville Symphony.

Bachelor of Music Education with Honors, University of Louisville.