Meet Our Musicians

Musician Spotlight:  Claudia Risebig

Instrument:  bassoon

Hometown:  I’ve lived in the Kansas City area the longest.  Born in Kansas City, Mo; Moved to Topeka, KS in 8th grade until after college, and then lived in Wichita, KS for three years while attending Wichita State. Moved back to Kansas City and currently live in Overland Park, KS.

How many years have you played with the SJS:  Since 1989 (I think). Has it been 30 years already?

I graduated from Washburn University with a Bachelor’s of Music degree. Besides playing principal bassoon in the St. Joseph Symphony, I’ve previously played with local performing groups as called upon.  I’m a member of the Suzuki Associations of the Americas and the local Heart of America Suzuki Association (HASA) and I am sanctioned to teach Suzuki piano. Besides playing bassoon, I sing with the Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral choir in Kansas City and have sung with the choir on tour in Europe and England. I also earned a Bachelor’s of Health Information Management degree from Wichita State University and work full-time at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission as a Quality Management Data Coordinator.  I enjoy gardening, swimming, caring for two cats, and cooking in my spare time.

Q & A with Claudia Risebig

What music have you especially enjoyed performing over the years?  I really like baroque music, but I also like romantic too, especially Poulenc. The bassoon can be so versatile; being a playful clown on one piece, and then having a beautiful lyrical line in the next.

How did you get started playing?  Many people ask me that question. I always tell them that my High School band director asked me to play bassoon, and I was too stupid to say no. But, I later learned it was because he thought I could handle a difficult-to-play instrument.

What is your idea of a “perfect day?”   My idea of a perfect day is when I don’t have to go anywhere and I can get a lot of things accomplished and to be able to relax at the end of it.

How may we keep symphony music alive for new generations?  Keep symphony music alive by offering live symphony concerts, as well as televised symphony concerts. And concerts geared especially for young people. The more they hear, the more they know about the orchestra instruments and the music that’s played by orchestras. The younger generations know a lot about sports (football, soccer, volleyball, etc.) because they play it or watch it a lot.  We have more available music now than we ever have. By encouraging students to listen to good music on YouTube, they can not only listen to a symphony work, but they can watch them play, too!

What would we be surprised to know about you?  I used to crew hot air balloons. There was a rule that after crewing for a certain period of time, you would get a free flight.  I crewed a lot and earned my free flight. It was awesome. I remember we landed near the backyard of a home.  After we landed, a group of young Boy Scouts came running over the hill (like in the Sound of Music). It was a sight to see!

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