The musicians in the GCO are a varied as one can imagine. The orchestra and the choir come from throughout Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming for rehearsals and concerts, and hail from places as far away as Cheyenne, Fort Morgan, Estes Park, Longmont, Loveland, and Fort Collins as well from the greater Greeley area.
We would like to introduce a few of the GCO string players to you:
Leanne Griffey, Concertmaster, has played with many area orchestras, and is the Orchestra Director at Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School in Ft. Collins. She teaches orchestra and choir, and gives lessons in violin, viola, and voice. Very family-oriented, Leanne fills her 29 hour day with a variety of physical and musical activities including volunteering as a musical director for the International Order of Rainbow for Girls, a Masonic organization for which she is a past Grand Worthy Advisor (state president).
Debbie Nunley, violinist, grew up in Denver and started playing violin in 4th grade. She was active in the Denver Youth Musicians playing with her very good friend Diane Penny. 35 years later, Debbie in her 22nd year with the GCO, still enjoys playing with Diane in the GCO. Debbie lives and works in Cheyenne, WY.
Stephanie Pickering, violinist, is a CPA by trade, but a fill-time musician at heart. She shares a GCO music stand with her mom, Debbie, who introduced Stephanie to the violin at age 4. Realizing that it was pretty fun to take a bow with a violin tucked under one arm, playing stuck. She played with the GCO off and on throughout high school and college, and every year since 2007.
Jeanene Gage, principal second violinist, provides strong leadership to the GCO second violin section, is also the GCO harpist, and maintains a small studio of violin & harp students. She has played with most area symphonies from the Wyoming Symphony in Casper to the Jefferson Symphony in Golden.
Lenore Olson, violinist, is also percussionist for the Northern Colorado Community Band, and vocalist in the Windsor Community Chorale. In real life she is an RN and Message Therapist.
Alyssa Price, violinist, has played in the GCO since her senior year of high school at Northridge. She lives in Ft. Collins and teaches in a Ft. Collins elementary school.
Diana Delgado, principal violist, first played with the GCO while still in high school (Go Greeley West!), and continues playing today. She lives in Dacono, and is Chief Operating Officer of a retirement community in Lakewood.
Bob Schenkein, principal cellist, has been a cellist for 50+ years, and plays a cello that is 250 years young. He cofounded the Timberline Symphony, and has been a cellist in several northern Colorado orchestras since arriving in Colorado in 1990. Bob, a Windsor resident, became a Software Engineer a decade before the PC was invented, has a US Patent, and currently works at HP in Ft. Collins.
Norman Savig, cellist, has played cello since age 21 for 63 years, has been a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, northern Colorado orchestras, southern Wyoming community orchestras, and other professional orchestras. He is also an author, composer, and past Music Librarian of the University of Northern Colorado.
Jeremy Woods, bass, has been playing bass most of his life. He enjoys playing string bass and bass guitar in a wide variety of musical venues including orchestras, pit orchestras and combos. When Jeremy is not playing bass, he is a Systems Engineer and a dedicated family man.
Many stories could be told about and by these and other GCO string players!
The GCO wind section is just as interesting a group:
Sue Kent Achey, co-principal oboist, has been with the Greeley Chamber Orchestra since its first season in 1981, and previously performed with the Greeley Philharmonic and Madison Chamber Orchestras. She recently retired from the University of Northern Colorado where she received her graduate degrees.
Kathy Azari, co-principal oboist, and GCO Board co-President (with her husband Doran), is the Band Director at Brentwood Middle School in Greeley, and also teaches at the Union Colony Children’s Music Academy. She was awarded the Outstanding Woman of Weld County distinction in 2007 for her contributions to music education in Weld County.
Bonnie Hoffman, principal flautist, is founder and director of the Sherwood Park Flute Ensemble in Greeley. She is also Instructor of Woodwinds at Aims Community College, and maintains an independent flute studio.
Marcia Bohnenblust, flute and piccolo as well as triangle, bells, snare drum, and narrated Peter and the Wolf. She teaches at Skyview Elementary School in Windsor, plays tennis, is a member of the Sherwood Park Flute Ensemble, and has a daughter who is a music major at CSU. Bill, her husband, is a stay-at-home piano player.
Dave Green, principal clarinetist from Loveland, and Bill Streeter, clarinetist from Windsor, are retired not from playing clarinet but from the working world. Dave retired after a career in human resources, and Bill Streeter enjoyed a career as an intellectual property attorney. While they are noted for their musical endeavors now, Dave & Bill are probably not among Colorado's most notorious clarinetists. At the top of that list is the Sundance Kid of Butch Cassidy fame.
Sara Rogers, principal bassoonist, enjoys her 'night out' playing bassoon with the GCO, and loves going home to her two sweet children.
Kevin Youmans, trumpet player, has been a student of William Pfund, UNC Professor Emeritus since 2004. Kevin has enjoyed playing with the GCO since 2005, coordinating his schedule as an international airline Captain around the GCO’s rehearsal and performance schedule. He plays regularly at his church, arranges and composes brass parts, has played at the Candlelight Dinner Theater and with area community and big bands. He has also performed with Opera Colorado at numerous Madrigal dinners over the years.
Our chamber chorus has some interesting members, too, like the two obstetricians which have to make they are not on call the night of concerts. university professors, real estate brokers, retired divas, librarians, students, lawyers, oil & gas professionals-we have them all and all come together to continue that love of music that they have had for years.