Get to Know the DSSO: Rebecca Peterson, Cello

Name: Rebecca Peterson

Member of DSSO since: 1989-90 was my first season as a high school senior. I earned a permanent seat in 1996.

DSSO Position: Cello

Education: Bachelor of Music Education K-12 and Associates Degree in Nursing, RN

What made you decide to pursue a career in music? 
I tried to be practical when I started college. I was initially going to pursue an accounting degree. Well, I would have probably flunked out of school if I stayed on that career path. I always found myself with the music students. Studying music came easy to me. I made the switch and have been teaching and performing for 27+ years. Although, the practical side did take over once again, I successfully added an additional career to my life. I also work as a registered nurse in addition to teaching privately and playing with the DSSO.

What has been the highlight of your career thus far? 
I cannot think of any particular highlight. However, I did just hold my year end student recital, and this reminded me of why I started this journey in the first place. I get the most joy from seeing others grow in their own musical journey.

 What made you choose to play cello? 
I read the Ramona series in grade school by Beverly Cleary. Ramona played the cello in one of the books. My older sister already played the violin, no one really knew what the viola is, and the bass was just too big!

What’s the most challenging thing about playing cello?
As a cellist, we are always fighting for enough elbow room in a pit orchestra. And tolerating the constant suggestions to “play the piccolo” as I work my way through a crowd with the cello on my back.

Do you have a favorite piece of orchestral repertoire to play and/or listen to? 
Elgar Enigma Variations. This just happened to be in the CD player after the birth of our first child and I remember those precious moments. This just ended up to be the soundtrack for that early start in his life.

When you’re not performing, what do you do for fun? 
I run marathons. I have recently added the 50K to my running adventures. This gets me onto the trails and off the roads.

What’s one thing you hope people take away from a DSSO concert? 
The experience of live symphonic music.

Do you have any advice for those looking to pursue a career in music? 
Explore all other options in addition to music because it is a challenging way to pursue a living (health insurance, income, all the practical side of things). As a musician, you are always having to “validate” your existence and why it is important. You need to have the energy to advocate for yourself and others why music education is a necessary part of a young person’s education.