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Robyn Sullivan – Viola – 5 Seasons
"Day Job": I am a professional luthier. I mostly do restoration and set up work for Chicago Strings, though I have made a handful of violins, violas, and a cello. Fun fact: I made the viola I play in the ESO. The rest of my time is largely spent with my family – married to the talented artist, Daniel Martin Sullivan, and busy with 7-year old Cooper and 4-year old Fiona.
Most memorable performance with ESO: Our holiday concerts. I love how it has become a family tradition for so many in our community including my own. My father-in-law, a/k/a Grandpa Bob, comes for a visit that weekend so he can attend with Daniel and the kids. Everyone loves the dancers and all the choirs! I was lucky to join ESO the first year we did Quincy Jones's "Gospel Hallelujah" with Rev. Ken Cherry and the Evanston Symphony Holiday Gospel Choir. I recall how hard we orchestral musicians worked at getting the right gospel rhythms down as a unit before practicing with the choir for the first time. Once the choir joined us to rehearse some musical magic happened and we found our groove together. "Gospel Hallelujah" is truly a joyous song and it’s a privilege to be a small part of its yearly performance.
Most pleased to have accomplished during your time staying at home: Due to the virus, it’s been slow for luthiers. I’ve managed to put my professional skills to use at home. I had a broken fractional-sized violin that my son noticed and asked if he could help fix it up, so I could teach him to play. I couldn’t refuse a request like that! While Cooper and I were working on his violin, Fiona decided she also wanted to learn to play the violin. I was able to borrow one for her and we started on our quarantine violin journey. I hope I can keep violin enjoyable for them until the world gets to a point where they can go to a violin teacher who’s not also their mother!
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