Salisbury Symphony Orchestra
Holloway Hall

Education and Outreach

Salisbury Symphony Orchestra - Education & Outreach
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Meet the Musicians

Susan Zimmer

Name: Susan Zimmer
Flute and piccolo, sometimes keyboards

What is your role in the orchestra (chair/principle)?

Second flute and piccolo

What is the hardest part about playing in the orchestra?

Listening to the way your part fits into the total sound of the ensemble at the same time that you are playing.

What keeps you coming back to the SSO each year?

I love the sound of orchestral music.

What does it take to prepare for a performance?

Many hours of practice: weekly group rehearsals for several months prior to the concert, individual practice at home, and four hours of dress rehearsals in the same weekend as the concert.

Do you have a memory of a favorite performance with the SSO?

My favorite performance was the first that I played – I believe it was in 1990. I was a walk-on substitute for the first flute part on Mozart’s D-minor piano concerto, and was invited to return.

Do you play with any groups other than the SSO?

Yes. I am organist and choir director at Wicomico Presbyterian Church, staff accompanist in the Department of Music at Salisbury University, and a free-lance accompanist for several school choirs in Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester counties.

When did you realize you wanted to be a musician?

Apparently rather early (see photo). Seriously, I always enjoyed playing and studying music, and “turned pro” at age 13.

How long have you been playing your instrument?

Wow, that’s a really big number.

Did you study music? Where and when?

I have a Bachelor of Music from Texas Tech University, a Master of Music from Yale University, and am studying for my Doctorate in Music Education at Boston University.

Tell us about your most cherished musical experience.

There have been so many; each being a time when I felt that I was contributing to an inspiring musical performance.

Who are your musical influences?

My mother and grandmother - both are deceased but I have many memories of their music-making; my colleagues in the SU music department, especially conductors Jeff, Lee and Bill; and all the volunteers who are generous enough to share their talents with me in church choirs.

What CD is in your car stereo (or on your iPod) right now?

Afro-Latin Dance Party!

What is your favorite style of music to play? To listen to?


What is your favorite piece of music? Who is your favorite composer/songwriter?

My favorite composer is Mozart. However, my single favorite piece is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, and I have always wanted to play it.

If you had to play a different instrument, which one would you choose? Why?

I want to learn soprano saxophone, but so far it sounds like a frightened goose. I also know several tunes on the banjo and the harmonica, but I hope that no one will ever depend upon my playing any of these.

What do you do for a living?

Just music—and I consider myself very fortunate.

Do you have any hobbies other than music?

Reading, gardening, cooking.