Sheila Felder

Sheila Felder

First Year with the DSO: 1988
Hometown: Rockford, IL
Education: Master’s Degree in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. Bachelor of Music Education from Morningside College, Sioux City, IA.
My earliest musical memory: I started taking piano lessons at age 6 when my parents bought a piano. I added cello at age 10.
I knew I would make a career in music when: It was my junior year of college and I was asked to teach cello lessons to local grade school students. One of my students was double-jointed and I had to come-up with creative ways to get her hands to shape correctly. When my little games and exercises were successful, I found myself inspired and headed down an unexpected career path, as a music educator. Now I truly look forward to each teaching day and the challenges that will await me.
Favorite thing about performing music: I think it is wonderful to be able to express yourself through music and use the universal language that bonds people together and transcends boundaries.
Most memorable performance with the DSO: Definitely when we played for the Dvorak Festival in Spillville. It was a thrill to perform for Dvorak’s family and the enthusiastic audience.
Favorite composer and/or period: Definitely the Romantic Period. Kalinnikov, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saens, etc.
Advice for young musicians: You are not only learning how to play an instrument but you also are gaining self-confidence, a sense of accomplishment, passion and inspiration. I expect my own students to leave my high school orchestra program with maturity, leadership and team building skills that will help them as they move forward. If you can play your instrument in front of a crowd of 400, then job interviews and presentations will appear to be a snap. It is amazing what all that can be accomplished through your music education! Stick with it!
A special story about my instrument: My cello was found in the attic in the home of an instrument dealer who had recently passed away. It was made in Germany, but no one knows exactly who the luthier was. I purchased it in Chicago at Bein and Fushi. I am told the varnish is a French style and it is pumpkin orange. I now have an orange case to match it!
Other instruments I play: Piano, Organ, Violin, Viola, Double Bass, Electric Bass and Harp.
Other than performing music, I always thought it might be fun to be a: At one time I wanted to be an architect.
One thing people don’t know about me: I take a statewide Illinois Ambassador Orchestra (high school and college age) on tour in Europe every other year. Also, right before I came to the Dubuque Symphony, I was in the Sioux City Symphony, so I went from one great Iowa river city to another!
On my iPod or in my CD player: Everything from Angelique Kidjo to Mozart to U2. I like variety!

The Cello Team

Jon Hodges

Jon Hodges
Assistant Principal

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