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Meet the Musicians

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Deirdre Oehrtmann, violin

Oct 24 2018

Where did you grow up? South Portland, Maine

Where do you currently live? Moving to Windham on August 3rd

What instrument(s) do you play? Violin and viola, some piano

Educational background: B.S Magna Cum Laude University of Southern Maine

Personal Information (family, pets, kids, etc.): Happily married for 26 years to another wacky musician. Have two cats that we don’t have to send to college!

How did you get started in music? Public school music program – South Portland had an incredible orchestra program in the 1960’s (full orchestra at the high school). The enticement was that the violin was “unique” and they were looking for exceptional students. My grandfather was a violinist so I jumped at the chance. Within 6 months I was studying privately.

What non-PSO musical activities do you participate in? Highly involved at our synagogue. We also do lots of gardening – which is why we’re moving to Windham – need more acreage!

What’s your favorite PSO memory to date? The famous April blizzard of 82(?). The weather report was for a storm of 3-5 inches. Pops dress rehearsal was in the afternoon. By break the snow was blowing horizontally and 6 inches on the ground. By dinner time, the state police had closed the roads. Half of us slept in the hall – 27 inches was on the ground in the morning!

Describe a typical day: Probably the same as most musicians – morning is appointments and practicing, afternoon is teaching and evenings/weekends are rehearsals and concerts

What is the question you’re asked most often when you tell people you play with the PSO? What do you do for a living?

If you couldn’t be a musician, what would be your dream job? Harvesting coconuts on a desert isle

Any non-musical hobbies? Gardening

What is your favorite music? What are you currently listening to? Baroque era or Prokofieff. Not listening to much of anything because we’re packing.

Who or what has been your greatest influence, musical or otherwise? Itzhak Perlman. When I was in high school the youth symphony played on a PSO concert where Perlman was performing the Brahms concerto. My teacher had given me a copy of the piece. I took it back stage for him to autograph. He threw a “fit” saying how much he hated practicing this piece then, grinning, scribbled all sorts of pictures on it!

Do you teach? If so, how can people get in touch with you? Email

What/where are your favorite eats in Portland? Thai Taste in South Portland, Pepper Club, and Taste of India

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