Cornelia Sawyer, violin
Where did you grow up? Central Massachusetts.
Where do you currently live? Saco, Maine – near a beautiful beach!
What instruments do you play? Violin.
Educational background: BA – Hollins College, Roanoke VA; MA – Fresno State University, Fresno, CA.
Family, Pets, Kids: My husband, Rick, and I have 5 children, 11 grandchildren, and 1 dog. Our children and grandchildren are spread out all over the country, from Portland to Massachusetts, New Jersey, Chicago and Arkansas. Our dog, on the other hand, is always underfoot. He is a sock stealer who manages our physical activity by insisting on long walks every day.
How did you get started in music? I started playing piano by ear at 3 or 4, and began lessons at age 5. At age 10 I wanted to be just like a really cool girl who played violin and was a family friend. She quit playing and gave her instrument to me.
What’s your favorite PSO memory to date? I’ve been with the PSO for over 35 years, so there are too many memories to count, but some of my favorites are playing the Brahms Requiem with Robert Shaw conducting, coming onstage for the first time after the hall was renovated, and playing Mahler Symphony #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #9 and #10. When are we going to do #8?
What is the question you’re asked most often when you tell people you play with the PSO? Why is that guy in front waving his arms all the time?