Five musicians at an Emerson Intergenerational Orchestra, including guest blogger Becky Schlembach



I’m Becky Schlembach. I am a member of the Emerson Intergenerational Orchestra.

I have been a member of the EIO since January of 2015 – I’m excited to be starting my 3rd season with this group!

The EIO or “Emerson Intergenerational Orchestra” truly lives up to its name – it is an orchestra composed of individuals of all ages, from youth learning the instrument in school to adults of various musical backgrounds. Bill Tackett, our fearless director, has been successfully leading this group since before I joined.His background in music education coupled with his affable demeanor makes each rehearsal a fun experience for musicians of all skill levels and all ages.  

How did I end up playing with EIO? Well, I grew up playing music. I took a sizable break after college, until I decided I wanted music back in my life.So, I purchased a horn, intending to join some groups and perform with other musically inclined individuals.  

It was about this time I heard of Emerson’s Intergenerational Orchestra and how great it was. And that I should join. And that the people were wonderful. And the music was fun. Well, time passed, as it always does. Then, I woke up one day and decided it was time to try this group on for size. And I have to say, I wish I joined sooner.  

The situation at EIO was just as my friend told me: the musicians in the group were nice, friendly people who welcomed me to rehearsal with open arms. Some members were professional musicians, others were life-long music enthusiasts, and some just learning to play.

And just as my friend told me, we have fun. We are musicians of all levels, but we are all here for the same reason–to play music together. Rehearsing with this eclectic bunch is a wonderful way to start your Sunday. Bill, with his years of experience teaching musicians of all levels, is a wonderful resource. He is knowledge about all instruments. He has a wonderful ear for music that is able to tie all our parts together into something beautiful, even when we have sparse instrumentation! And his positive demeanor, even when we make mistakes, reminds us why we’re here– to play, to learn, and to enjoy making music.

Now, what’s the point of all these rehearsals without performances? Pointless! So, yes, we perform too!  A few times a year, we pair up with the choir during the service to perform hymns and other various tunes. Sometimes we perform pieces as an orchestra, other times a small ensemble plays during the service. We even have an annual April concert!  All of these performance opportunities are wonderful experiences, because playing for the appreciative and supporting congregation at Emerson is heartwarming!  It makes all the rehearsing well worth it!

So, if you play an instrument, and you want to have fun on Sunday mornings, please come by! We rehearse at 9 AM in Westwood Hall and are always looking for more musicians to join our ranks!
Thinking about Emerson Intergenerational Orchestra or Choir? Come to our potluck Wednesday, August 31, at 6:30 PM in Westwood Hall, or contact our music director Adrian Rodriguez!