Bright lighting, stark white walls and a chattering crowd of people fill the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC) lobby while Anita Tucker, a professional violinist, is backstage quietly preparing for a rehearsal. Tucker, concertmaster for the Waterloo –Cedar Falls Symphony since 2005 took time out of her hectic schedule to discuss a little more about herself and her accomplishments.
“My interest in music began at a young age. I attended school concerts that my oldest brother was playing in and saw people playing in the orchestra portion of the concert.”
With full support her mother and father enrolled her in Suzuki lessons with Doris Preucil. “Doris Preucil was just starting her Suzuki teaching in Iowa City at that time and I was in her first Suzuki class. That’s why she has to be my biggest influence. She is a wonderful teacher and has influenced many young people, only some of whom continued as professional musicians.”
“I then played in orchestras from elementary school onward, including the school orchestras, all city orchestras, and all-state orchestra for four years in total. I also attended music summer camps and academies during the summer.”
When asked about her passion for violin, after a lengthy pause Tucker explains, with a sincere expressing spreading across her face, “I wouldn’t use the word passion. It’s just something I should be doing. I play to help others experience music. It’s what I should be doing with the abilities I have. I have other passions as well, though. I love my dogs and I enjoy reading mystery novels. Other than that I don’t have much time for anything else.”
Tucker graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in music performance and earned a Soloist Diploma from Konservatorium Lucerne in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Gathering her thoughts, Tuckers continues, “I use to travel a lot when I was younger, a lot for the Lucerne Orchestra in Europe. But nowadays I mostly travel to Cedar Falls. I enjoy playing here and I like playing with the conductor and all of the people here too!” A self-renowned “Gig pig” Tucker explains “If I can figure out how I can do a gig, I’ll take it! I’ll do it even if I don’t have time.”
As Tucker reflects on the night’s rehearsal she says, “In thinking about this, I realized I remember specific rehearsals more than concerts. I do remember accidentally happening into a performance of the Berlioz Requiem taking place at St. Paul’s in London. The Requiem has antiphonal brass and to hear that in St. Paul’s was something I will never forget.”
With the interview coming to an end Tucker states “I don’t typically give advice to young performers.” She concludes with a nervous laugh. “It’s all in the preparation, but they should also enjoy themselves. You are going to enjoy performing much more if you are not playing catch-up!”