Mu Phi Epsilon
Dallas Alumni Chapter

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From time to time I have interviewed members of our chapter so that we can get to know each other better.

Interview with Kathryn Fouse
by Mary Williams

Mary: I know you are not teaching at UNT this year to concertize and accompany. What events do you have coming up? Who do you accompany? (still your husband? and others...?)

Kathryn: From October 31-November 7 I am on tour with Dr. Eric Nestler (professor of saxophone at UNT). We will be giving concerts at UNT, Texas Tech, University of Toledo, Northern Kentucky University, Blufton College, and Cincinnati Conservatory. Then I am home for a week and November 15-19 I will be in San Angelo, TX as staff accompanist for the Sorantin Competition (This is a "regular" gig each November). After that, I have a couple of Doctoral recitals that I am accompanying at UNT.

Throughout the month of January, I will be on tour with Joe Burgstaller (a trumpeter from New York) with "The Raphael Mendez Project." We will be presenting concerts throughout Texas on this particular tour - Greenville, Paris, Kilgore, Corpus Christi, McAllen, Del Rio, Hereford, and Pampa. Touring with Joe is particularly fun because I play a solo each night on his concerts. Between the Del Rio and the Hereford concerts, I will be working as staff accompanist for the Midland/Odessa competition. I thought, since I was going to be in the area and had the weekend free, why not? This is another of my regular staff accompanying gigs. (By the way, I did a tour just this past September-October with Joe with concerts in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.)

Then in February, my husband (Dr. Leonard Candelaria, professor of trumpet at UNT) will be giving clinics and concerts in Hawaii. So I guess I'll just have to go there, too!!
In the middle of March I expect to be staff accompanist for the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) regional conference which will be held in Waco. I have accompanied for several of the NASA conferences and this past summer was at the World Saxophone Congress held in Montreal.

Then just after the NASA conference, I will again be on tour with Joe Burgstaller. This time we will be playing in South Dakota, Minnesota (2 concerts), Michigan (4 concerts), and Ohio.

I return home around the middle of April and don't have anything definite planned after that! Many of the places that I have played with Joe have expressed an interest in having me back to do a full solo recital, so I am hoping that some of that will work out in the future. I would love to find more places to play solo recitals.

Mary: How do you manage to take children with you traveling? I remember you took your then very small child to Europe with you a few years ago.

Kathryn: Yes, I still take my children almost everywhere I go. Alexander got his passport when he was five weeks old. At two months, he was with my husband and myself on a tour of London and Sweden. Then at four months he went with me to accompany Eric Nestler on a tour of the Czech Republic and Hungary. (My husband was in Russia at that time.) In fact, Eric (who is single) is very accustomed to traveling with my "babies" because we do at least one tour every fall and frequently another in the spring, as well. Arianna, who is now 16 months old, has yet to travel overseas, but she has been to a lot of places in this country! On the long tours, either my mom or my husband goes with me to help with the kids. When they were very young - not yet walking - I usually did not have any help. I simply would prevail upon someone at the concert site to "babysit" for me. Of course, I usually set this up before arrival! The only place that I couldn't make prior arrangements was when Alexander was with me in the Czech Republic. But there were always some "babushkas" willing to help me out - even though we couldn't communicate in a common language we were able to work this out!

Now that they are older, I definitely need some help. Whenever we get to a new town, I immediately find out where the parks or playgrounds are, and I make a point to take the kids every day if possible. On the days that we are traveling a lot, I stop at places like McDonald's or Burger King that have playgrounds to let the kids work off some energy. Usually, I try to practice (if it is even possible, some days there is no place to practice) fairly early in the morning when I am on the road. The kids usually sleep rather late - 9:00 or 9:30 - so I can often sneak away and get some practice in while they are waking up and having breakfast with whomever is along with me.

By the way, I am not normally a "morning" person! At home, I usually start practicing after 10:00 or 11:00 at night. Once the kids are asleep for the night, nothing bothers them! Earlier in the day, any practicing is subject to many interruptions. Alexander frequently has personal requests and Arianna is always wanting me to let her "play." I try to be very careful about not scolding them for interrupting, because I don't want them to come to resent my playing as they grow up. So if they want to be involved, or just to have "mommy time" when I am practicing, I think they come first. I can always stay up later and do what I need to do.

Mary: What are your career plans during your children's young years? Later?

Kathryn: I'm not totally sure what my plans are right now! My decision to leave my teaching position was only made late this past summer and was predicated on the opportunities that I had available to me this year. Certainly, a big factor was also being able to be with my kids more. Although, when I was teaching, my husband and I alternated teaching days so that one of us was always home with them. The accompanying jobs that I have this year have become pretty "regular." That is, for 7 or 8 years, I have been touring with Eric Nestler. And Joe Burgstaller does about 50-60 concerts a year -- he has several accompanists that he uses because no one person can do all of his performances. This is the second season that I have been playing for Joe; and since we work well together, I expect that work to continue in the future. And of course, I will always be playing for my husband! Additionally, I regularly am staff accompanist for some competitions, and am frequently staff accompanist for Trumpet, Trombone, and Saxophone conferences. So looking forward for at least the next few years, I decided that I would like to pursue these types of opportunities without the constraints of a regular teaching schedule.

As I mentioned above, I would also like to so more solo playing. I haven't done a lot of full solo recitals since Alexander was born because I just didn't have time between a full teaching load and all the accompanying practice. And I decided that I really wanted to change that. As for when the kids get older: I plan to still take them with me. I have always thought very seriously about home-schooling (even before I had children). Since my husband and I both have training in education (my mother was also a teacher), we feel that we could do this successfully. And I get very excited thinking of what wonderful times we could have traveling together and exploring history, science, art, etc. rather than just reading about it in a textbook. For those who don't really know, life on the road can be pretty boring. It is great fun meeting people and seeing new places; but when you only have a concert every 3rd or 4th day, there is plenty of free time. And I would like to spend that time exploring life with my children rather than talking to them on the phone about what happened in school that day.

Also, I think that because my kids are already so accustomed to traveling, they are very good to travel with. Both of them are usually quite well behaved in public (I guess there can always be those moments!) and they are very outgoing and friendly. Alexander calls everyone he meets his "friends" and I think that is a wonderful trait. Having traveling a lot in Russia and Eastern Europe, I think if more people were aware of how "alike" we all are, there would be much less fighting in the world. And I think the world can only be a better place when our children learn to respect the customs of others and see no racial or social barriers to friendships.






Mary: Any interesting stories of traveling with children?

Kathryn: As I said, my kids travel well. When we were delayed in the plane (not the terminal!) for 3-4 hours in Chicago, they really did better than the rest of us adults! Of course, I try to stay prepared with a stash of goldfish and M & M's. The most entertaining thing, perhaps, was when traveling by car through Montana, Wyoming, etc., Alexander wanted to play hide and seek. Of course, we were all strapped in our seatbelts and he and Arianna were in their carseats. But that didn't stop him! He would simply put a pillow or coat over his head to hide - or over one of our heads. Then we would pretend to look all over for the "missing person." Even Joe was drafted into this game and found it quite amusing. It really is great to see the power of a child's imagination!

Mary: Thanks for taking your time for this interview, Kathryn.

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Contact Information
 
Electronic mail President/ General Information -
Ashley Kimmel: Ashley.kimmel12@gmail.com
Website - Mary Williams: mwilliamstxtravel@yahoo.com
Concert Series - Susan Poelchau: sdpoelchau@yahoo.com
 Membership - Lisa Beyer: lisamariestorm@gmail.com
Programs - Tena Hehn - tenahehn@sbcglobal.net and Mary Ann Taylor - mtaylor7@gmail.com
Mu Phi Epsilon http://www.muphiepsilon.org