Beginning playing at the age of ten and being awarded the National High School Orchestra Award as a senior in High School, Sue studied violin with John Weicher, concertmaster (22 years) of the Chicago Symphony, as his only student (at the time Sue was with Johnny, he had retired from teaching). She also studied with Francois D'albert and Scott Willetts, a pupil of Sevcik. Her career has been varied - ranging from orchestra playing to solo to fiddling in square dance bands. She's played concertmaster of several semi-pro orchestras and played concertmaster of the South Mtn College Messiah Orchestra annually (an all professional pickup orchestra to accompany the SMCC choir) for many years.
A Messiah specialist, Sue played the Messiah, professionally every year from 1962 to 2004!. She also does solo work for church and casuals (strolling) as well as orchestra work, and for several years, played fiddle in professional square dance bands in the Phoenix area, including the nationally known "Johnny Schroeder's Playboys". She's on two recordings, "Love the Lord Thy God Con Todo el corazón" released nationwide by NALR, a Catholic recording company - Sue was concertmaster (and contractor) of the orchestra on that recording (and Sue said, "never again") :) Of course it's never - say never, so in 2006, Sue cut a violin track for a Christmas CD released by St Thomas the Apostle church. Recording is still intense but digital recording is like a million times better than the old analog stuff! :)
See Sue play on u-tube: Sue Joan's channel on youtube!
In 2002, Sue went on tour with the choir of St Clement's Catholic church (as solo violinist)
Presently, Sue does contract orchestra work and solo work including strolling, parties, weddings, funerals, concerts as well as fiddling in addition to music ministry (solo violin) in church.
Sue, and her husband of 51 years, Gerry, sang for several years in the ASU choral union, an ensemble of 201 professional and semi-professional singers directed by Dr David Schildkret.
Partial list of positions held by Sue Widemark:
Associate Principle Seconds - NW Symphony Orchestra (Chicago):
Concertmaster: Harper College-Community Orchestra: 1969-1975 (semi professional orchestra)
Member: Chicago Sinfonia (professional chamber Orchestra): 1972-75
Section first violin: Civic Orchestra of Chicago - the training school of the Chicago Symphony: 1971-75
Concertmaster: diocesan orchestra which played for Bishop O'Brien's installation
Solo fiddle - Johnny Schroeder's Playboys: 1976-77
Principal seconds: Tempe Symphony Orchestra: 1978-80, Associate Principle seconds: 1985-86
Solo fiddle - Swinging Strings: 1983-89
Concertmaster: Phoenix Pro Musica: 1989-1995
Concertmaster: Paradise Valley Presbyterian Messiah Orchestra: 1985-1988
Concertmaster: SMCC Messiah Orchestra: 1989-2003
Concertmaster: Paradise Valley College Community Orchestra: 1995-1997
Music ministry - Catholic church - solo violin - 1989 - present
Phoenix School of Folk Music: 1978-84 (taught adult fiddle classes)
Music class at parish elementary school (in Chicago): 1964
Private instruction: 1970 - present: (two of my students won state fiddle championship)
Violin class at parish elementary school: 2005 - 2007
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