March Musician Spotlight - Megan Koch, cello

We are delighted to be joined for this Saturday's concert at Channing Memorial Church by cellist Megan Koch. Below is a lightning round interview with Megan and you can also read her complete bio over on our guest artist page. Megan headshot (496x640)

Can you tell us a little bit about your earliest days playing the cello?
I started cello when I was 4 years old.  I don't remember too much from then... but I'm sure it involved a lot of Twinkles!  One of my favorite pictures that I have from back then is a picture of me holding my cello next to a Rubbermaid stool that served as my chair.
How did you know that you wanted to pursue cello professionally?
I didn't know until I was a junior in high school that I really wanted to pursue cello as a profession.  Cello was always a big part of my life, but I think the turning point was an opportunity that I had to play in a masterclass for Yo-Yo Ma.  It was a great experience to play for someone I idolized, and he was so inspiring, friendly and down to earth.  It made me want to continue to learn and share music in a meaningful way.
I know that you are an avid chamber musician - is there a piece of chamber music that you haven't played yet that would be on your dream list?
That's a tough question.  I've performed a lot of chamber music but there's still a lot to get to!  I think Mendelssohn Piano Trio No. 1 would be a top contender on my dream list.
Can you share any insights into the music on this weekend's concert? What can our audience look forward to?
I've really enjoyed working on these two pieces with Aaron, Ealain, and Emmy.  Beethoven's Piano Trio Op. 1 No. 1 is an early piece of his, and while at first it seemed pretty straight forward, it's been really interesting to delve further into it, and discover all the many nuances of the work.  The scherzo was a movement not common in piano trio repertoire at this time, and yet Beethoven added it here in his first published works.  The Bagatelles is a fun piece... listen for melodic material from the first movement to reappear throughout the composition.
What do you find is the biggest challenge in teaching music? The biggest reward?
My biggest challenge in teaching music is having kids see the big picture of hard work paying off.  The biggest reward is seeing kids get excited about music.
Is there anything that you weren't taught by your music teachers but that you try to pass along to your own students?
That's a hard one.  I've had amazing teachers and they've helped shape who I am as both a person and a musician.  One thing though that I've learned as I've gone along and would like to share with my students, is to find what makes you unique and special as a musician!