VSA Musician Spotlight: Barb Campbell

[San Juan Silver Stage | February 2021 | Stacey Ryan, for Valley Symphony Assoc.]  

Barb Campbell, cello. Valley Symphony Orchestra. Courtesy photo.

Originally from the Houston, TX, area, Barb has lived in Cedaredge for eight years and in GJ for seven years before that. She played violin from 6-12th grades and wanted to continue in college, “But I quickly realized my roommates and the rest of the dorm didn’t
appreciate my practice sessions!” The university she attended had no orchestra, so her playing fell by the wayside.

She always wanted to play the cello. After 15 years of playing nothing, her husband bought her a cello and said, “Put up, or shut up!” Her time with the cello has been mostly self-taught. “I stopped playing cello after a brain injury took away my ability to read music and destroyed my coordination. Eventually I relearned. My doctor said playing the cello was one of the biggest drivers in my recovery because it has such profound effects on the brain, so music really is therapy for me.”

Figuring in the one-year hiatus during her recovery, she’s logged 14 years with the VSA, starting in 2005, after she’d been playing for a year. “We played much easier arrangements back when I started!” She is also a member of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, Rockestra, various chamber groups, and has taught privately. Her childhood dream was to be a scientist, and she earned a Bachelor of Science at Texas A&M, and went on to nearly complete a PhD in genetics. “I stopped after the death of my infant daughter, Cheyenne. My husband, Hans, and I regrouped, and I became a full-time, stay-at-home mom to our daughter, Atlantis (24) and our two sons, Duncan (21), and Tristan (18).”

She’s spent the last couple years teaching herself to write fiction and is focused on romance. “It brings me incredible happiness to spend my days writing about ‘happily ever after’s.’” In 2018 she was a finalist in the Golden Heart national romance writing competition. In 2019 she published a 13-part steamy novella series. Barb rations her time while tending to her writing career, family, and other activities, so making room in her schedule for the VSA is a conscious choice. “Initially, the VSA fueled my need for a musical outlet, but I came to love meeting the other musicians, and I love the personality of the group.” Playing with the VSA was her first time performing with a chorus, which ranks as one of her all-time favorite musical experiences.Besides the cello and writing, Barb fills her days with daydreaming, hiking, sitting in the hot tub watching the stars, and begging her family to play board games with her.

[Related article, Montrose Press. April 2019.]

[Related story]

Meet the Musicians

Betty Burgess, Clarinet. Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Barb Campbell, Cello. Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Nick Carozza, Oboe. Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Vivian Cheney, Violin. Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Vic Franks, Tenor, Valley Symphony Chorus.

Priscilla Fry, Valley Symphony Chorus.

Chris Munday, Alto, Valley Symphony Chorus.

50th Season

VSA will celebrate the 50th season starting in the fall of 2021 with its annual Pops in the Park Concert.

Saturday, Sept 11, 2021 • 5:00 pm at Cedaredge Town Park

Sunday, Sept 12, 2021 • 5:00 pm at Montrose Riverbottom Park

Orchestra and Chorus

For the only free and outdoor concerts of the season, the VSA orchestra and chorus perform a wide range of popular and contemporary music styles, including Americana, traditional marches, jazz standards, well-known classical, Broadway tunes, movie music, and rock ‘n’ roll.

About the Valley Symphony Association

The power of music to bind generations. Since 1970, the Valley Symphony Association orchestra and chorus has culturally enriched the community and its members by bringing together some of the best volunteer musicians from the North Fork and Uncompahgre Valleys to discover and present works of great composers, past and present. Performance styles range from classical orchestral to upbeat pop, from purely instrumental to a combination of orchestra and chorus. Please consider donating to help make the music possible. [DONATE