2019 Alumni October 2019

Conducting orchestras across the U.S.

Symphony conductor Michelle Merrill ’06, ’12 found her two great loves at SMU: her percussionist husband, Steve Merrill ’06, and a career-changing passion for orchestral music.

Rehearsing and performing in the Meadows Symphony Orchestra was a revelatory, life-changing experience for Michelle Merrill ’06, ’12.
In 2002, Merrill was a freshman saxophone performance student who had never performed in an orchestra. Growing up in the small East Texas town of Canton, her pre-college musical experiences were limited to private piano and saxophone lessons and playing in the high school band.
“But at SMU I got to play some of the big orchestral repertoire, like Bizet’s L’Arlésienne Suite,” she says. “I remember that first rehearsal with Dr. Phillips. I was completely in awe of sitting in the middle of this huge orchestra. I’d been in band and wind ensembles, but nothing as massive as an orchestra, and I just remember loving it and thinking it was one of the greatest things I’d ever been a part of.”
Read more at Meadows School of the Arts.

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