I learned to play the violin in the
Cedar Rapids, IA, Public Schools orchestra program.
We had the opportunity to begin in the fourth grade.
I chose the violin, because we had my mother's violin
in our home and it was not being played. This violin
was purchased for my mother in Chicago when she
was in junior high school and is German made. Roland
Moehlman was the grade school director/teacher,
and he made orchestra lots of fun! The public schools
provided weekly group and individual lessons from
fourth grade through high school along with the
regular orchestra practice times. Wind instrument
players chose between band &/or orchestra at
the junior high level and above.
I took private piano and violin lessons from a neighbor
down the street. When I reached junior high, my
private teachers changed to two teachers with more
expertise. Ruth Ray traveled from Chicago weekly
to teach violin, and I studied with her for four
years. In high school I chose to take summer school
and graduate “early”. As a result, I
had to make choices about activities – musical
and otherwise. I dropped piano lessons in order
to participate in other activities.
In 9th grade the high school orchestra played the
Overture to Wagner’s Meistersinger Opera.
The music was significantly difficult and a challenge.
I was “hooked” and have loved the orchestra
ever since. The Franklin and Washington High School
orchestra traveled to give concerts in Iowa and
Illinois. As a senior I was chosen to play in the
Iowa All State Orchestra. When I went to the State
University of Iowa, I chose to do other things besides
practicing, so I did not play my violin for the
next few years.
When we moved to Muscatine in 1977, I was asked
to get my violin out and to play with the Muscatine
Orchestra under the direction of Pete Martinez,
Jerry Winter and Ann Howard Jones. After Ann Jones
finished her Ph.D., the orchestra ceased playing
due to lack of a director through Muscatine Community
College. Members of the orchestra did play for several
MCC musical productions. I was also invited to play
in two Muscatine H.S. muscial productions. The Civic
Chorale plus orchestra personnel played the Christmas
portions of Handel's Messiah many holiday seasons.
This is music I have grown to love.
Our family left Muscatine in 1989 to move to Aberdeen,
SD. There I was a member of the Aberdeen-Northern
University Symphony. We moved to Mitchell, SD in
1990 and I had the opportunity to play for activities
in the First Presbyterian Church. I was invited
to be a part of the 1999 Freeman Academy “Pirates
of Penzance” by Gilbert and Sullivan in Freeman,
A return to Iowa in 2000 gave me the opportunity
to join the Cherokee, IA. Symphony under the direction
of Lee Thorson for 7 years. I also played for the
Spencer, IA, Messiah events and an Emmetsburg, IA,
High School musical production – South Pacific.
I was the hand bell choir director for five years
at First United Methodist Church in “E'burg”.
My adult career has been focused on my family. My
husband, Dave Kundel, MD, and I have three children:
Susan, Steve and Scott. They have been our main
focus over the years. I have a BA degree from the
University of Iowa and a Masters Degree from Stanford
University. Both degrees are in Speech-Language
Pathology. I worked in that field for 6 years and
kept my licensing for over 30.
I have always been a part of our church choir, taught
the younger children songs as a part of the Sunday
School program and taught/directed vacation bible
school. My interests have been music, sewing, genealogy,
gardening and being with our four grandchildren.
I belong to P.E.O and T.T.T – groups that
emphasize education for women and provide camping
opportunities for younger girls. Currently, Dave
and I are remodeling an old home in west Muscatine
County (doing much of the work ourselves) and managing
our farm property. I enjoy most kinds of music and
hope to continue being part of the music “scene”
in Muscatine for quite awhile.
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