Margie Kundel
Instrument: Violin

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, SD.
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.

Return to Musician Page