My name is Laura Beltz and I am principal Oboe for the MFSO. I joined the MFSO in 1998 when the orchestra moved to Menomonee Falls.
I started playing piano in 3rd grade. In 4th grade, I added the oboe. I attended Bay View High School, which housed the Visual & Performing Arts Specialty at the time. During that time, I added english horn, harp, violin and mallet percussion to my growing list of instruments. In college, I continued with oboe/english horn, piano and mallet percussion. I attended Midland Lutheran College in NE for two years and then transferred to Carroll College for my final two years. I studied music performance while at Carroll. After college, I focused mostly on my oboe and shared my love of the instrument by teaching private lessons for 30 years.
Music has always been an important part of my life. I have played in community orchestras and bands since I was in 6th grade. In middle and high school, I was invited to perform in the Milwaukee All City Band & Orchestra Festival three times (it was a biannual event). Other community groups I have performed with are the Milwaukee Recreational Orchestra (which I played in with my mom who played flute), Milwaukee Continental Youth Band (which my both of my siblings also belonged to), Waukesha Area Symphonic Band, Carroll College Community Orchestra, West Allis Symphonic Band and Lakeshore Symphonic Band. I was very happy when I found out that an orchestra was moving to Menomonee Falls, since I am resident of the Falls and I prefer to play in an orchestra setting.
I pretty much like all genres of instrumental music, but my favorite musical periods to perform are the Baroque and Classical. My favorite composers are Bach, Haydn, Handel and Mozart. It is difficult to pick a favorite piece or pieces of music or concert that I have performed in my lifetime.
The thing that I really like about performing with the MFSO is the wide repertoire of music and types of concerts we do. We can go from a classical concert to a pop’s concert to a dinner concert. Plus, we will have outside musicians perform with us to give us another level of musical experience. That gives our audience members an opportunity to experience a wide variety of music and musicians also.
The other thing I like about playing with the MFSO is the other members of the orchestra. I have had the opportunity to build new friendships and have had the pleasure of performing outside the orchestra with other MFSO wind players. I also enjoy working under Mike Kaminski. He is always challenging us and he works hard to make us better musicians.
Outside of the MFSO, I work at Comet Inc. as a bookkeeper. I have been there 21 years as of this past December. Every night I like to go for a walk every (wintertime not included). I am hoping to get some bike riding in this year. I like to work in the yard & garden. I also like to spend a week or so up north in the summer just to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.