My name is Denise Piche’. I play the violin in the MFSO Second Violin Section. I just completed my 51st Season with the MFSO! You say, how can that be possible ─ the MFSO has only been in existence for 24 years! Prior to moving to Menomonee Falls, the orchestra was known as the Milwaukee Catholic Symphony Orchestra.
I began playing violin in third grade. My real passion was to play the piano. As part of the parochial school curriculum, music in the classroom on a weekly basis was a norm. Sr. Sophia, the Music Teacher was looking for children to learn an instrument. I was told my hands were too small to reach an octave on the piano and the violin would be a better choice. That’s how my musical background began.
To encourage me with the classical music, my mother and I would watch the Leonard Bernstein Young People’s Concert Series where he would teach the audience and children musical resonance. By middle school age I began playing with St. Catherine’s Grade School Orchestra and the Milwaukee Catholic Symphony Youth Orchestra. In high school I continued to play with the Milwaukee Catholic Symphony Youth Orchestra along with the Pius XI High School Orchestra. I took a year off from playing with an orchestra after high school. A former assistant conductor with the Catholic Youth Orchestra convinced me to join the MCSO, now the MFSO.
Being part of the MFSO is gratification to fill your heart with music that soothes the soul. MFSO being a “community” orchestra allows people of all walks of life to come together and play as an ensemble. Mike has made a point to play a wide genre of music to allow the musicians and audience experience.
My most memorable concerts with MFSO are ─ Armed Man (Karl Jenkins) at St. John The Evangelist Cathedral, Dvorak – New World Symphony, and our most recent with Pianist Greg Hartmann performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No 2.
Currently, I am Interim President and Event Coordinator on the MFSO Board of Directors. I served as Past President of the MFSO Board of Directors during our move to the Falls. It is a difficult challenge to keep a non-profit organization thriving into today’s environment but I enjoy the challenge.
The repertoire is vast. My favorites are Classical – Beethoven, Mozart, Dvorak and Copland. Classical Rock (60’s – 70’s). Favorite songs – Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers, You’ll Never Walk Alone, You Raise Me Up, The Lord’s Prayer by Mario Lanza and many more.
I retired after 41 years with Safway Services, a scaffold company. I worked for the Corporate Office as an Internal Audit Manager. My role within the company was to perform Operational and Financial Audits which required me to travel throughout the United States and Canada. I enjoyed working with all levels of employees, from top management, to office workers to the yard/warehouse personnel. Previous to my final career I worked for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and Marine Bank. During those younger years I also worked part-time for a Polynesian Cocktail Lounge as a Bartender. I now spend time with my husband of 44 years who is also retired.
Besides the MFSO and music, I enjoy sewing projects, cooking, crossword puzzles and jigsaw puzzles. I enjoy spending time with my family. My husband and I look forward to our annual summer vacation in Minocqua. I am most looking forward to a long-planned vacation to St. Lucia with our adult children and their significant others at the end of the year.