- Nancy Wiecki May 1, 2021
My name is Nancy Wiecki (vee-ET-skee), and currently I am the principal flute player with the MFSO. Since 2002 I have served secretary on the MFSO Board of Directors. I have been a member of the orchestra since 1995, not long after I moved here to begin my current job as a high school music teacher at St. Thomas More High School.
I have always loved playing music! I started on piano, added flute a few years later, and added saxophone during high school so that I could play in jazz band. During my senior year of high school, four of my classes were music: band, jazz band, choir and show choir. It doesn’t matter the instrument; I just love to perform. That love of music led me to a career in music. I have a B.A. in Music Education from the College of St. Teresa in Winona, MN and a M.M. in Music Education from Northwestern University. I also did post graduate work in flute performance at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.
Currently, in addition to the MFSO, I am a member of the Gutekunst Flute Choir and have been playing 3rd flute/piccolo with the Cardinal Stritch Community Orchestra. I look forward to when we can go back ...
- Lillian Bautch April 11, 2021
I joined the Milwaukee Catholic Symphony Junior Orchestra in 1946. It was under the leadership of Eugene Wilczewski. In High School I transferred to the Senior Group under the leadership of Edward Zielinski. I continued to perform with the group in many concerts and various venues. In 1986, Michael Kamenski became our conductor. In 1997, we became the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra. I have continued to perform with all the various moves as I enjoy the music selections, the fellow members, and just being able to keep my playing intact. After 72 years with this orchestra, I retired as a playing member. I still perform with the Silver Strings (a senior group which performs at various senior citizens’ homes). I will continue to serve on the MFSO Board of Directors. I am not quite “out to pasture” yet!
- Chris Hastreiter March 5, 2021
My name is Chris Hastreiter. I play Timpani and Percussion with the MFSO. I joined the orchestra in the Fall of 2013 when I moved to Milwaukee. I have performed in musical ensembles continuously since 8th grade, but the MFSO was my first orchestra since college. While in college, I played with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra – principal timpanist for my last two years. Currently, I am also a member of the Knightwind Ensemble of Milwaukee and the South Milwaukee Municipal Band. Occasionally, I also get the opportunity to work with other Milwaukee area wind bands when they are short on percussionists.
My percussion studies started in 4th grade, and I play piano. In the last three years, I have dabbled with alto clarinet – though I’ve likely lost all my chops during the pandemic.
Professionally, I am an electrical engineer at Eaton Corporation in the Switchgear Products Division where I design recloser controls. (Reclosers and the other associated products made by Eaton’s Power Systems Group are the devices you see hanging on utility poles.)
Beyond playing ...
- Lisa Weiss-Cornelius February 2, 2021
Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra
My family moved to Wisconsin about 6 years ago because of my husband’s job. This was very exciting because Wisconsin was the place we always went to for family vacations. I tell people that I am now living in vacation land.
About 4 years ago I started playing Principal Bassoon with the MFSO. I was told about this playing opportunity by a trumpet player (Eli) in the ensemble who knew that I was new to the Wisconsin area. This is such a wonderful playing opportunity with a beautiful mix of orchestral players from the area.
Music has always been an important part of my life. I started playing piano when I was 5 years old. As a child I always wanted to be singing or playing piano. I joined the church choir when I was 5 years old and within a few years I was given the chance to also play piano as the choir accompanist. At school I was also known as the piano player for all the school music programs. I guess music was always part of my life.
Growing up in Chicago, I had the chance to be a Music Major at Lane Tech HS where I was encouraged to play bassoon because of a shortage ...
- Ed Beale January 2, 2021
Ed was a trombone player in the MFSO and was President of the Board for over a decade. He died recently on November 15th. His obituary can be found at https://www.harderfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Edward–H-Beale?obId=18984665.
Ed began his music career at the age of 13 when his paternal grandmother and step-grandfather bought him his first trombone. His father played trombone in the high school band in Madison. He immediately took to his instrument and never had to be reminded to practice the mandatory half-hour a day, sometimes practicing for hours. His family moved to West Allis and he joined the Jr. High Band, direct by Henry Canitz. Ed took private lessons from Henry and when the family moved to Milwaukee, he continued his lessons. He played for South Division High School.
Ed was one of four trombone players known as “God’s Trombones” to play at Ascension Lutheran Church for Easter Sunrise services.
Ed joined the Milwaukee Pops Youth band, a group of first and second chair musicians from the greater Milwaukee area. He was a member from ages 15 to 21. He was voted by fellow band members as having the “sweetest tone” in the group.
Later, he became a member of the West Allis, West Milwaukee Civic Band. He played first chair trombone ...
- Bob Steliga, MFSO Treasurer December 5, 2020
My name is Bob Steliga and I am the current Treasurer of the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra. 12-4-2020
In the late 1990’s Ed Beale and I were talking at our favorite bar in West Allis. He told me he was a member of the Catholic Symphony Orchestra and that they were looking for a new home for the Symphony. I am a country western guy but do have an appreciation for Symphony music. I got Ed and his group to come out and try Menomonee Falls. The school district has a nice auditorium at the middle school and so that is where they began to play and practice.
In 1998 they officially changed their name to the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra. After using the middle school for concerts and rehearsals for a few years, Dr. Kathy Cook, who was the superintendent of the Sussex Hamilton School District, invited the symphony to play at their new fine arts center. They did not know how to break the news to me that they were thinking of moving to the fine arts center. I told them it was not a problem as the southern part of Menomonee Falls is in the Sussex Hamilton School District. In fact, I have lived in ...
- Elizabeth Jorgensen October 29, 2020
Elizabeth Jorgensen is a writer and teacher. Her memoir, Go, Gwen, Go: A Family’s Journey to Olympic Gold is available now (Meyer & Meyer Sport, 2019). She hopes you’ll buy it from a local bookseller.
Elizabeth is an avid Real Housewives and sijo (a Korean form of poetry) fan; she also loves working out with her trainer, Ryan Bloor, at Right Body Fitness. Learn more on her website: lizjorgensen.weebly.com.
Liz has been playing the violin since age five; she graduated in 2001 from Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Senior Symphony as a violist and continued playing violin and viola with local groups. In college, she was the president of Marquette University’s orchestra.
After trying out different local orchestras, Liz finally found her home in the MFSO.
- How long have you been in MFSO? I joined MFSO in 2018.
- What instrument do you play in the orchestra? First violin.
- Do you play others? I also play the viola.
- What has the MFSO meant to you? I really love that the orchestra is filled with accomplished musicians. The musicianship pushes me to be better every rehearsal. Our conductor, Mike, is so supportive and interesting. He has great ideas for music and I really love the themed concerts each year (especially the Valentine’s Day concert). I ...