We recently had the opportunity to speak with Pat Laimon, another of our wonderful board members who keep the FCM running smoothly. Perhaps most recognizable from her involvement with the Young Musicians Competition, Pat’s contributions have been many over the years.
- What inspired you to join the FCM board?
I’ve been interested in chamber music since I first had the pleasure of playing it in high school. My husband and I moved to Vancouver from Ohio in 1962, and the FCM series was the first chamber music series we attended. I was asked by the then-director to join the board;that was approximately 20 year ago and I haven’t looked back!
- What aspect of being on the board to you find most rewarding?
I’ve had many jobs since joining the board, from managing memberships to transporting performers from the airport to their accommodations. For the last 15 years, I’ve been organizing the Young Musicians Competition. Out of all the positions I’ve had, the YMC is the most rewarding because I get to see what the young musicians in this city are doing. Often we get to follow them from ages as young as 13, watch them compete, and move on into the world as more experienced musicians. Being able to witness their growth is very rewarding! I’m proud to say that I’ve become closely acquainted with some of our YMC participants and their families.
- What are the most memorable FCM concert for you, and why?
It’s hard to go back so many years, but I always looked forward to the Beaux Arts Trio with Menahem Pressler back in the day. I especially enjoyed seeing and hearing Pressler every year, and my family got to know him very well when I was still picking up performers from the airport. In fact, there was one year where he stayed at our house and over time he became a friend of the family.
- What was your first exposure to chamber music?
My brother played the violin and my mother and I the pian. Then in high school, I picked up the cello. The three of us would get together so I could practice and I believe that the first chamber piece I ever played was one by Haydn. In university I joined their orchestra, as well as the community orchestra in Cleveland. Then when we moved to Vancouver, I joined a community string orchestra, and what was then the Metro Orchestra (now the Vancouver Philharmonic) and only just left last year. I played with them for 45, wonderful years.
- What instrument do you play or wish you could play?
I grew up playing the piano, then moved on to the cello in high school. I still occasionally get together with members of the Vancouver Philharmonic once a week to play quartets, and with the string orchestra as well once a week.
- What have you learned from serving on the board that you’d like to share?
The FCM board is a ‘working board’ where everyone should have a role and everyone should be able to assist in a project. It’s very important for us all to work together to accomplish these projects for the good of the whole organization and our devoted members.
- What do you want others to know or understand about FCM?
The FCM is here to promote chamber music in the city. We not only target chamber music lovers, but younger audiences, such as music students, to experience chamber music live as part of their musical education and because they will be the audience of the future.
What would you like to know about our board of directors? Leave your questions in the comments and we will be sure follow up on future interviews!