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Dana Point Symphony Orchestra musicians on musical influences, performing with the DPSO

Meet Amy Noonan, principal viola for the Dana Point Symphony Orchestra. Photo: Courtesy
Meet Amy Noonan, principal viola for the Dana Point Symphony Orchestra. Photo: Courtesy

By Andrea Swayne

Leading up to the 2015 “One World” season of the Dana Point Symphony Orchestra opening on April 18, we will be featuring a series of question and answer articles, to help you get to know some of the musicians of the DPSO.

This week we are featuring the symphony’s principal viola, Amy Noonan:

DANA POINT TIMES: Why did you start studying music?

AMY NOONAN: Mostly because I pestered my parents until they were able to comply. Music was something I knew I would do for the rest of my life since before playing a real instrument. I knew it was something I understood and there was no question that I enjoyed every moment of participation.

DPT: Who has influenced your musical style the most and why?

AN: As a rule, I learn pieces from the sheet music prior to listening to any recordings. Through that learning process the most prominent example I have had is my primary viola teacher, Robert Becker. His approach, vibrato and technical precision have inspired my own, and therefore, I could say the product I now have is one largely influenced by him.

DPT: Why do you like performing with the DPSO?

AN: In DPSO there are no sour faces. We make a commitment to put on the best possible performance and work together to achieve that goal. It brings me joy to work with “my people” and I look forward to each rehearsal. I believe the best work comes from those who are positively motivated to do so.

DPT: What are your three all-time favorite songs, symphonic or otherwise?

AN: Beethoven, “Symphony No. 7”; ZZ Ward, “Move Like You Stole It” and Rebecca Clarke, “Viola Sonata.”

DPT: Describe your musical career in 10 words.

AN: Eclectic. Empowering. Enriching. Spontaneous. Exciting. International. Propelling. Determined. Renewing. Infinite.



The Dana Point Symphony Orchestra’s 2015 “One World” season begins April 18, 7:30 p.m. at St. Edward’s Church, 33926 Calle La Primavera.

The symphony, under the direction of Dean Anderson, music director and conductor, will perform an evening of music from Spain, featuring guest conductor, Ignazio Terrasi and Jacobo Christensen Fabuel on violin.

The program includes: 

  • Manuel de Falla, “La Vida Breve”
  • Juan Colomer, Selections from ballet “Sorolla” (Commissioned by National Ballet of Spain)
  • Granados, “Goyescas Intermezzo”
  • Pablo de Sarasate, “Fantasía sobre temas de la pera Carmen Op. 25”

The season will include four concerts, once a month, through July. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students, seniors and military. A season pass is $60.

Tickets are available online at, and on a first come, first served basis at the door before the performance.

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