February 23, 2009

The RPO Goes to the Dogs …

I added a new skill today – pet wrangler! We hosted five dogs, two cats, and a tortoise this morning at the RPO offices when a reporter and a photographer from the Messenger Post came by to get pictures of five RPO musicians and their pets for a story in “Pet Tales.”

This project was the brainchild of P.R. maven Amy Blum and summer intern Erin Hogan, as a way to put a human face on the Orchestra musicians, since most of the time people just see the musicians on the stage in their concert attire. And the musicians were more than happy to talk about their pets.

Principal Percussionist Jim Tiller brought in his two pets – an elegant black-and-white “tuxedo” cat named Matty and a Bichon/poodle mix named Pansy. Principal Flute Rebecca Gilbert came with her Rhodesian ridgeback Nala, named for a character in The Lion King, since Nala’s heritage is African.

Oboist Anna Petersen Stearns has a friendly cocker spaniel named Murphy, and cellist Ingrid Bock came with her three pets – the coon hound Burberry, Chihuahua mix P.D. and petite cat Kleine, who was found near the Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo.

Violinist Tigran Vardanyan brought the most unusual pet of the day – a Russian desert tortoise named Scratchy. To see more photos of the musicians and their pets, visit the RPO page on Facebook.

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