Wynne Wong-Rife and David Rife
David and Wynne met as undergrad students at the Eastman School of Music. In fact, David proposed to Wynne in the Eastman dorm! Wynne wouldn't walk down the aisle with David until she had her Master's degree in hand and at least the prospect of a job, so they decided to get their Master's degrees at the New England Conservatory of Music. They lived in the Hemenway Apartments, where Stravinsky lived during the several months that he spent in Boston.
After receiving their degrees, David and Wynne decided to move to Tucson because they wanted to live in a place close to family. David is from a small town, Seneca, SC, which didn't have a symphony, so they moved to Tucson, where Wynne was born and raised. Wynne was 8 months pregnant with Melissa when she won her first position in the TSO.
David and Wynne are together 24/7 because they have the same jobs: private violin teachers, the violinists of the TSO String Quartet and members of the TSO. "Fortunately, we get along and enjoy playing together," say David and Wynne in unison. The challenge has been raising a family when both parents are working at the same time, especially during the evening hours. Wynne teaches her students in their living room so she could supervise her daughters when they were young. Their daughters are now grown. Melissa has a Bachelor's degree in 'Cello Performance from Indiana University at Bloomington, and Molly will finish her Bachelor's degree in 'Cello Performance at ASU this next year. Grandparents and babysitters (violin students of David and Wynne) cared for the girls during rehearsals and concerts. Melissa and Molly also grew up backstage at the TSO Music Hall and consider members of the TSO to be part of their extended family. Mark Sandburg and Mike Kunzman acted as their "uncles" and supervised the girls' homework while David and Wynne were on stage.
"The worst thing about this situation was having to miss the girls' important events," says Wynne. "We had to miss important concerts that the girls performed. Both Melissa and Molly served as principal of their 'cello sections of the TPYO, South Central Regional Orchestra, and Arizona All-State Orchestra, and there were conflicts with our performances."
"Still, I wouldn't change any of this for anything!" says Wynne. There's nothing more special than making beautiful music with your family!"
Betsy Bright Morgan and David Morgan
Betsy and David met at the Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia as freshmen in the fall of 1999. During their four years there, they played together in the same brass quintet, as well as in the symphony orchestra. "We were married on May 17 at Shenandoah in the chapel (also recital hall) where our quintet often performed during school," says Betsy. "Ever since college, we have wished we could play in the same ensembles again, and now we get to do it! We're really excited about sharing the stage during TSO and especially excited to play in quintet together. Best of all will be finally having the same work schedule!"
Because they are both brass players, living in a house rather than an apartment is a must. Betsy and David handle the unique needs of a musical couple by each having their own practice/teaching space in their home. "It makes practicing a lot less lonely when the other person is doing the same thing on the other side of the wall; plus, we get to take practice breaks together."