“There are those people that live in the practice room…” begins Jason Lindsay, bassist at the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, but his wife, violinist Stephanie Lindsay finishes with, “It’s rare that music is someone’s only skill.”
Being a musician couple brings with it a sort of cohesion. “We understand each other,” says Stephanie, “If I have to get up at four in the morning to practice and I’m screaming Strauss, he understands.”
There is no single, typical day in the life of a symphony musician. A hundred hours and a hundred lives get packed into every day. The Lindsays combine hours of practice and rehearsal time for their gigs in the symphony with teaching, and raising their two children, Audrey and James. An adjunct at the University of North Florida, Jason coaches soloists and chamber musicians. Stephanie works with young violinists through the LaVilla School of the Arts, Jacksonville Youth Symphony, and private pupils, including her daughter. She hosts a weekly, free evening class for beginning violinists at Riverside Methodist Church, and she’s on the Board of the Prelude Chamber Music Camp, too. Jason can leave a volunteer post at a child’s swim meet wearing jeans and a t-shirt and arrive at Symphony Hall in full tuxedo without ever leaving the car or slowing down. “Left foot on the gas,”says Jason, “right leg in the tux.” He works in real estate as well.
“We zig when most people zag,”says Jason, “I play music to feed my soul, and sell real estate to feed my kids.” Such is the life of a working musician.
Imagine if your business partner were a time-traveling museum piece. Though its provenance is unknown, Jason says of his 200-year old Tyrolean bass, “This could have been there with Beethoven.”
“Every day,” says Stephanie of her 1940’s French bow and century-old Italian violin, “I have a piece of history, a piece of art that I can take out of the box and play music with.”
The couple toured with Beauty and the Beast and Sunset Boulevard, also performing in orchestras throughout South Florida, until the arrival of their daughter Audrey.
Stephanie knew the family had to settle down somewhere when Audrey told a friend, “Papa has a cottage in Jacksonville, Mom has a house in Boca, and I live in a hotel in Naples.” The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra was the perfect fit.
The couple has unbounded appreciation for the high level of professionalism and talent on Jacksonville’s symphony stage. “When we have a soloist who really plays lights out,” says Jason, “I thank God they got a chance to be there.”
Their passion and dedication never wavers. “You have to play for the lady in the fourth row,” says Stephanie. “This may be her favorite piece and our performance—it may be her one shot.”