Letters from PNB Artists: Joyce Ramee, PNB Orchestra member

The Pacific Northwest Ballet Future Fund ensures that the artists at PNB are able to dance, create, and bring you joy during these times of uncertainty and change. We ask that you consider a gift to the fund, which will help keep our dancers, musicians, staff, and production teams employed and insured. We could not do this without you.

Keep reading for a message from PNB Orchestra member, Joyce Ramee.

Hello dear PNB donors and supporters,  

My name is Joyce Ramee, and I am a founding member of the Viola section of PNB Orchestra. In 1989 when PNBO was formed, I was fortunate to be among those who were already freelancing with the Ballet, as regular subs with Seattle Symphony. Today, there are still quite a few of us founding players still working as members of the orchestra. Alongside teaching and freelancing, this job has been the mainstay of our careers.

I was one of those kids who knew from a very early age that music was where I wanted to spend my life. Fast-forward through some great public school music programs to my main mentor at conservatory, who taught the viola as a craft to be explored for a lifetime. This concept has continued to inspire me to play and teach, right up to the present moment.

Until the whole orchestra can be back where it belongs, performing as an integral part of PNB, we rely on you to keep hope and our company alive.  

I’ve played so many beautiful ballets, but a few favorites are Prodigal SonCinderella and Romeo et Juliette (all by Prokofiev, who wrote the best scores!); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (great horn solo!); and Swan Lake (the most beautiful part is the slow, sad movement played by the cellos right before the end, when as Orchestra Director Emil De Cou once put it so well in rehearsal, “This is where he finds out that his girlfriend is going to have to remain a bird forever.”)

I’ve learned many things in quarantine, but the top three are:
1. I’m married to the right person and our cats are a constant blessing.
2. Looking for a sense of the sacred in everyday things feeds the soul.
3. I still love to practice viola and it centers my world.

And to our dear PNB donors – you are our lifeline. Please continue to support us by giving today to the PNB Future Fund, which ensures that we remain strong and resilient through these challenging times. Thank you for coming with us on this journey into the uncharted waters of this season.

Wishing you all peace and good health, with deep gratitude, 

Joyce Ramee

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