Josephine Stockwell was a viola instrumentalist with the National Repertory Orchestra in 2018. She is now a member of the Israel Philharmonic and continues to use her orchestral talent to play for audiences around the nation and the world.

Josephine Stockwell 1Her positive attitude towards music and taking on new opportunities is inspiring. We were so thrilled to have the opportunity to reconnect with Josephine and discuss her time at the NRO and how that experience shaped her.

“I remember how excited I was when I was invited to join the NRO and the responsibility I felt to rise to the occasion,” said Josephine. “One of my favorite parts of the experience was having a host family and getting to see Breckenridge through more than a tourist’s eyes. That summer was also a special one for me socially, as I was lucky to have a collection of friends whom I felt a strong sense of belonging with. As I look back, my time at NRO also felt like important growth for me in becoming an independent adult, navigating the thrilling and intense environment around me, trying to make the most of all the music making, community building, nature appreciating–trying to be present as much as possible.

What is one notable way that you grew as a musician or as a person while attending the NRO?

“I definitely think I grew to trust my ability to do focused work under pressure before rehearsals and concerts because we often had limited time to prepare. I also gained lots of tools from the conductors we worked with that I think about to this day in rehearsals with other orchestras. And this is a small one, but I hiked 14ers for the first time in my life, which was so thrilling and satisfying!”

What skills/lessons from your time at the NRO are you applying to your career and life experience(s) today?

“As a member of the Israel Philharmonic for this year, I definitely think I am using many skillsets I strengthened and learned at NRO. First and foremost, how to do effective work on new repertoire quickly (we have lots of performances and quite an intense schedule compared to other orchestras). I also learned how to view each standpartnership as a dance as that was always changing at NRO and I needed to adapt (same here in Israel where sometimes I have a different standpartner for every concert).

And beyond music, I’ve had to be courageous with navigating a new country and culture. The experience is so much more thrilling when I embrace it, and I definitely was pushed out of my comfort zone at NRO in many ways (and all for the best!). Those experiences at NRO paved the way for the skills I have now.”

What advice would you have given your younger self about music or about life?

“Keep trusting the process, and don’t forget to breathe when things feel intense! I also would have told her to dance a lot more–it’s so therapeutic, especially for me when I’m coming down from the adrenaline rush of a concert.”

What is something interesting people may not know about you?

“I used to be a competitive figure skater!”

Favorite Movie?

“Mrs. Doubtfire”

Article: Lily Windsor, NRO and Colorado Mountain College Spring Marketing and Business Intern

Photo: Josephine Stockwell by Jared Farley