SPOTLIGHT ON EYSO ALUMNI PETER VAN NORTWICK
Peter Van Nortwick graduated high school in 2009 after playing double bass in EYSO for four years (two years in Philharmonia, and two years in Youth Symphony). He went on to study political science in college, and now works as a Senior Account Executive at Wellspring Worldwide, a software technology firm based in Chicago. A member of the EYSO Board of Directors since 2015, Peter remains passionate about music as an avid concertgoer, record collector, and listener of all genres: “I’m a music agnostic,” he jokes. “I’m still a fan, I’m still involved in nearly every facet [of music] except performing,” he explains, adding, “and I’m perfectly okay with that.”
Even though he isn’t playing double bass these days, Peter vividly remembers his student performances with EYSO, as well as the larger lessons he took from the experience. “Being in EYSO and being taught to hone the skill of listening and processing a lot of information at one time” has come in handy throughout his career—talking to software clients and actively listening to understand their challenges is critical to his success in solving those same challenges. Understanding his role in each new sales situation is not unlike the understanding required of ensemble bassists: first, he needs to learn his own part, and then he must gain an awareness of everyone else’s parts and how he fits into the whole picture. (To hear more about these parallels in Peter’s own words, check out this clip
from our interview.)
Peter is committed to making all EYSO alumni feel valued and giving them the opportunity “to stay engaged with the organization at whatever level they feel comfortable with, whether that’s simply coming to a concert and feeling like they’re at home, or getting on the Board of Directors, or just volunteering or becoming a donor.” Whether they’re still playing their instruments or not, “whether they were in EYSO for one year in 1980, or nine years graduating in 2021,” he’s looking forward to strengthening relationships with alumni near and far through the EYSO Alumni Facebook group, the new Alumni Newsletter and Alumni Mentorship Network, and more. Want to learn more and get involved? Contact Peter at email@example.com—he’d love to hear from you!
By Emily Krasinski, EYSO Membership Coordinator and Music Librarian