Kate Munagian

Hometown: Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
Member of the Nashville Symphony since 2014

What made you decide to become a professional musician?
My parents were music teachers in public school, so I always thought I would be a musician. When I was 5, I wanted to be a conductor…that was a short-lived ambition!

What led you to the bass?
I saw Edgar Meyer perform with a community orchestra my dad played in, and I thought the bass was really cool! I had been playing violin, but quickly made the change after hearing and seeing what he could do with the bass.

You’re new to Nashville. How do you like it so far?
I love all of it. The city has such a great feel — very diverse, accessible and beautiful. My colleagues have all been so friendly and welcoming.

What do you love most about performing in an orchestra?
It’s so nice to be able to collaborate with other musicians, and it’s interesting to think about how live music can’t be re-created exactly the same every time. When I’m performing, I like finding someone in the audience who is smiling and looks like they’re really enjoying the concert. It makes the experience more meaningful for me.

What repertoire do you like to perform the most. Do you have favorite pieces?
Mozart and Haydn symphonies are always really fun to play. I also love Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben, Mahler 4 and Beethoven 6.

What do you like to do when you’re not performing?
I spend a lot of time reading. I just finished Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings and have a big stack at home to tackle next. I also enjoy exercising and traveling, and I’m learning to cook.