Gayle Budd O’Grady, Cello

Gayle Budd O’Grady

In a sense, Gayle has two completely separate identities: “When I‘m with the orchestra, I‘m not thinking abut being a mother,” she says, and vice versa. Between her family at home and her “family of orchestra members,” she has two groups of people for whom she must be there. To help maintain these families, she actively practices yoga, which she says helps to balance the roles of musician and mother. “It puts in perspective and helps me to set my priorities,” comments Gayle.

Music also is an important “outlet” for Gayle. It allows her to “feel intensely and without apology,” she claims. “That is how I like to play, with great intent,” Gayle says. When that intent is shared by her colleagues and communicated to the audience, Gayle says “it creates a space that is beyond thinking or feeling.”

Born in Illinois, Gayle began her musical career in Southern California by taking lessons from a university student on her three-quarter sized cello. When her family moved, she continued her studies with violinist Loran Well and began playing in her elementary school ensemble. Eventually, Gayle joined her father, brother and sister in their community orchestra and later studied with cellist Ira Lehn.

Gayle attended the Music Academy of the West for several summers, playing chamber music and taking lessons from Gabor Rejto. She continued studying with Rejto when she went to the University of Southern California to earn a Bachelor of Music in Performance. She also was greatly influenced at the University by Orchestra Conductor, Daniel Lewis. After graduating, Gayle spent two years in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she played in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

This is Gayle‘s 22nd season with the Oregon Symphony. She and her husband Maurice lived in Portland when they first moved to Oregon, but they now live in Mulino and their three children: Sean, Liam and Aisling. The children are just beginning to participate in sports and music; and Gayle enjoys involving herself in their activities. She also relishes family trips, such as recent ones to Baja and Guatemala, and plans to travel more.

For more about this musician, click here.

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