Erin DeBackcsy, violin

Erin DeBackcsy, violin

“It’s fantastic to be able to play as one organism, to hear your sound blend with everyone else.” Erin DeBacksy found Prometheus 13 years ago, after her first daughter was born. “I wanted to do something that wasn’t work or mothering, something for me.” She’s been playing with Prometheus for 13 years now, with a two-year break when kids and teaching night classes interfered. “I’m back and SO happy to be back!”

Erin grew up in Del Mar, (near San Diego), walking to the beach and body surfing. She reluctantly started to play piano when she was 4, and quit piano when she was 4. “I absolutely refused to practice,” she says. Violin at age 7 stuck a little better. “I was still bad at practicing but I kept with it.” Del Mar at that time did not have music in elementary schools (even though her mother was an elementary school music teacher in another district. So Erin just had lessons without being able to play in an ensemble.

Things changed when she spent her junior year of high school in Germany. “I had a wonderful violin teacher there who showed me how to express myself through the instrument. I began to see what I love about the violin rather than just what frustrated me.” And she joined a youth orchestra while there; that sealed the deal!

Erin played with the La Jolla Symphony while attending UCSD (transferring to UC Berkeley when her husband—they were high school sweethearts—went to Stanford). While She received a BA and MA in German, she also minored in music and played in the UC Berkeley Orchestra. And then taught German for 13 years at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Erin then went back to school for a master’s degree in Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages program, and is currently teaching at Las Positas College in Livermore. And living with 1 husband, 2 daughters, 3 chickens and 2 cats. (Erin says her daughters now play cello and viola, mocking the “high squeaky tone of the violin.”)

Of Prometheus, Erin says: The music is wonderful and the people who play are too—it’s a great group of people.” And she promises never to leave us again.

~Joyce Vollmer

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