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Lorene Turkalo - Cello


The oldest of five children, Lorene Turkalo grew up in East Petersburg, a small town in the heart of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She distinctly remembers not knowing what a cello was when her elementary school advised that that was the instrument she should play in the school string orchestra program. Soon, her Mom was driving her into Lancaster (briefly the capital of the 13 colonies during the Revolutionary War) for cello lessons from teachers who took the train into Lancaster from the various Philadelphia music schools.


After earning a Bachelor of Music degree at Michigan State and a Master of Music degree at what was then Memphis State, she returned to Michigan and cobbled together a musical living by playing in various regional orchestras and teaching cello lessons. She was thrilled to win a position with the Grand Rapids Symphony in 1984 and soon made it her only orchestra. In 1993 circumstances allowed her to buy a home in the Cherry Hill District in Grand Rapids and the long boring commute from the Lansing area ended.


Lorene loves playing with the symphony and feels it has taught her a lot over the years. She also loves teaching privately and feels that has taught her a lot as well, including inspiring her to write many of her own teaching materials. She also loves her adopted city and is always bragging about it!


Most members of the symphony are animal lovers. Over the years Lorene has shared her home with numerous cats (currently 5), most of whom started out as local strays or feral kittens. Each summer she also attempts to share her back yard with tomato and hot pepper plants with varying but limited success, making every May planting time a triumph of optimism over experience. The herbs in pots however do quite well!

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