Molly Norcross

Instrument: Horn

Education: BM and MM from The Juilliard School

Hometown: Willow Street, Pennsylvania 

Neighborhood: Downtown Cincinnati 

Joined the CSO in 2019

Inspirations as a musician: It’s tough to describe, but the energy on stage in the moment that we move from silence to sound is such a hallowed experience. In each and every moment, listening and playing with my colleagues, serving the composer and the audience... it’s electrifying!

Favorite Orchestral Work: It’s impossible to choose! Recently I’ve been enjoying Mahler and Britten

Current playlist: I’ve been listening to quite a bit of Danish pop music recently. But more commonly I listen to a lot of orchestral music: lots of Bach, Brahms, Mahler, Strauss, and Prokofiev! And my favorite podcasts: Stuff You Should Know and The Adventure Zone.

Fun fact: I’ve gradually been forcing myself to like new foods over my lifetime. Accomplished: mushrooms, bananas, coffee, olives. Up next: kimchi.

Hobbies: Boxing, cooking, backpacking, learning Danish and German, reading sci-fi novels.

Funniest concert memory: I have so many funny concert memories, it is difficult to narrow it down to the most amusing! One of my old favorites is from my time at Juilliard, where I was tasked with playing Wagner tuba quite a bit, which has ended up being very useful in my career!  During the tuning note, I noticed a strange sound issuing from my tuba (stranger than usual, that is), tipped the bell over toward the ground, and a packaging peanut fell out.  The whole horn section was laughing so hard, even as the conductor walked onstage to the podium, that we all missed the beginning of the piece. 

Where is the strangest place you’ve practiced? I have practiced in some pretty interesting places, including airport terminals using a water bottle as a mute, in my car outside a laundromat in the summer in Texas, and while I didn't take my whole horn with me, I have buzzed on my mouthpiece to maintain my chops while on a backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon!

How can the Orchestra make the world a better place? Orchestras create a deeply human space for a shared experience; we rediscover what makes us human as our ears, eyes, hearts, and minds are engaged. When we are aware of our humanity and the humanity of those around us, we can move into the world as a force for good.