Husband and wife, Alex Timcke, Timpani and Cassandra Lake, Executive Manager of Community Engagement & Education tell us how meeting through WASO lead to love.

How did you meet?

Alex - Well, I actually met Cass’s older brother Andrew before I met Cass. He was working backstage at Perth Concert Hall at the time, and had mentioned that his sister was singing in the choir for Beethoven 9. Never one to miss an opportunity, I decided to follow up and introduce myself, and the rest is history.

Cass - We met through WASO. I was in my final year of study at UWA and the university choir was singing Beethoven Symphony No.9 with the orchestra. Verbitsky was conducting. I told Alex he couldn’t call me until I had finished my exams and final recital. He didn't listen then, and he doesn’t listen now.  

How did you both come to join WASO?

Alex - I had finished my studies and was freelancing along the east coast when the WASO timpani position was advertised. Like most freelancers, the idea of a permanent position in an orchestra was very appealing, so I worked really hard to get ready for the audition. But the thing that sticks in my mind the most was the travel! At the time, there was a huge pilots strike and although I was able to fly from Brisbane to Perth to do the audition, I could only get a bus ticket back – it took over four days, and absolutely turned me off bus travel.

Cass - My first job with WASO was in 2000. I was working for the WA Youth Orchestra and in those days both companies were based at the ABC. The Orchestra Manager at the time was in a car accident, and I was asked to step in and join the Orchestra Management team while he recovered. He returned to work, and I stayed for seven years. I got my current job in 2012 and it has been my dream position with WASO.

Cass, do you play any musical instruments?

Cass - I played the Flute and studied performance and Musicology at uni. I love to sing, but couldn’t possibly consider myself a singer. We are big on car karaoke with the kids – it is definitely fair to say my singing is about fun, not ability.

Alex, Cass and family.

Alex, what is the hardest thing about playing Timpani?

Alex - I think the most challenging thing is finding somewhere to practice! I usually have to go into Perth Concert Hall to practice, and in the past there have been a variety of other locations. But right now, because of the Corona crisis, I’m lucky enough to have the timpani at home – and I’m loving it!!

What is the best thing about being part of WASO?

Alex - We’re able to reach so many people through a shared passion for music. I think it’s such a uniting thing that we all have in common, and as an orchestra, we love doing our job.

Cass - The opportunity to create and deliver music programs with diverse communities that truly make a difference in people’s lives. We have a fabulous team in the office and orchestra and I am incredibly proud of our Community Engagement and Education portfolio.

What do you admire most about each other?

Alex - Where to start? Cass is an organisational guru, and lives life for now. She is the best role model for our kids, and has managed to merge all aspects of our lives into a glorious mayhem. What’s not to love?

Cass - His passion for his work, both as a musician and a counsellor.

Do you have a favourite WASO concert from over the years?

Alex - It’s impossible to choose just one occasion. But the concerts where there’s a sense that we’re all feeling the same things at the same time – they are the best ones. And the audience always knows it.

Cass - I honestly couldn’t choose. Whether it's sitting in the Perth Concert Hall, a community centre in a regional town, Perth Children's Hospital, the undercover area of a school yard or performing in the classroom of students with special educational needs – the joy, excitement and emotion we share through music at any given time in any given program is my favourite WASO concert.

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