Danielle Simandl (or Dani, as most know her) grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which makes her a Yooper. When Dani was 6 years old she heard a fellow classmate play ‘Boil Them Cabbage Down’ on the violin at her school’s talent show. After experiencing this compelling performance Dani knew she was supposed to play the violin . At age 7, and after a year of begging her mother, Dani began her journey with the violin by starting lessons with Connie Weiner.
In 2010 Dani graduated from Lawrence University’s double-degree program, where she studied violin with Wen-Lei Gu. Dani holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Violin Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies. During her fifth year at Lawrence Dani presented a paper entitled “Girls Gone Wild, String Instrument-Style: Playing Instrumental Music for a Popular Culture” at Lawrence’s Harrison Symposium of 2010. She also gave a lecture-recital in the spring of 2010 on gender performance in the music performance venue. Among a lot of humorous rumination about gender theory and performance theory were compelling musical performances, including — but not limited to — a string quartet arrangement of Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’ performed by an all-girl string quartet cross-dressed as a boy band.
Dani is currently a member of the Marquette Symphony, Fox Valley Symphony, Green Bay Symphony and Oshkosh Symphony. She is also the Music Director of the Superior String Alliance Summer Camp, located in her native Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Dani has held teaching positions as the violin/viola instructor at the Door County String Academy and as the violin/viola instructor of the Neenah Public Schools After-School Suzuki Program.
When Dani’s not busy practicing or teaching or playing in orchestras, you can most likely hear her playing arrangements of pop tunes with her beloved string-playing friends of the group Eclettico. With a mission to bring a new musical experience to as many fellow Yoopers as possible, Eclettico performs classical, jazz, pop, and rock music at places like farmer’s markets, outdoor art festivals, history museums, bars, and malls in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Eclettico also performs many outreach concerts at schools to encourage kids to start playing an instrument.
Dani currently lives in Chicago where she is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance from DePaul University under the tutelage of Janet Sung.
Rene Orth – Come and Go
for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, french horn, violin, viola, cello, double bass, and piano
Jake Heggie – Statuesque
Movements I and V
for mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, cello, double bass and piano
Seunghee Lee – Quintet
for clarinet, oboe, violin, viola, and double bass
Justin Giarrusso – September Scrapbook
for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano