Nicholas Wallin conducts two symphony orchestras. He directs the student orchestra, WSU Symphony, as part of his faculty responsibilities.
He also provides the thrill of live symphonic music to the Palouse and Lewiston-Clarkston Valley communities as director of the Washington Idaho Symphony.

“The Washington Idaho Symphony has a small budget, like the community orchestra I conducted in Minnesota,” said Wallin, assistant professor of music. “However, the music is exceptional, head and shoulders above other small orchestras. We are unique because of the talented and experienced players who are basically volunteering theirtime.”

Approximately one-fourth of the 70-member orchestra is WSU faculty or students. An equivalent number come from the University of Idaho.
(Faculty member Nicholas Wallin conducts the Washington Idaho Symphony. WSU faculty and students are about one-fourth of the group. Photo by Tyler Tjomsland, WSU Photo Services)
The rest are public-school music teachers and other community members.

The symphony at is a nonprofit organization established in 1972.  Barbara Nakata, a retired WSU employee living in Pullman, drafted the articles of incorporation and has been a member of the orchestra since the first concert. She plays bass and is the principal of the section.

“The impetus was from WSU people,” Nakata recalled. “We were a small group, offering informal orchestra performances. We started to draw musicians from all over the region. Then, Martin-Beatus Meier, the conductor at the university, inspired us to organize the symphony.”

“Hearing symphonic masterpieces live enriches us as human beings,” Wallin said. As the symphony completes its 36th year in March and April, Wallin is preparing more enriching music for year 37, beginning in the fall.

WSU faculty in the symphony:
Nicholas Wallin, conductor; Meredith Arksey and Richard Kriehn, violin; Ann Yasinitsky, flute; David Turnbull, trumpet; Frederick David Snider, string bass; Carolyn Merva Robblee, clarinet; Keri McCarthy, English horn; Ryan Hare, bassoon; and Jeffrey Savage, piano.
Two Pullman performances
Remain in the 2007-2008 concert series of the Washington Idaho Symphony.
• March 29, 8 p.m., Gladish auditorium:
“There Was a Star Danced,” by Philip Wharton
“An American in Paris,” by George Gershwin
“Symphonie Fantastique,” by Hector Berlioz

• April 12, 1 p.m., Gladish auditorium:
Free family concert, “Sounds of Science.”
For tickets or for more information, contact the symphony office at 332-3408 or