Meet Jen

Jennifer Drake, Principal Viola

Sponsored by Helen & Scott Carter

Jennifer Drake enjoys life, whether she is on an African Safari or preparing for an upcoming Boise Baroque Orchestra Performance. "What she likes best," she says, "is what she is working on at the moment." And in non-COVID times, she focuses much of her seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm upon music, particularly classical music. That, as patrons know, includes the Boise Baroque Orchestra

When asked how her love of music developed, she points back to her 5th grade year in elementary school and to a specific teacher, Connie Dugger. Good teachers count, and Troy, Michigan has several, like Alan MacNair under whose baton she worked during high school. It was during those years that she began playing in a local semi- professional orchestra and developed a love for symphonic music. She would eventually become a viola performance major at Michigan State. And her early musical development would not only pay dividends for Jennifer, but dividends for the communities where she has chosen to put it to use. Many have and do benefit. Like her students in Saginaw Michigan. Like the Baroque, Philharmonic and Serenata Orchestras of Boise. Like her young music students in the Idaho Viola Camp in McCall, and the list goes on.

​Because she is part of so many Boise musical orchestra and ensembles, hers is a familiar face to music lovers in Boise. But when, in the 90’s, she and her husband left Michigan and headed west, she had no local musical connections in the City of Trees. But she knew what she wanted. She wanted to share her love of classical music with as many people as she could. She earned seats in both of our local orchestras and along the way stepped onto the conductor’s podium with the Serenata Orchestra, a community orchestra whose players are local residents interested in keeping up musical skills learned earlier. Jennifer likens that group to a great garage band. Everyone has fun, the musicians, the audience and yes, Jennifer herself.