MUNCIE, INDIANA — Young musicians and their teachers are likely familiar with the name Patricia Tretick—violinist, violist, lifelong music educator and Ball State University School of Music faculty member who judged various young artist competitions across the state. When she died in January 2020, her children could think of no better way to honor her legacy than to start an endowment in her name that would support the Young Artist Competition hosted annually by the Muncie Symphony Orchestra.
“This just seemed so incredibly appropriate because the orchestra is an organization that she was involved in from the time she came to Muncie. And then there’s the teaching aspect, preparing students for a competition, and then the competition itself where she was involved in the judging,” said Stephanie Tretick, one of Patricia’s daughters. “These aspects of the competition tie in so well with areas of music in which she was interested and very passionate about.”
Noelle Tretick Gosling, another one of Patricia’s daughters, said the goal is to have their mother’s name on the Young Artist Competition in perpetuity.
“The competition is incredibly inspiring; there’s so much talent out there,” said Noelle, who is concertmaster of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and has previously judged the competition. “And then it’s even more inspiring for the community to see the winners perform with the Muncie Symphony as part of their prize.”
To officially launch the endowment, as well as to honor their mother’s legacy, the five Tretick siblings will come together—traveling from across the country—to perform a memorial concert at 3 p.m. Nov. 28 at Sursa Hall.
All five children are professional musicians. Stephanie is a violinist and violist in Pittsburgh, Blythe is a cellist in Phoenix, Clifford is a flutist in Virginia, Noelle is a violinist in Indianapolis, and Drew is a violinist and violist in Los Angeles.
“The last time we all played a concert together was when we were soloists with the Muncie Symphony in January of 1986,” Noelle said. “Whenever we get together, ensemble is in our DNA. When we play, we seem to breathe at the same time.”
Growing up, Noelle said people referred to their family as the Von Trapps. Patricia had insisted that each child learn to play an instrument; she considered music to be “the family business.”
“Music was elemental to our mother. You just did it,” Stephanie said.
Patricia’s passion for music stretched far beyond the family. As the memorial concert began to take shape, Noelle said they began to hear from their mother’s former students from all over the world.
“We’re not talking just the state of Indiana or just this country,” she said. “We’re talking hundreds of emails and calls worldwide. It’s been humbling and overwhelming.”
In addition to the Tretick siblings performing together on stage for the first time in decades, the memorial concert will also feature photos and videos of Patricia. Patricia’s two grandsons, Alexei and Anthony, will also contribute to the performance. Alexei will play piano, and Anthony will manage the audio and visual elements.
The concert is free and open to the public. For those who cannot make it to the live performance, the concert will be livestreamed simultaneously at sites.bsu.edu/musiclive/.
Donations to the Patricia Tretick Young Artist Competition will be accepted at the concert. Donations can also be made online at orchestraindiana.org, or via check (made payable to Muncie Symphony Orchestra) mailed to Muncie Symphony Orchestra (c/o Patricia Tretick Young Artist Competition Donations, P.O. Box 1236, Muncie, IN 47308).
About the Muncie Symphony Orchestra
For more than 71 years, the Muncie Symphony Orchestra has worked to entertain, educate, and enrich quality of life in the East Central Indiana community through meaningful, professional musical experiences. The Muncie Symphony is made up of professional and community musicians, hailing from Ball State University, East Central Indiana, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and Cincinnati. To learn more, visit orchestraindiana.org.
About the Patricia Tretick Young Artist Competition
The annual Young Artist Competition provides an opportunity for talented young musicians to compete for cash prizes and a performance opportunity. Students prepare for months in advance and convene on the campus of Ball State University to perform in front of a panel of expert judges. The competition is open only to Indiana residents in grades 3-12. There are three divisions, each with its own prize: Elementary Division (grades 3-5), Junior Division (grades 6- 8), and Senior Division (grades 9-12).