Central Washington University music professor Maria Roditeleva-Wibe plays a section of music on the piano during a class at the McIntyre Music Building on Thursday. (Brian Myrick / Daily Record)
Central Washington University music professor Maria Roditeleva-Wibe points to a sheet of music projected on a screen during a class. (Brian Myrick / Daily Record)
Central Washington University music lecturer Maria Roditeleva-Wibe points to a sheet of music projected on a screen during a class at the McIntyre Music Building. (Brian Myrick / Daily Record)
Profession: Senior music
lecturer at Central Washington University
Years teaching in Ellensburg: 15
Instrument: Plays the piano and
- Realizing a dream
Growing up in the Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of the former Soviet Union, Maria Roditeleva-Wibe fell in love with the organ. There was just one problem — there weren’t any. In her early 20s, when her music conservatory finally contracted to have an organ built, she decided to switch from theory to organ.
Roditeleva-Wibe met all of the conditions that were put in front of her and passed all the exams, but due to anti-Russian sentiments at the time in Bashkir, she was told they did not need a Russian organist.
“I had a nervous breakdown,” she said. “I didn’t touch a piano for a year, and I did not listen to organ music for 10 years. It was too painful, too painful.”
When she arrived in Ellensburg, the thing that astounded her more than anything culturally was the abundance of organs. The university and almost every church in town had one. She was literally surrounded by organs.
“In this country I was able to realize my dream,” she said.
Although she doesn’t consider herself an organist, she’s held two organ recitals in Ellensburg at First Lutheran Church and First United Methodist Church.
Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 2:00 pm
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 2:00 pm.