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Volume 24, Number 10 — October 2017

Physicians Involved in the Arts

Dr. Judy Fischer has been a singer, dancer and actress.
Dr. Judy Fischer has been a singer, dancer and actress.
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Judy Fischer: "Art Touches Everyone"

By Angela Wampler | A! Magazine for the Arts | October 26, 2011

Dr. Judy Fischer practices obstetrics and gynecology in Kingsport, Tenn. A former dancer, she sings with Voices of the Mountains and has appeared in community theatre productions. She also is a member of the board of directors for both KingsportARTS and Kingsport Ballet.

In addition, Dr. Fischer helped fund the purchase of "Yo-Yo's Muse," one of the outdoor sculptures now on permanent display at the corner of Watauga and Ravine streets in downtown Kingsport. "I didn't set out to help buy the sculpture," she says, "but when I learned it would leave town after being on display for a year, I donated some money for it. I like it because it turns and interacts with the weather. It's part of the environment. It makes me happy. It's beautiful."

How does she fit the arts into a busy medical career? "I just make time for it," she says. "It's like therapy. It takes your mind off of everything else. I believe it's also a part of being a person. Art touches everyone, whether they seek it out or not. Some people participate in the arts by being in the audience. I much prefer to be on stage."

Dr. Fischer has been dancing since her mid-teens and has danced in recitals and full-blown productions, including The Nutcracker. Since 1998 she has been singing and dancing in Showtime, a two-hour community production held each summer during Kingsport's Fun Fest. "The show emphasizes patriotic and religious themes," she notes. "Adults and children spend half a year rehearsal. We want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves."

Dr. Fischer and her husband, also a physician, lived in Texas, West Virginia, and Kentucky before moving to Kingsport in 1989. "Raising little kids, we had to find jobs that worked for both of us, so we've moved five or six times," she says.

"We've lived in Kingsport longer than anywhere else, and we plan to stay here. You can come into a community like this, and if you want to sing or dance, you can do it. That's not true in other parts of the country. Elsewhere, you can't just try out and be in a choral ensemble without being a professional musician. Here, if you want to work at it, you can participate."

Dr. Fischer has sung with Voices of the Mountains since 1996. "We performed at Carnegie Hall twice. What an opportunity! It's the perfect stage. The acoustics are wonderful," she says. "The best thing about the ensemble is the chance to participate and grow. A third of that group has professional training, then there's the rest of us. That makes us better."

In 2009 Dr. Fischer auditioned to sing in The Music Man at Northeast State Community College in Blountville, Tenn. She ended up acting, too. "That was a whole other experience," she says. "I ended up with 38 lines of dialogue. That was stressful, but it was another chance to learn."

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- Dr. Lenita Thibault




Dr. Fischer helped fund the purchase of "Yo-Yo's Muse," one of the outdoor sculptures now on permanent display at the corner of Watauga and Ravine streets in downtown Kingsport.