October 4, 2008

New faces from familiar places...

With the 2008-2009 season of the RPO beginning this week, it's always nice to come back to work and see our wonderful colleagues and friends. Like most years, we have a few new faces this year. But for me, it's great that a couple of them aren't new faces at all! Two of our new members, Alex Rosenfeld on horn and Anna Steltenpohl on oboe, are friends of mine from a few years ago.

Alex Rosenfeld, our new assistant principal horn, is a fellow alumnus of Northwestern University, where we were both students of Gail Williams and played in a horn quartet together. Infact, we even bought the same new horn together back then and we're both still playing it, as is our second horn player here in the RPO, Jennifer Burch! Alex won the one-year position after Matt Annin won the Assistant Principal Horn position with the Cincinnati Symphony. Matt is also an alum of Northwestern University and he and Alex were there together - small world. I missed Matt by one year at NU but always heard great things about him...he's a great player and while we'll miss him here, we all wish him the best in Cincinnati.

Anna Steltenpohl, our new second oboe/English horn, is a fellow native of the Chicagoland area. Her hometown, Barrington, is about 25 minutes from my hometown, Crystal Lake. Anna and I played in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra together under the baton of Rossen Milanov, now the associate conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Anna and her twin sister, Lisa, a violist, even came to my high school senior recital at my church! I have a lot of fond memories of our youth orchestra and all of our time in Chicago - it really was CYSO that helped me realize how much I love performing.

The music world really is a small world a lot of the time. Though I don't previously know some of our other new members, there are definitely some current RPO members who do. Other new members this year include Lars Kirvan on cello (who came on a very last-minute call to Vail with us this past summer - thanks Lars!), Benjamin Krug on cello, Andy Parker on clarinet/bass clarinet and Colin Corner, our new principal bassist. We're excited to have all of them as new colleagues in the RPO.

Come check out all the faces of the RPO this fall - we'll see you at the concerts!

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