By Eric Dundon
The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra celebrates the careers of six retiring orchestra musicians: bassoonist Felicia Foland (31 years of service), second violinist Becky Boyer Hall (29 years of service), first violinist and the Justice Joseph H. and Maxine Golderhersh Chair Dana Edson Myers (42 years of service), Principal Trombonist and the Mr. and Mrs. William R. Orthwein, Jr. Chair Timothy Myers (39 years of service), second violinist Wendy Plank Rosen (42 years of service), and first violinist Hiroko Yoshida (48 years of service).
The six retirees have performed with the SLSO for a combined 231 years.
“We are all so very grateful for all that these superb musicians have done for our wonderful orchestra and the St. Louis community through their extraordinary tenures,” said Stéphane Denève, Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. “It has personally been a great joy to share the stage with them, admiring their meaningful and friendly musical dedication, their deeply poetic curiosity, and always well-prepared musicianship, grounded in remarkable personal integrity. They leave precious legacies with our orchestra, and they will serve as an inspiration to all with their commitment to education. Merci de tout coeur, dear Felicia, Becky, Dana, Tim, Wendy, and Hiroko.”
Felicia Foland, bassoonist, was appointed the SLSO’s second bassoonist in 1990 by then-Music Director and current Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin. However, her history with the SLSO began in 1974 when she was a member of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra for three years—also under Slatkin's direction. Since then, she has played under four music directors—Slatkin, Hans Vonk, David Robertson, and Stéphane Denève.
Shaped by the St. Louis region's public schools' music programs, local bands, orchestras, and studying with former SLSO musicians, Foland has been an advocate for her musical home that nurtured her career. A fervent music educator, Foland has devoted countless hours to teaching and coaching students to be lifelong orchestral musicians. Her work with the SLSO's education programs has taken her to many classrooms in the St. Louis area and beyond.
Becky Boyer Hall, second violinist, joined the SLSO in 1993, but her affiliation with the institution dates to her youth when she was a member of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. A St. Louis native, Hall was a member of the Youth Orchestra as a student at Kirkwood High School, and later received a Bachelor of Music degree from the St. Louis Conservatory (now part of Webster University).
Her first musical influences were with her family, which performed as a musical group in the 1960s and ‘70s. In addition to violin, Hall has performed on mandolin, hardanger fiddle, banjo, guitar, pennywhistle, hurdy-gurdy, bowed psaltery, and jaw harp. Throughout her years with the SLSO, she was a featured musician in many community programs, including Classics in the Loop, the Queeny Pops series, the Discovery series, and in chamber music performances.
Dana Edson Myers, first violinist and the Justice Joseph H. and Maxine Golderhersh Chair, joined the SLSO’s first violin section in 1980—an appointment made by SLSO Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin. Over the course of her 42-year tenure with the SLSO, Myers has appeared with the orchestra as soloist on several occasions, including performances on subscription programs by Michael Tippett and Louis Spohr.
Prior to her time with the SLSO, Myers performed with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, and was a member of The Hague Philharmonic and Ensemble “M,” a contemporary music ensemble in Holland.
Timothy Myers, Principal Trombonist and the Mr. and Mrs. William R. Orthwein, Jr. Chair, has held the Principal Trombone chair for 39 years. Through his tenure with the SLSO, Myers has been a featured soloist on a number of occasions on both trombone and euphonium, including performances of Christopher Rouse’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Concerto for Trombone.
A community ambassador for music, Myers is also a founding member of the trombone quartet, Trombones of the St. Louis Symphony, with whom he performs and records alongside his SLSO trombone colleagues. Additionally, he is the co-founder of the St. Louis Low Brass Collective, an organization that provides educational and performance opportunities for all low brass players in the St. Louis region, especially students and adult amateurs.
Wendy Plank Rosen, second violinist, has been a member of the SLSO since 1980, after spending three seasons in the Kansas City Philharmonic. Originally from Bay Shore, Long Island, New York, she grew up in a musical family. Her mother, Jane Plank, was a music teacher, pianist, and accompanist.
Rosen has fostered a love and appreciation of classical music through performances and demonstrations across the region through the SLSO’s education and community programs. She is certified in the Suzuki training method and has maintained a private violin studio for over 35 years. A dedicated teacher, many of her students have participated in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Hiroko Yoshida, first violinist, was appointed to the SLSO in 1974 and has played under six music directors: Walter Susskind, Jerzy Semkow, Leonard Slatkin, Hans Vonk, David Robertson, and Stéphane Denève. An active chamber music player, she was featured in several SLSO series throughout the years, including the Discovery Series, Chamber Music STL, Prelude Concerts, and Summerfest. In September 1987, she was a featured soloist on Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins under Slatkin’s direction.
Yoshida has been teaching for more than 40 years, nurturing the talents of about 20 young violinists each year. Many of her students have gone on to major in violin and have also won recognition in national and state competitions.
Eric Dundon is the SLSO’s Public Relations Manager