About the RSO
With the goal of sharing the enjoyment of good music, a small but dedicated group of musicians formed the Rochester Symphony Orchestra in 1961.
While in its early years, the Rochester Symphony Orchestra grew and matured under several conductors. Among them were Frederick Johnson, Richard Goldsworthy, Alonzo Seaboldt, and Edward Steinhart.
However in 1978, the organization took a major step forward by naming James Fenwick Hohmeyer as their music director and conductor. Because of his energetic leadership, vast musical knowledge, and creative programming, the orchestra advanced. While under his direction, Hohmeyer made it so that the Rochester Symphony Orchestra was able to pick from leading candidates to fill his shoes. Consequently, the orchestra selected Maestro Glenn Klassen. The Rochester Symphony Orchestra also rose to a distinguished status in 2014 when Zeljko Milicevic became the new music director and conductor.
Each season the Rochester Symphony Orchestra offers subscription concerts featuring noted guest artists and soloists. In addition, the orchestra conducts educational outreach programs in the greater Rochester area, including its acclaimed annual Young Artist Competition.
Rochester Symphony Board of Directors
Mary Mazure, is the Rochester Symphony Board President. A long time resident of Rochester MI, she was elected to this position after serving on the Board as Representative and President of the Rochester Symphony Guild. She has been involved through both organizations with fundraising and promotional activities as well as hospitality during concerts. During the 70s she served on the Board and as Stage Manager of the Utica MI Symphony Orchestra. She is retired after 40 years as teacher in the Utica Community Schools.
Rita May, Vice-President, holds a B. of Mus. Degree. She has worked as a private piano teacher, accompanist, and as an adjudicator of piano competitions. She is also a certified German translator and taught German at the high school level (now retired). For 18 summers, she worked for Gerald Fischbach’s International Music Workshops. She is a long-time resident of Rochester, MI.
Donald E. Kleckner, Recording Secretary, a professional violist and member of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra has served on the Board for 30 years. He has lived in Rochester for over 30 years, and is presently retired from a career in financial services. He was instrumental in re-establishing the free “Summer in the Park” concert series bringing the orchestra to a live audience of 900+ people.
Phyllis Relyea, Corresponding Secretary, holds degrees from Ohio and Indiana Universities. She is a retired from a 34.5 music teaching career in the Waterford Schools and is a 15 year member of the RSO Board. She has been a Rochester, MI resident for over 30 years.
Marianna Larroquette, Treasurer, has been a member of the Board since August, 2014. She grew up and resides in Rochester, Mi and is a graduate of Oakland University. She is currently employed as an administrative assistant at a statistical software company.
Karen Elizabeth Bush is a lifelong Michigan resident who holds degrees from Central Michigan University (B.A. History and English) and a master’s degree from Michigan State University (Communications). Her career includes 12 years in the field of public education and the opening of her own business, Lexicon Services.
John Day, Resident information pending
Charles Flynn, Resident information pending
Caroline Jacob, Washington Twp. Resident information pending
Mike Kennedy, Ticket Manager is retired from Utica Schools as a truant officer, he is responsible for handling RSO business mail, making bank deposits, and ticket sales/distribution. He is also responsible for networking with the Toys for Tots organization and securing their participation in the December concert. He resides in Shelby Township, MI.
Kathleen Leighton, a longtime resident of Rochester, has been a member of the Board of Directors for 20 years. Her background includes managerial positions at financial institutions. Currently, she serves as the Advanced Planning Counselor for Modetz Funeral Homes. She is very active in her community in addition to the RSO’s Board of Directors. She has been involved with the American Cancer Society, the Rochester Optimists, The Gary Cooper Davis Foundation and Henry Ford Hospital’s SandCastles Council.
Jeanne Pichel, a retired school teacher and 20-year member of the RSO Board. She also serves on the Board of the Rochester Symphony Guild and has held the responsibility of President for two years. Other community Board involvement includes St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and Rochester Neighborhood House. She resides in Shelby Township, MI.
Wm. Jean Randall is the Director of Music for St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, the venue for the RSO. He holds a Doctorate of Music in Keyboard Performance from the University of Michigan and is a member of the orchestra. He is a resident of Chesterfield, MI and RSO Board member for ten years.
Marilyn Schuster, a Rochester Hills resident, has a background in financial controls, operations management, business promotions/marketing and branding/graphic design. Her experience includes both private and public sector companies ranging from 1.5 – 50 million operations. Mrs. Schuster is the financial manager for the administrator of major construction loans for the Bloomindale Construction Company Rochester, Michigan. Her work history includes: Operations and business manager, grants administrator, Paint Creek Center for the Arts for 3 years. (non profit), Financial Manager, special accounts creative director printing industry (7 years), Financial Dept. Head OPC Senior Center (7 years) (non profit) and Vice-President, Director of Sales, Marketing and Controller-Midwest Region GZA GeoEnvironmental Services, for 18 years. Her focus for the RSO Board includes marketing and development of promotional materials.
Nancy Stocking has been member of the RSO Board since 2008, Ms. Stocking serves as the coordinator for the advertising of the symphony. She is responsible for program-based advertising, seeking out new businesses who may wish to take out ads in the season brochure as well as maintaining relationships and collecting payment from businesses who already advertise with the organization.