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
Charles Flynn, President, is a 55 year Rochester resident, who has been a Board member since 2010. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and is retired from a career in Electrical Engineering having worked for the Detroit Edison Company for 35 years. He was active in city government as chair of the Planning Commission in its early days and as a member of the area’s Regional Planning Commission.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mary Mazure, Rochester Symphony Guild President, a long-time Rochester, MI resident, is automatically appointed to the RSO Board because of her position with the RSO Guild. The mission of the Guild is to further the interest of the RSO through fundraising and promotional events. During the 70s she served on the board and as the stage manager for Utica, MI Symphony Orchestra. She is retired from teaching in the Utica school district for 40 years.
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.
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.
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.
Linda Adams, a Rochester area resident for 50 years, has supported her community by sitting on many Boards including Crittenton Hospital, Rochester Neighborhood House, YMCA, Rochester Junior Woman’s (President), Meadowbrook Woman’s Club (President) and the Rochester Community House where she served as the director for 14 years. She has been a member of the RSO Board for 2 years. She worked for GM Research Labs as an in-house Auditor/Accountant.
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.
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.
Sue Slawski has lived in Rochester for over 20 years. Previously, she worked as an assistant to the City Manager and Mayor for the City of Seaside, CA and as Acting City Clerk. She has served as Chair of the Celebration Committee and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church of Rochester and in various positions on the Board of the Rochester Symphony Guild, and Co-Chair of the Symphony of Style Fashion Show, resulting in an invitation to join the RSO Board of Directors. Supporting the RSO in all aspects of fundraising is her main focus.
Karen Sobrilsky, a 16-year member of the RSO Board, and retired from the medical field, she has served as President of the RSO Guild. She coordinates the Sunshine Committee which involves sending correspondence to RSO musicians as well as working with local businesses to secure lodging for out-of-state performers. She is a long-time resident of Rochester Hills.
Caroline Jacob, Washington Twp. Resident information pending