In recent days I’ve seen oboist Phil Ross, percussionist Will James, violinists Wendy Plank Rosen, Kristin Ahlstrom and Jessica Cheng, double bassist Chris Carson, English horn player Cally Banham, and I’ve engaged in email conversations with violists Beth Guterman Chu and Jonathan Chu, clarinet player Scott Andrews, horn player Thomas Jöstlein, violinist Erin Schreiber, and concertmaster David Halen. This means the summer festivals are over and the musicians are beginning to return home to St. Louis–a delightful harbinger of the new season. When they all get together next week for rehearsals they’ll look something like this:
Second violinist Deborah Bloom and double bassist Chris Carson have been in the orchestra together for 41 seasons. Debbie started a year before Chris. They’ve been married that whole time too, and after two grown children and one new grandson later, I asked Debbie if she had advice for other married couples in the orchestra. Debbie and Chris been going to work together and working for the same company and in the same office–the Powell Hall stage–since the mid-’70s. How have they made it work?
“It helps if you can be across the stage from each other,” Debbie suggests. “Try to work that out.”