St. Louis Symphony Orchestra welcomes new musician, bids farewell to three retiring musicians

Alan Stewart named Associate Principal Percussion player

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(September 13, 2018, St. Louis, MO) – The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce the appointment of a new full-time musician:

Alan Stewart, Associate Principal Percussion, joined the SLSO in December 2017. Prior to his appointment, Stewart was a prolific freelance percussionist, performing with orchestras throughout the United States, including the SLSO, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Kansas City Symphony. Past summer engagements have included three summers with the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland and performances with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra in New York.

Stewart attended the Manhattan School of Music and Northwestern University, where he studied with Chris Lamb, Duncan Patton, Michael Burritt, and She-e Wu. He also studied extensively with Michael Werner of the Seattle Symphony and James Ross of the Chicago Symphony.

When not performing, Stewart and his wife, Nicole, enjoy spending time at their home in St. Louis’ South City neighborhood with their two dogs, Bess and Cliff.

In addition to welcoming Stewart, the orchestra celebrates the contributions of three long-time musicians who retired at the conclusion of the 2017/2018 season:

Michael Sanders, Principal Tuba and Lesley A. Waldheim Chair, joined the SLSO in 1991. He previously was Principal Tuba of the San Antonio Symphony. Sanders lectured and gave master classes on orchestra performance at the Keystone Brass Institute, the National Orchestral Brass Symposium, the University of Michigan, and the Manhattan School of Music.

Tina Ward, Clarinet and Mabel Dorn Reeder Honorary Chair, was a member of the SLSO since 1970. She performed throughout the community through the SLSO’s education and community programs. She was a coach for the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, in addition to an adjunct clarinet teacher at Webster University, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Washington University. She co-authored a book on the science behind reeds and the musical applications for woodwinds. In 2016, she was named the Mabel Dorn Reeder Honorary Chair, a title bestowed to an SLSO musician once every five years honoring artistic excellence and leadership in the community.

Christian Woehr, Viola, joined the SLSO in 1986. In addition to his performing, Woehr also composes original pieces, which have been performed by orchestras across the country. He specializes in music for string ensembles and his own ensemble, the Strings of Arda, performs his works extensively.

About the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Celebrated as one of today’s most exciting and enduring orchestras, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country, celebrating its 139th year in the 2018/2019 season. Widely considered one of the world’s finest, the SLSO maintains its commitment to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community connection – all in service to its mission of enriching lives through the power of music.

In addition to its regular concert performances at Powell Hall, which has been the permanent home of the SLSO for 50 years, the orchestra is an integral part of the diverse and vibrant St. Louis community, presenting hundreds of free education programs and performances throughout the region each year. The Grammy Award–winning SLSO’s impact beyond the St. Louis region is realized through weekly Saturday night concert broadcasts on St. Louis Public Radio, celebrated recordings, and regular touring activity.

The Grammy Award–winning SLSO’s impact beyond the St. Louis region is realized through weekly Saturday night concert broadcasts on St. Louis Public Radio, acclaimed recordings, and regular touring activity. A sought-after artistic partner by preeminent musicians and composers from across the globe, as well as by local and national organizations, the SLSO enjoys a long history of robust and enduring artistic collaborations that have developed and deepened over the years.

Today, the SLSO builds on the institution’s current momentum on all fronts, including artistic, financial, audience growth, and community impact, and looks toward the future with Stéphane Denève. Denève, who has been a frequent guest conductor with the orchestra since 2003, begins his tenure as Music Director with the 19/20 season, following this season as Music Director Designate. For more information, visit

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