Read on for more news from PYSO Alumni!

PYSO alumna Cynthia Marr Busch (Violin/1972-75) and PYSO Second Violin Coach Peter Snitkovsky (whose daughter Natasha is an alumus of PYSO – violin 1988-93) were honored as this years’ retirees from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
They are seen (in the picture above) at a retirement lunch that included retiring bassist Jeffrey Turner and PSO Music Director Manfred Honeck. To celebrate their many years in the PSO there was a traditional roast on June 15th and a retirement presentation during the Saturday PSO performance that weekend.

Joshua Gindele (Cello/1989-94) performed Adagio for Cello & Orchestra by Kol Nidrei as a soloist with PYSO in 1994 under the direction of Barbara Yahr. He currently plays with the Miro Quartet.

Josh’s father Jerry was honored as one of the VITA (Volunteer In The Arts) winners in 1994 for his work as the President of the PYSO Parents’ Association. He recalls an embarrassing moment when the presenters handed it to him wrapped in tissue, he immediately let it slip, falling onto the hard floor and cracking. Luckily, they supplied him with a replacement in a few weeks! He still has it, finding his award when he was packing for a move in May of this year.

Noah Willumsen (Cello/2000-02) currently resides in Germany where he is working on his Doctorate in Literature at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Steve Spang (Trombone/2003-04) teaches middle-high school band and orchestra, coaches track/cross country, and in his free time trains for marathons.. he completed the Boston marathon 2014 in 2 hrs 49 minutes!

He remembers “getting to spend time learning from Daniel Meyer and musicians of the PSO. Plus, I was able to play alongside some of the best high school/college musicians in southwestern PA”….some of his fondest memories were “hHaving brass sectionals lead by the late Murray Crewe (PSO Bass Trombonist) and current Principal Trombone of the PSO, Pete Sullivan…PYSO has provided me with Musical and professional connections that began in high school, but have lasted every year since then.”


Stephen Totter (Horn/1984-87) is currently an Artist/Lecturer in voice at Carnegie Mellon University and has been on the voice faculty there since 1994. He remembers “Marie Maazel watching over EVERY rehearsal sitting right by the conductor”  Some of his favorite PYSO memories are playing the horn solo in the second movement of the Tchaikovsky 5th symphony in Heinz Hall and then performing as a soloist for the Mozart 3rd Horn Concerto.


Donald Schock (Horn/1977-78) describes himself as a Husband, father, friend, engineer, bicycle-rider, classical music lover and subscriber (PSO, etc.), outdoors lover and says that “Although I did not become a professional musician, I would have to say “yes”, PYSO has made a difference in my life, in much the same way as playing in any student or amateur ensemble has changed it. When playing in an amateur orchestra such as PYSO, you get to know each piece you play intimately. After all, it takes lots of repetition for a group of non-professionals to get a piece up to performance level. So, you get to know it – all of it, every part – very, very well. Although I might not remember when or with whom I played a piece, when I hear it played professionally, I hear much more detail in those pieces than I do in others which I have not played. It adds to the overall enjoyment and impact of listening to orchestral music. I may not play much anymore, but I am one hell of a good audience member. Last I checked, no orchestra or ensemble could survive without us!”

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