SHO-MEI PELLETIER (ASSOCIATE PRINCIPAL VIOLIN) AND DWIGHT SHAMBLEY (BASS)
Sho-Mei and Dwight have been a regular sight at the DSO since the early 70s. It was a former DSO music librarian, Michael Glass, who made the connection.
“Michael grabbed Dwight’s shoulder and yanked him into the music library to introduce him to me on my very first day of work,” said Sho-Mei. “Michael said ‘Meet Dwight, the NICEST person in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra!’”
Two weeks later, they had their first date. It was a tennis match near Turtle Creek with an elegant steak dinner prepared by Dwight. Four years after that, the two were wedded on August 12, 1979, in Santa Fe while they were both playing in the Santa Fe Opera.
Music is central to their relationship and their family life. They bonded over blue legends, like Etta James and BB King. Dwight is particularly fond of funk. Sho-Mei loves R&B and vintage Rock. They both fell in love with opera during their time with the Santa Fe Opera. They both loves chamber music and have played with local groups such as Voices of Change, the Dallas Bach Society under Paul Riedo, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra under Ron Neal, the Arensky Piano Trio & Friends, the DSO SymphonyYES String Quintet, the Fine Arts Chamber Players, the “A-Z Musical Alphabet” Duo,
the Walden Chamber Series, the DSO DMA Chamber Music Series and many others.
“Music brought us together and provided us a home,” said Sho-Mei. “Music gave birth to two healthy, talented children and has provided opportunities for us and our children.
“We love each other passionately, and that love extends to all those around us,” said Sho-Mei. “We want to share music with as many people as we can, especially those at risk or who are underrepresented on the orchestra stage.”
Dwight Shambley passed away on January 27, 2020. The Dallas Symphony remembers him and his legacy, and we all remember the love between him and Sho-Mei.
ALEXANDRA ADKINS (ASSOCIATE PRINCIPAL SECOND VIOLIN) AND CHRISTOPHER ADKINS (PRINCIPAL CELLO)
Sasha and Chris Adkins have been married for 25 years. The ceremony was on December 19th, 1994, on the steps of the front lobby of the Meyerson.
“Chris and I met during my trial week at DSO in 1987,” said Sasha. “His cello solo in a Schumann symphony that week was love at first sound and first sight. And it has been ever since.”
They enjoy coming to work together and performing on the same stage. Sasha is regularly listening for her husband’s solos in the works each week.
“Rimsky Korsakov's Scheherazade is usually the week all violinists' ears are on the concertmaster because of the famous solos. Not this violinist's,” said Sasha. “Mine are glued to the cello solos. It is my beloved's voice.”
The Adkins have six children. Each of them heard their father’s love of musicals emerge when he would sing “Surry with the Fringe on Top” to them as newborns.
“Their daddy has much love and tremendous expression but no vocal aptitude whatsoever,” said Sasha. “The perplexed expressions on their faces as they are cradled close to his face and staring at daddy are priceless, though.”
KARA KIRKENDOLL WELCH (FLUTE) AND BRADLEY HUNTER WELCH (RESIDENT ORGAN)
Kara joined the orchestra in 2000, and she met Bradley shortly after Valentine’s Day 2003. He was competing in the 2003 Dallas International Organ Competition. Their mutual friend Lawrence Loh, the DSO’s Associate Conductor at the time, set them up on a “supervised blind date” dinner at the Loh home.
“After dinner, Bradley said, ‘I'm going to be very busy with this organ competition, but after I win it, I will call you to set up another date,’” said Kara. “I thought this was either disgustingly arrogant or confidently attractive. True to his word, after he won First Place and the Audience Prize, he called me, and we had our first proper date.” They were married on August 5, 2006. Parry’s majestic choral anthem “I Was Glad” means a lot to both of them, and it was used for the Processional at our wedding
The Welches have played a few recitals together for flute and piano and flute and organ. Bradley has been known to “orguestrate” the piano and orchestra parts for some of the flute repertoire, and they play together in church occasionally.
“It is very special to have a partner who understands the demands, challenges and joys of being a classical musician,” said Bradley. “It is also nice that we don’t play the same instrument, which removes the competitive element while still giving us fresh ears for each other’s instrument and musical perspective.”
Bradley joined the Dallas Symphony as Resident Organist in 2018. “After so many years of ‘divide and conquer’ with one of us staying at home with the kids while the other went to perform,” said Kara, “it is nice to go to work together occasionally…it kind of feels like a date night!"
MARY REYNOLDS (VIOLIN) AND PAUL GARNER (ASSOCIATE PRINCIPAL AND E-FLAT CLARINET)
Mary joined the orchestra in 1977, and Paul came on the roster in 1993. They were married eight years ago, and the DSO brought them together.
“We had been colleagues, but didn't really know each other except to say ‘hi’ by the backstage lockers,” said Mary. “Our first ‘date’ was driving to the DSO’s concert in Greenville together.”
They play each week on the stage of the Meyerson, but their song is “Night and Day” by Cole Porter.
A musical marriage is just as tough going as any other type, and Reynolds is honest about a recent rough patch.
“A couple of months ago we were beginning to see signs that our jealous chihuahua, Sophia, was attempting to polarize us. She was currying favor with Paul. We're doing ok now.”
ANGELA FULLER HEYDE (PRINCIPAL SECOND VIOLIN) AND DAVID HEYDE (ASSOCIATE PRINCIPAL AND ACTING PRINCIPAL HORN)
Angela Fuller Heyde and David Heyde have been married for six and a half years. David joined the DSO first, in 2003, and Angie joined in 2009.
“We met at work,” said Angie. “I remember the first time I talked to David was to compliment him on his beautiful solo in the Dvořák Cello Concerto, which we played in Greenville.”
The Heydes have only played chamber music together twice, but they both love the Brahms Horn Trio for horn, violin and piano. This February, they will co-curate a chamber music concert that features that work front and center.
“We are very excited to do the Brahms,” said David. “It’s also just a few days after our daughter’s fourth birthday.”
“When you have three kids, life is a glorious circus, a joyful chaos,” said Angie. “We are both grateful for a life in music that offers us beautiful moments of on-stage repose. We truly have an embarrassment of riches.”
SARAH KIENLE (ACTING ASSOCIATE PRINCIPAL VIOLA) AND ALEXANDER KIENLE (ASSISTANT PRINICPAL AND UTILITY HORN)
The Kienles are relatively new to the DSO. Alex joined in 2014, and Sarah joined this season. They just celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary.
“We started dating when we were both fellows at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. My first evening there, we had both decided to join some friends at a club, but after entering, we realized the Miami club scene was not for us and quickly left,” said Sarah. “Alex walked me back to our apartment complex, and I’m forever grateful to him for getting me out of there!”
Playing music isn’t simple for a duo of viola and horn, so chamber music isn’t always on their agenda. The Mozart Horn Quartet is on their bucket list, though. They do enjoy listening to music together. Nat King Cole’s rendition of “Nature Boy” is a favorite song, and Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories is regularly in rotation. “We are currently both fans of Jacob Collier and will be seeing his live show in Dallas together,” said Alex.
“Music is one of the best ways to bring people together, and it’s even better when you get to share it with people you love,” said Sarah.
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