San Diego Symphony’s longest-tenured musician bows out after 61 years

Posted on: June 1, 2016

“In 1955, a teenage violinist from Hoover High School played her first concert with the San Diego Symphony. On Sunday, after 61 years with the orchestra, she played her last,” writes Pam Kragen in Saturday’s San Diego Union Tribune. “At 77, Pat Francis bowed out after the season-closing concert at the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Center, ending the longest career in San Diego Symphony’s 106-year history. After 61 years in the orchestra’s string section, she said the hardest part of letting go isn’t the music, but the players and staff she’s grown to love like family.… Francis plans to perform in the summer pops shows and she hopes to be invited back in future years as a substitute at the children’s concerts.… Francis, an El Cajon resident, was one of three retiring musicians honored Sunday. Also stepping down were pianist Mary Barringer and violinist Randy Brinton, who both started with the symphony in 1975. Before Sunday’s closing piece of ‘Chichester Psalms,’ Symphony Executive Director Martha Gilmer gave thanks to all three musicians, saying the choral piece by Leonard Bernstein was an appropriate goodbye for its introspection and reflective nature.”

Posted June 1, 2016