… of course giving this blog entry that title now has planted an ear worm in this old noggin’. Anyone else have that happen? Maybe it’s just me, since it’s not a tune that’s heard any more. Hmm. Maybe I should share a YouTube video of it just to help plant a worm in your ear?!

When one works in a symphony, it really does feel like a family. Very much so. There is the good and the bad, of course — we sometimes can drive each other nuts! But when you make music together you feel a connection you might not have in other sorts of jobs.

And then there are the literal families on stage. At one point Dan worked for San Jose Symphony (RIP) as stage manager, and was sometimes hired to play trombone as well, so I know how it is to have a spouse there on stage with me. (When I was librarian and he was stage manager it was rather frustrating at times; we both had to explain to people that they had to go to the appropriate spouse with problems regarding the music or the stage issues rather than telling the other one.) I’m guessing audience members aren’t aware of some of the couples, as most of the women didn’t change their names when they married. (I did — I was young and very traditional when I married. I did reinsert the “Emerson” a few years later, though. Now I wish I’d legally done “Patricia Emerson Mitchell”, but I’m too darn lazy to go through the legal process of changing it.) Let’s see … I’m thinking we currently have four married couples who are members of the orchestra. I might be miscounting — I’m sure a reader or two could correct that if I’m wrong!

This week in Symphony Silicon Valley our principal violist, who is soloing in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, and guest conductor Mitchell Sardou Klein, are doing the “family affair” thing, and are the focus of attention in this Mercury New article.

It begins:

When violist Patricia Whaley and guest conductor Mitchell Sardou Klein walk onstage this weekend at the California Theatre, the sweetness of the moment won’t be evident to everyone in the crowded concert hall: “From the audience’s perspective, some might know we’re a couple, and some might not,” says Klein. “And our concert manners have to be the usual concert manners — we don’t walk out holding hands!”
Married since 1983, Klein and Whaley have been steady forces on the Bay Area’s classical music scene through the decades. Yet almost never do they get to perform together as they will this weekend, co-starring in two performances with Symphony Silicon Valley.

It’s great fun to be doing the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with Patti (and Robin Mayforth on violin). It’s a wonderful Mozart work, and Patti & Robin sound super. You should come hear it!

Ticketmaster link.

Okay … listen to this at your own risk! It’s certainly not Mozart but, believe me, it can worm it’s way into your ear and drive you nuts! (I’m guessing my walk today is going to be “blessed” by this one.)


  1. Thanks for the plug and the accolades, Patty! Eagerly anticipating the shows.

  2. You bet … and see (and hear) you soon! 🙂