Susan Clark

Get to know your DSO: Susan Clark, flute

What instrument do you play in DSO/what is your role in the orchestra?

Flute and piccolo — but mostly flute

How long have you played with DSO?

I moved here in 1978 from Maryland. I joined the Diablo Symphony in 1979, playing 3rd flute/piccolo. One year later, the orchestra split, as the current conductor wanted to form an orchestra that was paid. The then-principal flutist went with the conductor to the new orchestra, and I stayed with the old DSO, becoming Principal Flute. So… I have played with DSO a total of 41 years.

Do you play any other instruments?

Yes, piano. Not fabulous, but well enough to accompany my flute students and also accompany a 16-voice singing group. I am currently taking piano lessons, to play better.

What is your City of Residence?


What do you do for a living?

I teach private flute lessons out of my home; I also work part-time as a secretary for a Lutheran Church where I also manage a food pantry. (I really should retire, I know)

Describe your family life (do you have a spouse, kids, pets?)

My husband John (DSO tuba) passed away in 2016, so I live alone. Currently, no pets. I have three grown children and three grandchildren.

What has been your favorite concert to play at DSO and why?

Oh, there are so many — but my most recent memories of playing under Matilda are dear to my heart. Usually the most recent concert becomes my favorite — and this year’s Beethoven 9th will stand as a favorite for sure.

What keeps you motivated?

My love of music; my love of my grandchildren

What is your favorite place to visit, or what is a place would you like to visit that you have never been?

I have lived in Idaho, Colorado (college), Maryland, and now California. I have always wanted to visit baseball parks around the country — if this COVID-19 ever ends, maybe I’ll be able to do that!

What song best sums you up? (Can be classical or not)

Take Me Out to the Ballgame; Syrinx (flute solo)

What are you proudest of?

My grandchildren — who are smart and talented and able to adjust to this Shelter-at-Home with calmness and ease. They are ages 21, 8, and 4.

“I’m happiest when…”

When I have accomplished a task, especially a large task.

What is one thing that few people know about you?

I am an avid Oakland A’s baseball fan, and have had season tickets for years. I also make (and decorate) the best sugar cookies known to mankind.

What is one piece of music you have always wanted to play at DSO, and why?

Tchaikovsky — Orchestral Suite #4 in G Major — written to honor Mozart’s Don Giovanni; nicknamed “Mozartiana Suite” — because it is absolutely beautiful and has great wind parts! Also — Florence Price Piano Concerto in One Movement — WOW!