Meadows Faculty and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Get to know the 25 members of Meadows’ music faculty who currently hold positions in the DSO.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra

SMU Meadows enjoys many relationships with the Dallas arts community. The long relationship with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is one of the most prized communities at Meadows, from the biannual Meadows at the Meyerson concert, hosting DSO chamber concerts on campus, and, of course, the faculty members who boast positions both at Meadows and in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.  


The Meadows String Department is well represented in the Dallas Symphony. Diane Kitzman, Principal Violin, has been with the DSO for over 40 years, first joining in 1981. Viola faculty Ellen Rose and Barbara Sudweeks first joined in 1980 and 1976, respectively. Ellen Rose held the position of Principal Viola for an incredible 37 years! Christopher Adkins, Principal Cellist of the Dallas Symphony, first joined in 1987. Brian Perry is one of the newest members of the Double Bass section and was appointed in 2013. Prior to that appointment he was with the Fort Worth Symphony for nine seasons. Harp is also included in the Meadows String Department represented by Emily Levin, Principal Harpist of the DSO since 2016. 


The Meadows Woodwind Department is also well represented in the Dallas Symphony. 

Kara Kirkendoll Welch, Flute, has been with the DSO since 2000 and James Romeo, Piccolo, joined more recently in 2022. Erin Hannigan, serves as the Principal Oboe of the Symphony, and Willa Henigman serves as the Associate Principal Oboe. Continuing with the reeds is  

Gregory Raden, Principal Clarinet, has been with the Dallas Symphony since 1999 and has been on the Meadows faculty for many years. Stephen Ahearn, who is the Acting Associate Principal and Eb Clarinetist of the Symphony and joined in 2012. Finally, in the low end of the woodwind section is Ted Soluri, Principal Bassoon, who joined the Dallas Symphony in 2015.


Meadows’ brass faculty also has a long history with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The DSO’s new Principal Trumpet Stuart Stephenson is on the Meadows faculty along with Kevin Finamore, who has held the 2nd Trumpet chair since 2000. 

Half of the DSO’s horn section is comprised of Meadows faculty. Its Principal Hornist Daniel Hawkins, is a proud alum. David Heyde, Associate Principal Horn, has been with the Symphony since 2004; Alexander Kienle holds the Assistant Principal/Utility Horn chair; and Haley Hoops, 2nd Horn, has been with the Dallas Symphony since 1999. 

Moving down the score, the majority of the DSO’s trombone section is also comprised of Meadows faculty. Professors Barry Hearn, Principal Trombone; Chris Oliver, Associate Principal Trombone; and Darren McHenry, Bass Trombone, make up the trombone studio at Meadows. Darren McHenry has served the orchestra since 1995. 


In the percussion section, George Nickson serves as Principal Percussionist, while 

Brian Jones has served as Principal Timpanist since 2011.  

The amount of Meadows faculty currently performing with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, combined with a decades- long relationship with the organization make SMU Meadows a national destination for students pursuing careers in professional performance.