Associate Principal Conductor

Ed Jacobs
Professor of Music, Southwestern Illinois College

B.A. Music, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
M.M. in Instrumental Conducting, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Ed Jacobs teaches in the music area at Southwestern Illinois College, a position he has held since 2004. In that capacity, he teaches the music theory courses for music majors, music appreciation for non-majors, and directs the concert band.

In addition to his busy teaching schedule, Mr. Jacobs maintains an active performing career. He is currently principal trombone of the Union Avenue Opera, and the Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis, and has previously served as principal trombone with the St. Louis Philharmonic, the Clarion Brass, the Bob Kuban Brass, and La Solucion Latina Orchestra. He has also performed with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Bach Society of St. Louis, St. Louis Brass Band, Washington University Symphony, Gateway Festival Orchestra, and Chamber Project St. Louis.

Ed is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, where he studied euphonium with Dr. Jerry A. Young. As an undergraduate, he studied conducting with Maestro Nobuyoshi Yasuda, and led two full-scale performances of Mozart’s Magic Flute.

He lives in Belleville with his kids and three exceptionally lovely cats. When not making music or spending time with his family, Ed enjoys watching baseball, playing video games, and writing about himself in the third person.

Conductor Laureate

Allen Carl Larson has been conducting choral and orchestral ensembles for fifty five years. After completing undergraduate and masters degrees at Park College and Indiana University he held numerous choral and orchestral conducting posts. His doctoral conducting degree is from the prestigious Indiana University School of Music where he studied under the mentorship of the renowned German conductor/scholar Dr. Julius Herford. While at I.U. his doctoral fellowship included conducting the Belles of Indiana women’s chorus; the Choral Union; and the Indiana University Chamber Singers.

Among his many directorships since graduate school are twelve years as choir director at Park University in Kansas City; founder/director of Nova Choralis in St. Joseph, Missouri; Associate conductor of the St. Joseph Symphony Orchestra; Music Director of the Northland Symphony, Kansas City, MO; 36 years as music director/conductor of the Webster Symphony Orchestra; four years as director of The St. Louis Chamber Chorus; chorus master for the inaugural season of Opera Theatre of St. Louis; director of numerous musical theatre productions at Webster University; conductor of numerous Opera Studio productions at Webster; guest conductor of the SLSO for the Bi-Centennial celebration at the Arch grounds; nine years as choir director at First Unitarian Church of St. Louis; numerous clinics and symposiums; and Founder/Director of The Sheldon Chorale. After three years as music director of The Metropolitan Orchestra of Saint Louis, Dr. Larson was named Conductor Laureate.

Conductor Emeritus

Wendy Lea

Wendy Lea

Performing for over three decades before audiences across the US, Wendy Lea has excelled in the multiple roles as a conductor, clinician, teacher, and chamber musician. Her education and development were greatly influenced by teachers Tiberius Klausner, John Korman, and Gladys Lang.

She currently performs as Associate Principal Violist in the St. Louis Municipal Theatre Orchestra and violist with Chamber Players of St. Louis, Inc. Ms. Lea has recorded six CD's with Laclede Quartet and arranged the music on four of those recordings, Laclede Quartet Plays Andrew Lloyd Webber, West Side Story & Gershwin Encores, With One Look, and By Request.

Her commitment to educational outreach programs has contributed to her ease of communication with audiences both in the concert hall, schools, radio, and television. Ms. Lea appeared on NPR Iowa Radio, and PBS St. Louis "Sunday Arts" program.

Her interest in conducting began when working with Leonard Slatkin in the early years of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. Maestro Slatkin gave her one of his batons and she was thrilled to use it in her first appearance as conductor of the St. Charles Community College Orchestra. Ms. Lea served as conductor of the string orchestra at Andrews Academy from 2006 – 2008.

She has worked as a guest conductor with several St. Louis area schools' honors and festival orchestras. From 2007 until 2015 Ms. Lea served as conductor/music director of the Maryville Symphony Orchestra. She has studied conducting with Jason Weinberger, Edward Dolbashian, Dr. Allen Carl Larson, and spent a week of study with Maestro Leonard Slatkin. Ms. Lea has been "Conducting Fellow" with the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra in Iowa. In 2013 she was appointed Associate conductor of The Metropolitan Orchestra of Saint Louis and was appointed Music Director/Conductor in 2016, a position she held until retiring in 2022.

Guest Conductors

Andrew Peters

Glinka: Russlan and Ludmilla Overture
Handel: Revenge Timotheus Cries from Alexander’s Feast
Mozart: Vedrò mentre io sospiro from Le nozze di Figaro

Trent Patterson

Mozart: Ave Verum

Patrick Jackson

Britten: A Simple Symphony

Michael McElvain

Schubert: Symphony No.8, “Unfinished”

Alvin McCall

Gluck: Dance of the Blessed Spirits
Rossini: L’inganno felice Overture

Nancy Summers

Nielsen: Helios Overture
Haydn: Symphony No. 103, “Drumroll”
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4, “Italian”