Stephanie McNab, Piccolo

Stephanie McNab, Piccolo, San Francisco Opera Orchestra

Stephanie McNab is finishing her 12th Fall Season with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. You can’t miss the distinctive sound of her piccolo which is known to hold its own against an entire brass section in loud and rambunctious passages. As the daughter of a trumpet player, the piccolo just seemed like the natural choice for her. Stephanie loves the territory that comes with playing the piccolo, the color it creates riding above the orchestral texture in big tutti passages and the comical, puckish writing of Italian composers like Rossini. She told us that a friend once compared the piccolo in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony to the hood ornament on a Rolls Royce and she always carries that “chin to the wind” image with her.
Stephanie’s most exciting Opera experience to date was appearing onstage with Placido Domingo in 2010’s Cyrano de Bergerac. The unusual scenario of playing from memory was a big change from her job playing from a written score in the pit, but as soon as Domingo began to sing, she was swept away by the theatrics and performed her role as “the cadet flutist” with ease.

She tells us that one of her favorite aspects of the job is working with such talented and supportive colleagues, whom she feels are the best co-workers she could possibly ask for. Stephanie has worked closely with our colleagues on the orchestra committee and manages the orchestra’s headshot photos. She also regularly displays her bartending talents at our Orchestra’s social events.

Away from the pit, Stephanie stays busy having pint-sized adventures with her preschool-aged son. Aside from her musical and parenting endeavors, she enjoys trying to keep up with noteworthy films and an ever-growing list of must-read books, listening to NPR and as much music as possible, and enjoying great wine with the other “flute girls.”

Stephanie is very proud of the concert series she organized for her son’s school last year. The Graham Cracker Concerts introduced two – to five-year-olds to the instruments of the orchestra. At the end of the school year, the kids attended an SF Opera Orchestra rehearsal and had the chance to see many of the musicians who had visited them. Members of our orchestra are looking forward to repeating this series soon!