Seven founding members

Still performing or working with the orchestra are seven musicians who were there at the beginning, our first year as the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Irving.



Photo by Terry Cockerham

Tom Brown, horn

Inspired by his band director and the director’s wife, his first horn teacher, as a high school student in Yorktown, Indiana, he ventured into composition, orchestration and conducting.  At Ball State University, he completed a doctorate in music with his dissertation on natural horn.  A pilot in the United States Air Force, he later taught college-level music, math in DISD, and is our brass/percussion personnel manager.



Photo by Terry Cockerham

Marla Maletic, violin

Growing up in Detroit, she began violin studies in the 4th grade and earned a bachelor’s of music education at the College of  Worcester and master’s at Michigan State before moving to Irving with her husband. She  taught in Irving ISD from 1989-2017, where she was lead orchestra teacher for the district and led the Nimitz High School orchestra. She’s proud that her students have gone on to Stanford, Notre Dame, Cornell and Boston Conservatory and several are now music teachers.  She is a member of NPOI’s  board and the task force creating the new “First Tickets” program.



Photo by Terry Cockerham

Phil Silvernail, French horn

As a boy in Oklahoma City, he sang in choruses, played in school bands, and went to college at MacNeese State College with a full scholarship in horn. He joined the Irving Symphony in 1967, then in 1988 with the ISO’s director helped form NPOI and became its first president.  He played in this orchestra for 22 years. Working with Irving’s fine arts community for a share of the hotel-motel tax (25%), he was later appointed to the Irving Arts Board as a charter member as Irving became the first city in Texas to share hotel/motel tax revenue with the arts.  A member of NPOI’s board, he manages recordings of each NPOI concert.



Photo by Terry Cockerham

Janice Spooner, flute

Taking up the flute at 11, she has studied with world-famous flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal, George Morey at North Texas State University, where she received her bachelor of arts degree, with Julius Baker, Karl Kraber, the Dallas Symphony’s Jean Larson and Fort Worth Symphony’s Jan Crisanti. She teaches flute privately, retiring from Richland High School after 27 years teaching Spanish and as choreographer of the school’s ballet folkllorico. Principal flute for NPOI, Northeast Orchestra and Fort Worth Civic Orchestra, artistic director of Flutissimo! Flute Choir, member of Philharmonic Winds Woodwind Quintet and other performing groups. she is secretary of NPOI’s board.



Photo by Terry Cockerham

Cheryl Stewart, flute

Growing up in El Paso, she studied flute with two members of the El Paso Symphony, then earned a bachelor of music education from Baylor.  In Dallas, she has studied with Deborah Baron of the Dallas Symphony, performed as a member of Flutissimo! and Flutes Unlimited flute choirs and section leader for the Oak Lawn Band.  She works with Cook Children’s Health Care System, Fort Worth, and serves on NPOI’s board and as woodwind personnel manager.



Photo by Terry Cockerham

Annette Sudhof, violin

Born in Germany, she “got to Texas as fast as I could,” she says, in 1984 bringing a master’s degree in music education and German.  She immediately began playing in the Irving Symphony, joining NPOI in 1988 and serving on our artistic committee. She also performs with the Dallas Bach Choir and several other music groups, teaches and tutors music and German.

She serves on NPOI’s artistic committee.



Photo by Terry Cockerham

Ralph Wilson, French horn

From Detroit, he grew up in Irving, beginning French horn in the fifth grade, joining school bands and church choir at First United Methodist Church, where he became a solo vocalist.   He was one of the wind and brass players added to the Irving Chamber Orchestra in 1963 as they created the Irving Symphony and their stage manager. In 1988 he joined the new NPOI, and serves as a board member and was stage manager for many years. He also performs with the Northeast Orchestra and Philharmonic Winds Woodwind Quintet  A computer professional with American Eurocopter Corporation, building helicopters, he became their first computer programmer in 1977, and later served as manager and administrator.



Photo by Terry Cockerham

Sue Wilson, bassoon

After living in several states and overseas, she grew up in Irving, beginning in junior high school bands with oboe, then bassoon.  She studied with the Dallas Symphony’s then-principal bassoonist Willard Elliot and Rule Beasley at the University of North Texas, earned a  bachelor’s degree in music education, became a teacher in Irving and Dallas public schools and with Cypress-Fairbank,  She is NPOI’s principal bassoonist, board member and longtime marketing chair, and is helping launch NPOI’s “First Tickets” program with Irving schools.  She performs with First United Methodist Church, Texas Winds, Philharmonic Winds quintet, NEO, and at summer chamber music gatherings nationally.



Photo by Terry Cockerham

Janet Young, clarinet

Like her father, at 10 she began studying clarinet, continued at New England Conservatory of Music, Boston University and Washington State (BA in Music.)  Highlights: studying with Gino Cioffi, former principal clarinet, Boston Symphony, and playing at Aspen under James Levine.  She has served as  technical services manager and system administrator at the Hurst (TX) Public Library and as an NPOI board member.