Official: After 71 years, Jane is now the longest serving orchestral player

Official: After 71 years, Jane is now the longest serving orchestral player


norman lebrecht

February 03, 2016

Slipped Disc’s exclusive list of longest serving orchestral players has finally seen a change at the top.

After four years and dozens of comments and contributions, someone has finally beaten Frances Darger’s 70 years in the violin section of the Utah Symphony.

This week marked the eighty-seventh birthday of Jane Little and her 71st year in the bass section of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. She joined from high school in 1945 while the ASO was still a youth orchestra.

jane little

We’ve updated the ultimate list to acknowledge Jane’s remarkable longevity.


  • Carla Clark says:

    Wow!!! Congratulations, Jane! What an inspiration you are to us bassists. Thanks so much for posting this.

  • harold braun says:


  • Sarah Zaslaw says:

    According to my recent interview with Jane, she was still in high school when the youth orchestra formed.

    Note that not only has she played bass for the ASO’s full 71 years (anniversary tonight), she is also all of five feet tall.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Sarah, could you send me a link to the interview? It would be good to have it on site.

      • Max Grimm says:

        I don’t know if we can thank Mrs. Zaslaw for the article and interview I linked to in my post below but it does address Mrs. Little’s beginnings (aged 14 when she first laid hands on a double bass and aged 15 when the Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra was first formed).

        • Sarah Zaslaw says:

          Will send link after it airs tomorrow (slip-up: I should have said anniversary tomorrow, February 4, not tonight).

          – SZ, Georgia Public Broadcasting

  • Max Grimm says:

    Here’s an article with a bit more on Mrs. Little out of the International Musician.

  • FreddyNYC says:

    You can’t speak of accomplished lady bassists without mentioning Orin O’Brien, who will be making her 50 year mark with the NY Phil this year…..