She played solo 2,000 times on TV

She played solo 2,000 times on TV


norman lebrecht

February 10, 2020

The death has been announced of Lois Schaefer, principal piccolo of the Boston Symphony from 1965 to 1990, and before that with New York City Opera.

Lois, a much-loved teacher, was 95.

Ms. Schaefer was best-known to the general public through her frequent appearances on National Public Television with the Boston Pops, where she led the piccolo obbligato in “The Stars and Stripes Forever” more than 2000 times. (From her Legacy obit:)


  • Boston Legacy says:

    We mourn the recent passing of another long-time player with the Boston Pops, clarinetist William Wrzesien. There is a notice of remembrance available from NEC:

  • Dennis says:

    Isn’t that a flute though in the pic? If it’s a piccolo, I’ve never seen one that long.

  • Saul Davis says:

    She was part of a peerless flute section: Doriot Dwyer, Fenwick Smith, and Lois. I met her at Tanglewood, and she was very friendly to this harp student, giving me rides to and from the grounds, and such.

    • drummerman says:

      What about James Pappoutsakis?

    • Tutti Flutie says:

      She collaborated on chamber music frequently with her good friend Anne Hobson Pilot, Principal Harp of BSO, so as a harp student you were probably on her A list!

      It was indeed a peerless section, but as Drummerman points out, below, the original team was Doriot, James Pappoutsakis and Lois. Fenwick Smith replaced James Pappoutsakis in the section.

    • Hal Sacks says:

      I always identified Doriot Anthony Dwyer as a piccolist. I can almost hear William Pierce giving her a shout out with his Boston Brahmin accent.

  • Bruce says:

    She was one of those players where you don’t realize the instrument (or the repertoire) is hard until you hear someone else try to play it. RIP.