Gretchen Schneider Roper is the Second Clarinetist with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and has played with the CSO since 2006.
Before moving to Charleston, Gretchen pursued a Master of Music degree at the University of Minnesota and she earned her Bachelor’s Degree, Magna cum Laude, from Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh, PA. Her primary teachers include Michael Rusinek, principal clarinet in the Pittsburgh Symphony, Ron Samuels, Second clarinet in the Pittsburgh Symphony, Burt Hara, Principal Clarinet in the Minnesota Orchestra, and the late David Weber, clarinetist with the NY Phil, NBC Symphony and clarinet teacher at the Juilliard School of Music. Mrs. Roper has also attended and participated in master classes given by David Schifrin, Mark Nuccio, John Adams, and Richard Stoltzman.
In 2010, Gretchen attended the Banff Centre in Banff, Canada, and participated in the festival’s Master Classes and Festival Orchestra working with clarinetists James Campbell and Todd Palmer, as well as sharing the stage with Grammy Award winner, violinist, James Ehness. Gretchen has also performed with The Minnesota Orchestra, the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, the Duquesne University Symphony Orchestra under the direction of the late maestro, Sidney Harth, The National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute’s Festival Orchestra in Washington D.C., and various other professional groups in the Minneapolis, Pennsylvania, New York/New Jersey areas. Gretchen was also a counselor at Oneonta’s Hartwick Summer Music Festival, and frequently performed and coached chamber music there.
Locally, Gretchen has performed with Chamber Music Charleston, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the Spoleto Festival, and has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” in Mepkin Abbey, playing a movement of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet. She performs with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, The Long Bay Symphony, the Beaufort Symphony, and various other ensembles outside of Charleston. Additionally, Mrs. Roper is an instrument repair apprentice at The Instrument Doc, LLC., is an instructor at the Charleston County School of the Arts, and also teaches in several schools in Mount Pleasant, SC. She enjoys teaching a thriving private studio, and coaches chamber ensembles. Her students consistently achieve excellence in local, regional, and state competitions. Additionally, Gretchen is thrilled to join the faculty of CCU this year!
When she isn’t working, Gretchen enjoys spending time with her husband, fellow musician John Samuel Roper, her dog Buster, and her two cats, Scat and Scooter.