Family Harmony

Sue Radloff, left, poses next to student Mya Burkhart. Radloff not only continues to teach music but participates in the Austin Symphony Orchestra with her daughters and grandsons. Trey Mewes/trey.mewes@austindailyherald.com

Sue Radloff, left, poses next to student Mya Burkhart. Radloff not only continues to teach music but participates in the Austin Symphony Orchestra with her daughters and grandsons. Trey Mewes/trey.mewes@austindailyherald.com

Sue Radloff’s passion for music must have been contagious.

Over the years, the longtime music teacher has seen both her daughters come down with the music bug. She watched as Brenda Radloff and Beth Becker joined the Austin Symphony Orchestra some years ago, where they joined Sue in playing for the community.

From left to right: Sue Radloff, Ted Lund, Brenda Radloff, Tristan Lund and Beth (Radloff) Becker. Photo provided

From left to right: Sue Radloff, Ted Lund, Brenda Radloff, Tristan Lund and Beth (Radloff) Becker. Photo provided

Yet even she was surprised when her grandchildren decided to join the family activity.

“Both grandsons, I couldn’t believe it that they got good enough and they wanted to join,” Sue said with a laugh.

It’s not every day that three generations of a family come together to play in an orchestra, and Sue knows how lucky she is to spend time with her children and grandchildren during weekly practices.

Sue is quite familiar with the orchestra. She joined the orchestra in 1958, only a year after it first started.

“I just missed it,” she said. “I was a year too young to join the orchestra.”

Since then, she has played with the orchestra for almost 45 years — she missed nine years of performances when she went to school for music education and subsequently taught in Wisconsin and Iowa.

“I was real serious about music,” she said.

Yet her daughters didn’t join her at the orchestra until the 1980s. Sue said her daughters were convinced growing up that they wouldn’t go into music like their mother — until they both became music teachers.

“They told me ‘We’re the most comfortable with music, we know it the best,’” she said.

Sue Radloff, right, works with Mya Burkhart on a music lesson at Radloff's home. Radloff continues to teach music and is a part of the Austin Symphony Orchestra along with her daughters and grandsons. Trey Mewes/trey.mewes@austindailyherald.com

Sue Radloff, right, works with Mya Burkhart on a music lesson at Radloff’s home. Radloff continues to teach music and is a part of the Austin Symphony Orchestra along with her daughters and grandsons. Trey Mewes/trey.mewes@austindailyherald.com

Beth joined in 1981, back when Dick Larson was the symphony conductor. She played viola at first, though she remembers her time as second violin during a performance of “Messiah.”

“I really enjoy playing and it’s fun having it be a family affair,” Beth wrote in an email.

Brenda joined soon after and plays bass alongside her sons, Tristan and Ted Lund. Ted sits ahead of Brenda on cello, while Tristan plays right next o her.

“It is so much fun to play in the Symphony,” she wrote in an email. “Sometimes, my mom and I will make faces at each other during rehearsal.”

Sue said her grandsons likely won’t become music teachers, but will always have music as an interest. Still, it’s quite a feat to have so much family come together over a symphonic melodies.

“Music is a magnet,” she said.

Sue, her relatives and the Austin Symphony Orchestra will perform at the symphony’s Christmas concert at 2 p.m. Dec. 14 at Knowlton Auditorium inside Austin High School.

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