Gretchen Snedeker 1983-2008

Wow, really terrible news:

Gretchen M. Snedeker packed a lot into her short life.

At 24, she was already the principal French horn player in two orchestras, had earned her master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, was an adjunct music professor at Colgate University and was being groomed to take over as principal horn player at Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown.

Thursday, the Baldwinsville woman’s life was cut short when she died from injuries suffered in an accident earlier that day in Oneida.

I always dug Gretchen. Really talented at the horn and a genuinely sunny person. I used to love saying her name in a funny old man voice (“Gretchen! Snedeker!“) and she would grin and bear it, even though I’m sure it was annoying after like 800 times; great name though, like from a Mark Twain novel. I hear that Gretchen took over the new music horn geekdom after I finished at Eastman, becoming the go-to-gal for Ossia and Musica Nova; I always dug that she challenged herself and went gung-ho into the scary world of new music for horn.
I hadn’t spoken to her in a while, but it seems that she had been doing really well musically upstate. She was also engaged which is nice to hear, but of course makes it all the more tragic. My thoughts are with her friends and family.


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5 responses to “Gretchen Snedeker 1983-2008

  1. The Gurftastic Blog

    Yeah, that’s super sad. She was such a happy person always. I was shocked to find out. I really feel for her family, friends, and fiancé. Truly a sad time for the whole Eastman Community. I’m forwarding your words to Andy. They were going to get married next summer. Still kinda in shock about the whole thing.

  2. Anonymous

    Gretchen will be so greatly missed! I played with Gretchen in 3 orchestras in CNY and Upstate, NY and it is going to be hard for me to go back to work in 6 days knowing her chair next to me is going to be empty! It is also hard for me to believe that someone so alive, happy and jubilant is not alive anymore! She will always be there with me when I play in spirit and I will never forget her!

  3. Seth C. Burgess

    So true about Gretchen Snedeker being a trademark name…

    Always a year behind Gretchen growing up in Newark, for whatever reason her vocal performance of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina in Middle School is the strongest memory I hold of her–I think it was the passion and sincerity with which she sung.

  4. Writer

    I will never forget her cheerfulness and those sparkling eyes.

    She was also a wonderful horn player.

    I’m still stunned–we played together only a few weeks ago.


  5. Jessica

    Such sad news. Like Seth, I was a year behind Gretchen. We were both first Sopranos in Jazz Choir, and attended many All-State choir events and whatnot together. I also played horn with her, although I did so with a fraction of the talent. Gretchen always strived for perfection, and while, in my childishness of being a 7th grader, I thought her to be a “rival”, really, she just made me work so much harder to even come close to the talent she had for music.

    Like Seth, I remember her song from Evita, as well, SO CLEARLY. Oddly enough, last Wednesday, she crossed my mind and I was telling my room mates about that silly musical review we did, and how I sang some song from the Phantom of the Opera.

    Last weekend, I directed the Miss Long Island Pageant, and sang “Over the Rainbow” in honor of Gretchen. I know I’m not the only one to be so inspired by her talent and passion for music, so I know Gretchen will live on in the musical souls of all the lives she touched.

    God Bless her family, fiancee, and friends. My prayers are with you.

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