Proud St. Louis native Felicia Foland joined the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in 1990 as second bassoon, an appointment made by then-Music Director Leonard Slatkin after several seasons performing with the SLSO as a substitute.
Her history with the SLSO began, though, in 1974 when she was a member of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra for three years – also under Slatkin’s direction – alongside her Kirkwood High School classmates and current SLSO colleagues, Becky Boyer Hall and Mark Sparks.A passionate music educator, Foland has devoted countless hours to teaching and coaching students to be lifelong orchestral musicians.
Her work with the SLSO’s education programs has taken her to many classrooms in the St. Louis area and beyond. In summer 2019, Foland coached some of the brightest aspiring musicians as a guest artist at the Monteux School and Music Festival in Hancock, Maine.Striving to help create musicians for life, Foland regularly coaches amateur musicians through organizations including the Missouri Chamber Music Festival and Chamber Music Society of St. Louis.
Her teaching schedule includes many master classes, as well as work with small groups and chamber ensembles, both professional and non-professional. Foland attended the Eastman School of Music where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree and received two master’s degrees from Northwestern University in Chicago. She has performed with orchestras across the United States, as well as with ensembles in Mexico and Europe.
In addition to music making and teaching, Foland enjoys a happy family life with her spouse, Kati Guerra, and a small menagerie of dogs and birds. She supports a number of worthy causes including the Sikkim Children’s Educational Fund; the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship, established by Maestra Marin Alsop to benefit young women conductors; American Voices, a St. Louis-based organization which provides arts and leadership training in countries across the globe recovering from war and isolation; and the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.