Robert Espe currently plays violin full-time with Des Moines Symphony as well as the wcfsymphony. He is a member of the Metro Chamber Ensemble and a regular sub with Quartet 515. He plays with several area ensembles ranging from folk and rock to klezmer and tango and is an experienced pit orchestra musician.
Robert grew up in Independence, IA and began his violin studies at the age of three with the UNI Suzuki School in Cedar Falls, IA. He was briefly concertmaster of the UNI Symphony Orchestra during his undergraduate studies, before earning a B.S. in Bioinformatics, Minor in Music in 2011.
In addition to his work as a violinist, he is also a professional freelance saxophonist, regularly appearing with Turner Center Jazz Ensemble and the Des Moines Big Band, and is an on-call sideman for local and visiting artists at Des Moines’ jazz cabaret, Noce. He is also a semi-regular horn section member of the Colorado-based, modern funk, roots, and vintage soul band Euforquestra. He has also performed with numerous musical icons including pop superstar Katy Perry and Motown legends The Temptations. As a mandolinist, he is a founding member of Choro Moingona, Des Moines’ premier choro ensemble.
Jackie has played in the Des Moines Symphony for more than 30 years. During that time, she participated in many other orchestras in the area including the orchestras of Westminister Presbyterian, Drake University, Simpson College, Des Moines Metro Opera, and many others. In addition to her current position with the symphony, after retiring from her 35-year business career in Information Technology, she fulfilled her lifelong dream of playing in a string quartet by founding the 42nd Street Quartet. She currently manages, plays violin in, and arranges music for the Quartet. She has also been a Des Moines Symphony Association Board Member since 2010.
Jackie grew up in Davenport, Iowa, participating in musical activities in school and in other area groups including the Tri-City Youth Symphony (concertmaster), Augustana College Symphony, the Clinton Symphony, and the Quad-City Music Guild.
She graduated from Iowa State University with a Masters degree in Computer Science and a BS in Math with minors in Music and Education. While there she played violin in the Iowa State Symphony and sang in the Iowa State Singers. Jackie and her husband Ed are authors of the book “Iowa’s Magnificent County Courthouses”.
Misha Rosenker has been principal second violinist with the Des Moines Symphony since 1998.
Matt Meyer has degrees in Violin Performance and Music Education from the University of Iowa. He spent two years teaching orchestra in the Iowa City Community Schools. Meyer has taught orchestra in the West Des Moines Schools for more than ten years and also conducts the Youth Sinfonia and Preludio Strings at the Des Moines Symphony Academy.
Mary Dahlby grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she studied violin with Marlis Windus, concertmaster of the Cedar Rapids Symphony. In addition to performing with her school orchestras, she performed with the Cedar Rapids Youth Symphony six years and the Cedar Rapids Symphony two years. She appeared as a soloist with the Cedar Rapids Youth Symphony.
Dahlby graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor of science degree in home economics education and from Northwest Missouri State University with a master of science degree in home economics. While at Iowa State, she performed with the Iowa State Symphony Orchestra and a student quartet.
She has taught various combinations of family and consumer sciences, health, and talented and gifted programs in Iowa school districts including Brooklyn-Guernsey-Malcom, Adel-DeSoto-Minburn, Dallas Center-Grimes and Urbandale. She currently teaches family and consumer sciences at Urbandale High School and was named the Iowa Jump$tart Coalition Financial Educator of the Year in 2008.
Dahlby and her husband, Gordon have two grown children.