Joycelyn Hael-Big Rudelof

Joycelyn Hael-Big Rudelof

Joycelyn Hael-Big Rudeloff: December 4, 1925 – June 20, 2022

San Antonio native violinist passed away on June 20th. Granddaughter of the prominent New Braunfels music teacher Stefan Haelbig, Joycelyn started violin in childhood and played in the Brackenridge High School Orchestra. Studied under Bertram Simon, conductor of the San Antonio Junior Civic Orchestra, Joycelyn played as concert master and in the Incarnate Word College Symphony. When Max Reiter formed the now defunct San Antonio Symphony Orchestra (SASO), she joined as the youngest member, age 14. Apparently, child labor laws did not exist back then.

Winner of many local music competitions, she performed often at events such as the Texas Lion’s Club Annual Convention and at musical events at Brooks Field and Kelly Navigation School.  

Joycelyn continued violin education at University of Texas, and at the Mannes School of Music in New York where she studied under William Kroll and played in an all-female string quartet.

Returning to San Antonio, Joycelyn married attorney Walter Rudeloff in 1947 and continued to play off and on with the San Antonio and Austin orchestras while raising two sons. One of the family’s activities later would be to play string quartets formed with the boys, Walter Jr. and Robert, playing viola and violin, and husband Walter Sr. playing cello.

Joycelyn subsequently returned to the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra full time at the behest of distinguished concertmaster from New York, John Corigliano.

During her time with the SASO Joycelyn had the rare experience of playing under some distinguished visiting conductors such as Sir Thomas Beecham and Sir John Barbirolli. She enjoyed performing with outstanding artists such as Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Rise Stevens, Rudolph Serkin and other well-known musicians engaged by the Symphony. 

Dedicated to furthering violin playing, Joycelyn obtained a B.A. in Education from Trinity University with a minor in German, a language she loved to read and study.   Teaching violin to many children from deprived neighborhoods, she believed (in advance of the El Systema philosophy) that music is superlative in steering deprived children away from the street crime surrounding their neighborhoods.

Joycelyn retired from the SASO in 1990 but continued to fill in when required and loved to play chamber music, when possible, on occasion with John Corigliano. She and her husband took trips to Europe attending music concerts and festivals at Bayreuth, Munich (where she enjoyed her beloved Munich beers) and Dresden, Vienna, and Berlin. 

In retirement, she enjoyed attending symphony and chamber music concerts, but gradual development of hearing loss eventually deprived her of that pleasure. Being forced to give up playing and listening to music, she continued to read about past musicians and keep abreast of current musical events and performers. 

Joycelyn is survived by sons Walter and Robert; their spouses, Susan, and Cindy; grandchildren Stefan Rudeloff, Erika Land, and three great grandchildren Calli Mallard, Max Mallard, and Molli Pender.

Interment was at the historic Schumannsville Cemetery near New Braunfels on Monday June 27th, at 10:30 a.m. Memorial service, to be arranged, will be held later at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio, 7150 I 10 West, 78213.

The family requests that any desired donations in Joycelyn’s memory be made to either:

Musicians of San Antonio: mosasperformance-fund.org or Colburn-Pledge Music Scholarship Fund: musicalbridges.org/programs/colburn-pledge

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