Virginia Quarles Wendt died Sunday, June 19, 2005, at
Sterling House in Central, S.C., where she had resided
for the past 11 months.
She was born on July 23, 1908, in Aurora, Colo., the
eldest daughter of Robert Edward Quarles and Florence
Lee Bradley. She has been a resident of Clemson for
the past 25 years.
Virginia and her two sisters studied music, and at a
young age began playing as The Quarles Trio. She
played cello, and was a charter member of the Denver
Civic Symphony at the age of 14. Six years later, in
1928, just before leaving Denver to begin studies with
Felix Salmond at the Juilliard Graduate School of
Music in New York City, she played a concerto with the
Denver Symphony. Two summers were spent studying at
the American Music School at Fontainebleau, France,
with her sisters, who were also students at Juilliard.
The trio toured under the auspices of the National
Music League during several summers, playing 60
concerts during each tour. After completing her
studies at Juilliard, Virginia moved back to Denver
with her first husband. In 1940, she became staff
cellist at NBC-KOA, Denver. The staff orchestra played
two broadcast concerts daily before a live audience.
In 1953, she again was playing with the Denver
Symphony Orchestra, and during the summers she played
in the Central City Opera Orchestra. In 1957, she
moved to Norfolk, Va., where she played for eight
years in the Norfolk Symphony, and also became a
charter member of the Richmond Symphony, playing
principal cello there for 12 years. In Richmond she
met and married Frank Wendt.