World's longest serving symphony player dies during encore

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Meet the World's Longest Serving Symphony Musician

Jane Little was 87 years old, under five feet tall and for 71 consecutive years — a Guinness World Record — she played double bass with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

On Sunday, during an encore performance of "There's No Business Like Show Business," Little lost consciousness on stage and later died, the symphony said in a statement Monday.

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"We can say that Jane was fortunate to do what she loved until the very end of her storied life and career," the symphony said in a Facebook post Sunday.

Related: Double Bass Musician Earns Record as World's Longest-Serving Symphony Player

Little was born in Atlanta and became a founding member of the orchestra's predecessor, the Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra, and mastered the group's largest and lowest-pitched instrument.

For years, she was the orchestra's only female musician; her husband, Warren Little, was its principal flutist.

"He would carry my bass and I would carry his flute," she told NBC News earlier this year. "If people saw me carrying my bass around to rehearsal, they'd say, 'Well the Littles aren't getting along today because she's carrying her bass.'"

The couple had no children, and in 2002 — after nearly five decades of marriage — her husband died.

Little is survived by nephews and several great nieces and nephews, the symphony said.

RELATED: The Boston Symphony Orchestra

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World's longest serving symphony player dies during encore
In this Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, photo, an iPad with a Boston Symphony Orchestra interactive program is displayed next to sheet music on a stand at Symphony Hall in Boston. The BSO is loaning iPads to concertgoers during performances in hopes of drawing new audiences to classical music. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
--HOLD FOR RELEASE, MONDAY PRIMETIME JANUARY 18TH-- An iPad with a Boston Symphony Orchestra interactive program is displayed at Symphony Hall in Boston, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. The BSO is loaning iPads to concertgoers during performances in hopes of drawing new audiences to classical music. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Andris Nelsons leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Mahler's 'Symphony No. 6' on Friday night, April 17, 2015.(Photo by Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Andris Nelsons leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Mahler's 'Symphony No. 6' on Friday night, April 17, 2015.(Photo by Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Bernard Haitink leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Maurice Ravel's 'Daphnis et Chloe' at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday night, February 12, 2014.(Photo by Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images)
Bernard Haitink leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Maurice Ravel's 'Daphnis et Chloe' at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday night, February 12, 2014.(Photo by Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images)
Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andris Nelsons, right, rehearses with the orchestra at Symphony Hall, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, in Boston. Originally from Latvia, Nelsons is the 15th music director in the BSO's history. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma takes a break while rehearsing Prokofievâs Symphony Concerto for cello and orchestra at Symphony Hall, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, in Boston. Ma is to perform the piece with the BSO in a Thursday, Nov. 20 evening performance to be conducted by Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andris Nelsons. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
**COMMERCIAL IMAGE** In this photograph taken by AP Images for Boston Symphony Orchestra, Music Director James Levine, in his highly anticipated return to the podium, conducts bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, center left, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra during Opening Night, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010. (Josh Reynolds / AP Images for Boston Symphony Orchestra )
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