Do you remember that youthful inquiry, “What did YOU do on your summer vacation?” As a parent and a musician, it seems that we’re always on the go with planning and performing. Either we’re working on concert repertoire for the next performance, planning the next orchestra season or enjoying the many summer activities of our children. My two children are ages 17 and 15 and there’s little white space on the calendar. At times we’re frantic, but also know that we wouldn’t trade these special years for anything – baseball, soccer, band, orchestra and choir concerts, tennis matches and trips to summer camps all make up life’s riches with our children. It’s these experiences that help mold them into adults and develop their sense of belonging as productive community members enriched through their participation.
Parents can relate – we spend a lot of time in the bleachers cheering and supporting our kids and their teams. Who can deny the excitement of watching your child get a crucial hit, make a diving catch in left field or score a winning run? And how about those musicians? How proud are we when we see our children onstage performing and the concerts move us to tears? Do you remember those early years of T-ball and Suzuki recitals? My son is now playing baseball for his 11th year and my daughter is enjoying her 9th year as a musician. The baseball is fast and exciting and the music is expressive and engaging. The humor and innocence of early T-ball and Twinkle variations is becoming a distant memory (thank goodness for video archives!)
While the QSOA has a dormant summer performance schedule, it’s amazing how busy the staff is working to plan and coordinate the 2014-15 concert season. Repertoire is selected and is budgeted in terms of purchase, lease or loan. This budget (along with potential costs for each program), is reviewed and approved by the executive director and board. I review the personnel needs for each concert and rehearsal and performance venues are reserved. The calendar is always touchy and needs constant examination. Oddly enough, every June I wonder if the snow in January will force us to cancel a rehearsal or possibly even the February concert. Do we have enough rehearsal time? The office staff is busy fundraising and assembling a season brochure. The Music Director and Executive Director spend a fair amount of time considering the “what if. . .” scenarios along with option B and sometimes even option C.
I’ve had very special performing opportunities over the past couple of months that involved shared concerts with former students and colleagues. I enjoyed being part of the 50th anniversary recital for the Aeolian-Skinner organ in Northwestern University’s Alice Millar Chapel. Millar Chapel has important meaning in my life since it was an artistic home for me from 1983-1993. Earlier this month, I travelled to Cincinnati and shared a recital program with a former student and colleague at Knox Presbyterian Church. Reconnecting with my former students is a delightful treasure.
The summer is certainly time to revel in the joys of family and also a time of warm reflection. It’s a time when we can appreciate just how lucky we are on so many levels. It’s also time for a Summer Shandy. . .
See you in the fall!
2014-2015 Orchestra Season Highlights:
Beethoven Leonore Overture #3
Beethoven Piano Concerto #4 – Leonora Suppan-Gehrich, piano
Beethoven Symphony #7
Holiday Spectacular with numerous surprises!
Symphonic Dances/Young Artists Program
Borodin Polovtsian Dances
Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
March Young Peoples Concerts
The Amazing Symphony Orchestra
Berg Ravish and Mayhem
Respighi Ancient Airs and Dances
Bruch Scottish Fantasy – Katie Wolfe, violin
Respighi Pines of Rome