Celebrating our 75th

Anniversaries are not only a time of celebration but also reflection where we remember special intersections between people, places, and events.  This performance year marks the 75th anniversary of the Quincy Symphony Orchestra as well as my 15th season as conductor.  It’s quite remarkable how quickly those 15 years have passed.  Fifteen years ago, my children Paul and Elizabeth were 10 and 8, and they loved to come to the concerts to . . . snatch up the conductor’s post-concert cookie plate!  While the cookie plate is now long gone, memories of my children’s mischievous antics remain.  As Jane and I look through old programs of past seasons, it’s impressive to see the many hundreds if not thousands of musicians that have performed in the orchestra.  Those names spark personal memories and performance experiences.  Some, like the student participants, are with us just for a year or two, while others continue to contribute and share in the experience for decades.  I’m proud that the organization has had such a vibrant vision in the regional arts community and upheld its fundamental values of serving patrons and musicians with a high-quality orchestral music experience.  Our mission, however, goes beyond programming the masterpieces of previous centuries and includes support for the creation of new music through our annual music commissioning project.  We’ve worked diligently to collaborate with regional artists throughout my tenure and develop collaborative projects that integrate not only music but visual arts, theater, and dance. We will also feature the visual art of Jen Bock Nelson displayed concurrently with the music of former QSO conductor Thom Ritter George.

As each year brings new challenges, it also brings new opportunities.  While the pandemic brought unbelievable challenges, it also set the stage for new thinking about programming and musical presentation.  Much of the repertoire from the last two years represented first-time performances of smaller chamber works and this in itself challenged our performers to reflect and adapt.  I am proud of the organization’s tenacity in maintaining a concert performance schedule during those difficult times.

As we prepare for our 75th anniversary, come join us in celebration of both the new and the familiar.  Enjoy our current interpretation of some of our favorite masterpieces and look forward to new works from regional composers. Come join us – we have much to celebrate!