Change is the Law of Life

As we embark on another season with the Quincy Symphony, I’m reminded of all that has changed during my 15 years of leadership and service.  The orchestra’s programming becomes more adventurous each season with demanding pieces, virtuoso soloists and premieres of new compositions written for the QSO.  The Morrison Theater includes a state of the art projection and audio system which enables us to program special multimedia works like this year’s collaboration between composer Christopher Theofanidis and videographer Jose Francisco Salgado’s The Legend of the Northern Lights.  A second multimedia work entitled, Philharmonia Fantastique, was recently described as one of the most important educational pieces in the orchestral repertoire and will be performed at our Young People’s concerts in March.  We are excited for the variety of music the Symphony Chorus’ will present on their holiday program as well as their tribute to Pop music legends in March.  We will premiere a new work written by Venezuelan composer Victor Marquez-Barrios that will open our final concert of the 2024 season.  All of this planning comes out of long dialogue with our staff and musicians reflecting on the changing needs of the performers and audiences.  The orchestra will also complete its Brahms symphony cycle with Symphony 3 and collaborate with soloists and chorus on Orff’s monumental Carmina Burana.

One of the important changes in my own life is my retirement from Western Illinois University.  Last spring, I concluded my 30th year of teaching at Western and have thoroughly enjoyed interacting with excellent students and the exceptional faculty in the classroom and onstage. I’ll have a little more time for my work with the QSO and a chance to pursue a few hobbies and visit my own children.

We lost two members of our organization in the past year – cellist Donna Nelson and retired flutist, Charlotte Stroot, who performed with the QSO for over 50 years. These transitions are challenging and make us appreciate our interactions together as we continue to develop the legacy of our organization that is based on relationships.

John F. Kennedy stated, “Change is the law of life.  And those who only look to the past or present, are certain to miss the future.”  Let’s keep embracing change as we look to the future.