Loren Brown, cellist from the Chicago Symphony, recently thanked SSO for the opportunity to perform with them in their concert—Metamorphoses. “For me this was definitely a highlight which will last forever; its not every day one gets a chance to perform the Dvorak Concerto and it was a thrill.” He further commented on the passionate commitment of those involved and SSO’s brief, but impressive history.
The concert was indeed a labor of love for the musicians and the organization. The depth of the music and its expressed intent was beautifully delivered—the Cello Concerto alone was almost an hour requiring diligence and focused energy. Director Troy Webdell’s introductions to selected pieces offered insight and historical reference with a bit of humor. Zhiqing Li, guest artist from the Shanghai Conservatory, offered a distinctive sound from the erhu for Schindler’s List. And as always, the audience was rewarded with a memorable exchange with inspiring music—two audience attendees even asked how they might become part of this intriguing group.
Orchestrating a musical community has always been the goal of the organization since it’s beginning. Membership has grown to over 60 regular members who mostly have occupations other than music. But their professional training and wealth of musical experience brings them together to learn and perform major concerts twice a year with special ensemble groups offering at least two other free concerts throughout the community. They raise funds by hosting a wine dinner and wine tasting event, to provide support for the expenses of the group as well as their sponsored Youth Orchestra, annual student scholarships, and provisional musician stipends. They also have made annual donations to community service organizations. The group is excited about the invitation by the Confucius Institute to embark on another China Tour planned for 2011-12.
Another fun highlight of Friday’s performance was the selection of a winner for four free Bulls tickets, provided to SSO by WGN-TV. Lucky winner Adam Raschka of LaPorte was glad he came to hear his dad Bob perform with the group. The winning ticket was selected by Lindzy Volk, one of two SSO’S Scholarship Winners selected for 2010. Lindzy, from Crown Point, plays the violin and is a freshman at Ball State University. She was home for fall break and attended the concert to support SSO.