Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our Orchestra In Spotlight Too

June 1966
   While Detroit’s 100-piece symphony at the Meadow Brook Music Festival may hold the main spotlight in this area, Rochester has a symphonic organization all of its own that can take some well-earned bows too.
   Over 100 people attended the recent Cabaret Concert at the High school. They sat around geranium-decorated tables, took on a supply of refreshments, then sat back and enjoyed an entertaining program of semi-classical and show tunes. Rochester’s symphony orchestra with 35 pieces does not measure up to Detroit’s professional standards, in size nor quality, but they are growing bigger and better every time out. It was a shame that even more people did not come out to hear them in the Paris street scene setting of the Student Center.
  THE ROCHESTER Community Orchestra has been struggling for some years but conductor Richard Goldsworthy now appears to have a going organization with the assistance of the newly-formed Association of the Rochester Community Orchestra, Inc. (ARCO.) This group is determined to see that the orchestra becomes a prominent part of the community culture… and I think they’ll make it.
   Three young pianists soloed during the evening. The young man we pictured on the front page last week, 11-year-old Charles Mahonske, Jr., of Rochester was remarkable in his performance and I see no reason why he cannot move on to a professional level. Michael Reinhart of Utica also was outstanding but it was the performance of Barbara Specht of Utica that gave the program the human touch.
  Barbara was in the middle of her tough second selection when she became lost, started over and then lost again. She stopped, rose, faced the audience and announced, “I’m sorry, but I cannot…” But before she could finish, her apology was drowned out by wild applause by the audience who knew they were seeing a brave and brilliant young lady.
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  AFTER THE MEMORIAL DAY parade, I heard the usual mumblings from a few people. “Sure not much of a parade.” Seems as though some folks always turn out along the parade route on May 30 hoping to see a festive celebration. When they fail to see much gaiety and the parade moves by in 10 minutes, they grumble.
  The Memorial Day parade, as I see it, is not really a parade but a procession of sincere people who are en route to Avon Cemetery where they will be paying respect to those who sacrificed their lives for our nation. No attempt is made to make a spectacle out of the procession to entertain those who watch.
  Certainly the families and friends of those who died in combat or suffered horrific wounds find nothing joyous in this tribute.
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  THOSE ATTENDING the dedication of the new memorial to veterans in front of Rochester City Hall wondered what happened to the parents of a dozen children noisily romping in front of the speaker’s stand and around the memorial. During the main address, Chairman John Boeberitz finally had to jump off the stand to save the memorial from being prematurely de-shrouded by one of the children.