As ICSOM’s newest Member-at-Large, I represent 13 orchestras to the Governing Board. My group includes the Cincinnati Symphony, an orchestra of which I have many fond memories.
I lived in Cincinnati from 1982 to 1993, obtaining two graduate performance degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, as well as free-lancing and teaching privately in the area during that time. I listened to Cincinnati Symphony concerts as part of my education. Many of those performances remain with me today as a lasting memory of that fine orchestra and its outstanding musicians.
However, being a poor college student before the era of discounted student tickets, I had discovered a way to sneak in to those concerts through a back door. Eventually, when I had the disposable income to purchase concert tickets, I attended CSO concerts without the fear of being discovered by an usher.
The guilt I felt about those involuntarily-comped concerts became acute upon my election as MAL, with the CSO assigned to my group. The catalyst for my decision to repay my debt to the Cincinnati Symphony was the discovery that one of my private horn students from that time, Amy Catanzaro, today serves as the CSO’s Director of Sales.
Being Amy’s teacher for six years, from seventh through twelfth grade, and seeing her progress from Dayton’s music magnet schools to a leading position in the arts, encouraged me to come forward and confess.
A quick road trip to Cincinnati last month allowed me to meet with Amy and deliver a check for those times I helped myself to an empty seat at Music Hall. It also provided an opportunity to see that magnificent historical venue and tour the neighborhood. Much shop-talk occurred between us during our visit, and I am quite proud to see that my bright protégée from twenty-five years ago has become a respected part of the CSO.
After our visit, I was also pleased to meet with Paul Frankenfeld, President of AFM Local 1 and CSO’s long-time but now former ICSOM Delegate. Anyone who knows Paul will not be surprised to know that we were able to reminisce about those specific concerts that I recall so clearly. We discussed the recent developments with the orchestra and it was encouraging to hear good news about the Cincinnati Symphony.
With that behind me, I feel that I can represent the Cincinnati Symphony to ICSOM’s Governing Board with a clean conscience. I also hope to visit the other 12 orchestras in my group, but without the baggage of any youthful indiscretions.