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Bravo to G.P. Symphony

To the Editor:

In life, three things are important — to be loved, to be valued and to have meaning to your life. The Grosse Pointe Symphony provided these elements in their concert Sunday, March 21.

As musicians, they are always honing their skills, willing to let others give direction and help in what they are trying to accomplish because they love what they are doing. Derek Francis has been one of the community professionals who mentors the strings with superb success.

The board of Grosse Pointe Symphony also values youth. Not in an “anything goes” situation, but acknowledging and lifting up their talent. Such was the case on that Sunday.

Jeffrey Northman, trumpet, was a Thomas Nester Scholarship winner and performed the Concerto in E-flat major, by Hummel, with surety and aplomb. His brilliant sound soared over the orchestra, the notes spilling out of the horn.

Cecilia Kozlowski, French horn, also a Nester Scholarship winner, followed Jeffrey with a mellow sound in the Horn Concerto in E-flat major, by Richard Strauss. Her abilities to define the musical line were outstanding. Both will be attending college in the fall and hope to pursue a degree in music performance.

Kevin Miller, guest conductor, organized a program that appealed to all musical tastes. From the lively Overture to Candide, to supporting the Nester soloists, keeping everything together in the Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, and energizing the sweeping Brahms Symphony No. 2, Miller exemplified why he is a sought-after conductor and clinician. He also is the son of John Miller, violist in the symphony, and his wife Leila.

As the concert began, a large contingent of children quietly slipped in and seated themselves directly in front of me. There were 12 youngsters and two parents. These youngsters ranging in age from perhaps 15 months to 16 years were there because their parents felt this experience would give them purpose of understanding music.

Many of the children play instruments; in fact, Betty Peterson, a former symphony performer, was the violin teacher for a member of the family until Betty moved to Virginia.

Each young person sat attentively, absorbing the sounds about them with appreciation. What they also proved was good manners never go out of style.

The last concert of the season will be performed at 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 2, in the Parcells Middle School auditorium. The “Broadway Pops” concert will be conducted by Charles Greenwell and Erin Bailey of Grosse Pointe Farms is the soloist.

Johanna Gilbert

Grosse Pointe Shores

Johanna Gilbert
March 30, 2004

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