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Symphonically involved

To the Editor:

Why does a review of the Grosse Pointe Symphony concert on April 28 at Parcells Auditorium concern itself with: Arts Council, the City of Detroit, Cultural Affairs Department and the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs; Grosse Pointe Rotary; Grosse Pointe Artists Council; Rich Fanning, University of Liggett; Paul Miller, Pierce Middle School; Violin teachers of Grosse Pointe; Detroit Symphony String instrument teachers; and the Grosse Pointe News?

All contributed to giving approximately 80 young string players and their parents free tickets to the concert which featured Detroit Symphony violinist, Greg Staples. It created excitement and filled Parcells Auditorium.

The Arts and Cultural Affairs Departments of Detroit and Michigan, plus the Grosse Pointe Rotary contributed grant monies which enabled the symphony to provide these tickets.

The Grosse Pointe Artists Council worked closely with the symphony, offering help in many ways. Rich Fanning and Paul Miller, both teachers at University Liggett and Pierce Middle School, respectively, perform with the symphony and promoted the unique opportunity to their students and the schools.

When organizations work to enhance the educational, cultural and charitable works of the community, the Grosse Pointe News is there to provide opportunity and support.

Greg Staples is not a newcomer to the Grosse Pointe Symphony. While in high school, Greg joined his father, Gordon Staples, former concertmaster of the Detroit Symphony, and mother, Beatriz, to perform with the Grosse Pointe Symphony. At the time, Gordon Staples alone was asked to perform. However, he requested that his wife and son join him at no additional cost "because it's so important that classical music be heard and enjoyed by all age groups." Not only did Gordon solo, but he and Beatriz played a duet and then the family joined in a trio. When any member of the group was not performing, they sat in among the string section and performed there.

Not only did they play, but they bought tickets for the family and extended family. It was a defining moment of artistic "evangelism."

In the interim years, Greg Staples has worked to inherit the mantle of musical excellence set by both parents. Beethoven's "Romance No. 2" was performed with a clear understanding of the composer's wishes. The tone floated above the orchestra; clear, resolute and warm.

The Chausson's "Poeme in E Flat" was chosen before plans had been finalized for the young students to attend. With Staples adding maturity, technical dexterity, vibrancy of tone, he soared with dramatic intensity, ending with flourishing trills that the younger audience responded to enthusiastically.

Conductor Felix Resnick did masterful work in leading the orchestra, balancing its sound to allow Staples vibrant tone to blend unimpeded.

Forty-nine years of service to our community is inspiring. But the Board promises to pull out all the stops for the 50th anniversary beginning in the fall. Stay tuned.

Johanna Gilbert

Grosse Pointe Shores

Johanna Gilbert
May 16, 2002

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