As I approach my retirement as Artistic Director with the SYS after 40 years, I now reflect both on what these years have meant to me, and also what the current state of our world and our local situation is right now.
I began my tenure with the SYS in 1979. Soon after taking over, it occurred to me that there was tremendous potential for growth, both in numbers and in quality of performances. It was then I had a plan to bring my dreams of growth into action.
Today, 40 years later, we have grown from one 55 member orchestra to multiple ensembles, approximately 400 participating students, and have had numerous international tours with the Premier Orchestra.
These 40 years have seen many roller coaster type highs and lows, but here we are, a vibrant quality organization, one that is positively recognized my many in and around the Sacramento region.
Currently we are faced with challenges (the coronavirus), the results of which no one can predict. We have never had to cancel rehearsals or concerts because of anything like this before.
We are all in this together. For me personally, having only one concert left in this season (which may or may not happen), is particularly interesting, because it is not simply the end of another season, but the end of my 40 year career with the SYS. Will the concert take place?? We do not know.
I leave this message with a simple prayer that is ‘food for thought’ for me and for all of us.
“G-d grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference”.