Recognizing “Those Who Came Before, On Whose Shoulders…”
The previous newsletter credited the work of Georgia Burch (violinist, 1980-2008) who tackled the job of contacting former conductors and players from the past 50 years as part of the anniversary celebration. Her name appeared in the comments of one of the responders:
Jessica Landes, second violinist, 2007-09 wrote: My favorite memory of my time in the WSO was my stand partner, Georgia Burch, who took me under her wing from the very beginning. Adding to the pleasure was the unusually high quality for an orchestra of its size (and by that I mean budget size).” Currently a member of the Wilmington Symphony as well as the American roots band Stray Local, Landes is enjoying the southern climate and her work in the Suzuki violin studio she established.
A large number of past and present musicians are teachers as well as performers. C. Scott Smith, principal horn, 1981-1986, is Associate Professor of Horn and Theory at Ohio University’s School of Music. Respondents were asked to cite a favorite WSO memory, and the following speaks to Smith’s musicianship and pedagogy: My student won the Soloist Competition – Ingrid Stephenson [playing the] Strauss Concerto No. 1.
The WSO is unequivocally a people-centered organization as is noted by Philip Traveline, who was a guest conductor in the early 1980s. After leaving the area, he served as professor of Music at Camden County College and was Music Director/Conductor of the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey. About the WSO he notes: I appreciated having had the opportunity to share the stage with dedicated musicians and appreciative audiences.