Friday, April 1, 2011

Syracuse Symphony Sadness

Maybe some of you know about Syracuse, New York. I grew up around that wonderful city: Manlius, Marcellus, Skaneateles, and Oneida. I learned music in that city, both piano and singing. It was big to me when I was a child and even as a teenager and young adult. I was proud to be living near Syracuse because in my limited and youthful  experience in rural New York Syracuse was culture, education and sophistication.

I met my wife 47 years ago in Syracuse. I saw classical guitarist Andre Segovia play in concert there. I was news director for a radio station there. I started my television career there. I saw theatre there and marveled at the attributes and cultural attainments of Syracuse University.

To me Syracuse was the culture city of upstate New York. It had class. It had exposure to the arts, to music, to the elegance of life.

Now I read this from the Associated Press.

“The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra's board of trustees has voted to suspend operations on Sunday amid financial woes.

There were more than 20 concerts remaining in the orchestra's season, including an April 27 concert by renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

The orchestra's 18 full- and part-time staffers and 61 core and 14 contract musicians will be laid off Monday.

Interim Executive Director Paul Brooks says the orchestra fell short of its March fundraising goal of $445,000, failed to receive $1.3 million in concessions from the musicians for the current season and had $5.5 million debt.”

       There is sadness in my heart for Syracuse. Music is a reminder of our harmonic connection to grace, to nature, to each other and to the infinite melodies of the universe. A symphony is a visual and audible link between the spirit of a community and the Divine.

       The compositions of the great masters calm the turmoil of the heart and body and soothe the worries and pains of daily life for they transport us to another place; a place of peace and wonder.

       Music cultivates the intellect and as it echoes the heart it embraces the human spirit into a synergy with the sacred and through its vibration a new understanding of the glories of life emerge.

       Appreciation is the gift you give back to the artist. Financial and attendance support is a gift you give the future. It is essential for a civic soul to expand.

       No one can live without music and no community should.

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