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Phil musicians enrich our lives

The Fort Wayne Philharmonic concert at the Embassy Theatre on Nov. 2 was stunning. Fort Wayne’s outstanding orchestra earned standing ovations and cheers from its grateful audience throughout the evening.

Maestro Andrew Constantine led the orchestra in a wonderfully varied and beautiful program of Sibelius, Tchaikovsky and Franck, demonstrating how fortunate we are to have such a remarkable orchestra in Fort Wayne.

Prior to each Embassy classical concert, the Friends of the Philharmonic, the orchestra’s volunteer group, hosts lectures on the second floor of the Grand Wayne Center. These programs are always interesting and help to make the evening even more enjoyable. Saturday night the lecture room was overflowing with interested audience members. Sameer Patel, our talented young assistant, interviewed our English horn soloist, Leonid Sirotkin. Sirotkin was delightful, articulate and charming as he spoke of his childhood in Russia and his move to the United States. The interview was followed by Patel’s insightful discussion of the music to be featured in the evening’s performance.

The next morning I attended Trinity Episcopal Church where another talented musician, Wayne Peterson, had a musical treat for his parishioners, “Eternal Light: a Requiem” by Howard Goodall. In addition to Trinity’s fine choir, Peterson hired a small orchestra made up of Philharmonic musicians. The music was beautiful, befitting All Saints Day.

Philharmonic musicians are a critical resource for this community. They provide outstanding concerts in various venues in Fort Wayne as well as other towns in northeast Indiana, Ohio and Michigan; they enrich the services of many churches; they teach music in our schools, including IPFW; they provide excellent individual music instruction for hundreds of local children; and they provide beautiful music for weddings, funerals and other events.

Our city would be diminished if it weren’t for these intelligent, talented, hard-working orchestra members. Our community has worked hard over the years to establish this outstanding, nationally recognized orchestra that has attracted talented musicians to our city for decades.

Please help maintain your outstanding orchestra by attending their fine concerts and contributing to the Philharmonic. The Philharmonic is one of Fort Wayne’s most valuable treasures.

Anita Cast, a Fort Wayne resident, is a Philharmonic supporter and volunteer. She wrote this for The Journal Gazette.