-Photo by Ed DeArmitt, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
By Jack Howell
It seemed like a good idea: in each issue of our newsletter, to shine a spotlight on someone who contributes in some special way to keeping the Pittsburgh Symphony the Pittsburgh Symphony. We’ll call it the Bouquet! You know, like the soloist gets at the concert.
It’s not actually a bad idea, and we will keep doing it, but there is a problem. If we recognize a particularly excellent board member, we neglect others who are just as excellent. If we thank an enormously generous donor or a long-serving volunteer, there will be donors and volunteers aplenty whom we should have thanked but didn’t, specifically. Kind of like how when one orchestra wins a Grammy (ahem) it is at the expense of other great nominees (cough, nominatedagainthisyear).
The important thing is, we’re all in this together. If you buy a ticket, if you make (or ask for) a contribution, if you serve on the board, if you write our press releases or manage our accounting, if you volunteer your time, help our patrons, maintain our hall, make executive decisions or consider our welfare as part of public policy — we could go on and on — you are part of this wonderful creature that keeps alive some of the noblest utterances of the human spirit.
One need not make a list of the things that presently divide us, or that seek earnestly to do so. This makes the things that bring us together all the more valuable. The Pittsburgh Symphony has drawn us musicians here from all over the world to give you our collective best. And it has brought all of you together, with all of your life experiences and talents and enthusiasm and resources. And, no matter your political affiliation, no matter your religion or race or age or ANYTHING else that might separate you from each other, you join us in the experience of living this sublime art of orchestral music, and you join forces to animate the Pittsburgh Symphony as a haven for our souls, a beacon to our young artists, an uplifting testament to our community and our civilization.
Thank you, Everyone. We love you. Happy New Year.