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I just wanted to take a quick break from studying Mahler 1 to tell you how jazzed and amazed I am at the energy and excitement around the concert of the Syracuse Symphony Musicians tonight.  At rehearsals yesterday the musicians were so thrilled and moved that Hamilton is doing this, words seemed inadequate – what do you say to wonderful musicians unjustly out of work who are thanking you?  With every piece that we rehearsed it was apparent that this is the perfect music for this occasion.  We even laughed about Leonore Overture being about “babes coming to the rescue;”  I determined that babes could be used in a non-gender-specific sense.  Janet Brown is recovering from a nasty cold to sing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer 0f 1915 tonight, which is also fitting.  And the ending of the Mahler is just otherworldly – you will just have to be there.  For all of us onstage and offstage, this is not just about people’s jobs or about one particular orchestra, although of course those are very important.  It’s about the cause of art and of embodying and expressing the finest of human ideals therein.  That is what we live for, and that is what we are sharing with everyone in attendance.

The other level is the enthusiasm and energy of the students and everyone else who is helping make this happen.  When my student Marisa Low announced last week in Brass rehearsal that she was making a quilt and wanted to donate it to raise money for the Symphony Musicians, I was floored – a QUILT?!  (Now I hear there may be other quilts too?)  When we decided to go grassroots and bake our own cookies for the reception rather than have catering, we estimated needing one cookie for every seat in Wellin Hall – 700.  We have approximately 20 HCO and Brass students and a community member of HCO baking those 700 cookies today!  Plus several other people are helping with collecting donations tonight.  Allison Eck’s great piece in this week’s Spec was an order of arts coverage on campus that we have never before seen, and she wrote that she was “overwhelmingly happy to do this!”  Our students and all of you alike get that supporting a symphony – supporting the arts – is to support everything that an orchestra and that the arts represent: the best of civilization and of the human spirit.  To quote Eleanor Roosevelt, it is “to be part of the movement upward.”

Need to get back to my score, but thank you for all of your support and encouragement in this.  It is wonderful to have common cause with so many amazing people!  Going forward, let’s keep our focus on bringing back our wonderful Syracuse Symphony – it really is one of the necessities of life.

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