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March 2021 Newsletter

March 29, 2021


Happy Spring from the WSO!  We have exciting news to share, as well as some fun upcoming events for your enjoyment!  As we mark one year of the pandemic, we are looking forward to returning to MassBay at some point this fall. Until then, we’re busy creating ways for you to engage with the WSO safely, both in the comfort of your own homes and outdoors. Here is what we have on tap:


A New Virtual Performance from the WSO

Coming in May, a new virtual orchestral performance! Work is underway to record the Nocturne from Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Suite. A collaborator from Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s apprentice program will set the scene for the serene music which features WSO principal horn Jeff Stewart. We have already created several performances with smaller groups which you can find on our YouTube channel, including our February Valentine, “You Made Me Love You”!


The Second WSO Living Room Concert

Our second Living Room Concert will premiere on Wednesday, April 7 at 7:30 pm, featuring our principal cellist, Seth MacLeod.  We are proud to be a presenting partner with Groupmuse, an organization that empowers musicians and brings music into your living room. More details about how to join this performance will be forthcoming shortly.

Our first Living Room Concert took place in January with WSO concertmaster Emil Altschuler giving a moving performance of solo violin music. You can watch it here


News about the search for a new music director

The WSO Search Committee has been hard at work since July 2020 to find a new music director for the WSO.  Having received 65 applications, the committee read resumes, letters of recommendation, listened to and watched many videos, interviewed candidates and references, finally whittling the list down to 5 finalists and 3 alternates. 

The Board of the WSO has approved the list, allowing the finalists and alternates to submit plans for our next concert season, when we will be treated to 5 concerts directed by 5 candidates. The names of the guest conductors are expected to be announced in May.

Plans are also underway for Max to conduct a final concert honoring his tenure with the WSO, possibly as soon as June of 2022.

We are working closely with MassBay in planning our 2021-22 season to figure out when we can perform there again. Thank you for your patience and look for a season announcement coming in the next few months!.


WSO Pops Concert at Elm Bank – Wednesday evening, June 23 (rain date – June 30)

Max Hobart will lead the orchestra in a special outdoor Pops concert at Elm Bank (home of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in Wellesley).  Mark your calendars for a fun evening of music in beautiful surroundings!


Meet a WSO Musician!


Jan Schwaner, vice president of the WSO Board, recently interviewed Pat Diamond, a long-time member of the first violin section.Here is Pat’s story:


Pat joined the Wellesley Symphony in 2000 shortly after moving to Massachusetts. She started playing the violin after her school music teacher came to her class every week and played her violin while the class sang. Pat loved the sound of the instrument and thought it must be easy to play because it had only four strings. She now realizes how wrong this was. She played in school orchestras and high school musicals, and then received a B.S. in music education from Hartwick College and a Master’s in music education from Gordon College. After hearing that Carol Davidson has been taking Zoom viola lessons, she contacted her Indiana violin teacher and has enjoyed taking lessons again. During Covid, she has found her violin to be a good friend and has found that practicing almost every day lifts her spirits.


She taught public school general music and strings for 40 years, retiring in 2016. She still teaches part time because she loves it and finds it hard to stop completely. In Hopkinton, she taught recorder to third graders, and one of her former students, Emily Warren, is now a WSO bassoonist.


Except for two short sabbaticals, she has played in orchestras continuously for 56 years. In orchestra, she particularly enjoys playing with our talented soloists. She feels that playing on stage with them is the closest thing to heaven on earth. Over the years she has enjoyed Maestro Hobart’s famed stories, always prefaced with, “I might have told you this before”. She never heard the same story twice in twenty years. She also enjoyed string sectional rehearsals, which seemed like music lessons, giving her a sense of accomplishment after each one.


Other activities that keep her busy are a weekly mahjongg game with fellow teachers, book club, art exhibits, musicals, movies, concerts, and taking walks with her husband Steve.

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