Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Milestone Approaches...

As we gear up for this week’s Masterworks concerts, featuring Dvorak’s Symphony From the New World, a stage that is already full of new faces will temporarily be missing a familiar one. A person you won’t see on stage is violinist Norris Dryer, who will be off in Elkhart, IN to celebrate his mother’s 100th birthday! Yep. I just typed a three-digit number. To give you some perspective, Dvorak’s New World was composed just 18 years before she was born, October 19th, 1911.

Bernice Dryer is a lifelong resident of Elkhart save for a year in school at Wittenberg College in Ohio, where she studied violin with Anton Bjorkland, a violinist in the Cincinnati Symphony. She played for 38 seasons with the Elkhart Symphony, from 1948-86- the first 38 years of that ensemble. She has a place in the annals of classical music history in the USA, having been the first piano teacher of Atlanta Symphony Music Director Robert Spano.

Norris performs in the KSO with the same violin she played in the Elkhart Symphony. Here she and it are pictured in a 1965 photo, sporting the usual attire that the women of the Elkhart Symphony wore at that time.

In this more recent picture she is seen on her 95th birthday. We wish Bernice the happiest of birthdays on this milestone day, and thank her for having such a terrific kid!

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