As Thanksgiving descends upon us, it is tempting to get all sentimental and post a bunch of drippy, gooey testimony. So here it is! (JK)
My wife Helen, son Richard and I are joined by Helen’s parents, Mary and Tom Gover of Minneapolis this Thanksgiving. Our older son Thomas is a junior at Middlebury College (VT) and will be spending Thanksgiving with a friend in New York City. The Govers are big music lovers who have majorly supported Helen’s musical training since her childhood (she played for Dr. Suzuki in 1976- I’m working on getting a link to the vid), in college (at Smith, where she was Philipp Naegele’s teaching assistant and concertmaster of the Five College Orchestra), and throughout her professional career (as former concertmaster of the Oak Ridge and current concertmaster of the Johnson City Symphony).
Truly though, we KSO players have a lot to be thankful for. For the good breaks we’ve had in our careers that have allowed us to continue pursuing classical music despite warnings that it would be a tough row to hoe. For the wise management and munificent donor base that has kept the KSO in the black for five years in a row, and kept the music flowing through tougher times in the more distant past. For composers famous and otherwise who have supplied my colleagues and I with a seemingly endless stream of soulful, provocative and challenging music to perform. For those colleagues themselves, in all genres, who live for music and the good times that accompany it, and who would also give you the shirt off their back in time of need (like when you forget a shirt)! For city planners and entrepreneurs, who helped make Knoxville as intriguing as its orchestra. And for appreciative audiences, whose compliments help reinforce our conviction in making music.
I know the list should be a lot longer, but it sure is a good time to count our blessings in these all-too-often unblessable times. It's late. I'm going to bed. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.