Those Red-Letter Days

In the Sixties and Seventies, everybody got a variety show. Bob Hope. Tom Jones. Andy Williams. Bing Crosby. Bobby Darin. Johnny Cash. Every week, the celebrity host rolled out the red carpet for the singers, actors and comics of the day.  And, every week, the television audience was invited to a fabulous celebrity party. For me, some of the best parties were the holiday specials.

I can still remember Dean and Frank belting out “It’s a Marshmallow World” in the opening number of Christmas with The Martins and Sinatras in 1967.  And, every year, I watch the Judy Garland Christmas Show on YouTube for another chance to spend an “informal evening” in the legend’s “living room” with her family and friends. Seriously, even in the 1960s, who hung around the house in a full-length, fur-trimmed gown? But, when that pretend-doorbell rings and Liza Minnelli, Jack Cassidy and Mel Tormé walk onto the pretend-living-room set, I’m always willing to suspend disbelief and join them for an hour of camaraderie and great music. 

That’s why I love the Phil. Every year, we throw six memorable parties, red-letter days that add a punch of musical color to our lives.  And, for the past 25 seasons, we’ve been lucky to have Steven Karidoyanes help us paint the town red.  Year after year, our remarkably talented Music Director brings great music and great musicians to the Phil stage. In this season alone, you’ll hear one of the largest Phil orchestras ever as they take on Mahler’s Titan in March.

I also love never knowing who will show up at each Phil fest.  A red-hot pianist.  A violin prodigy.  A handful of shining, Broadway stars. Why, even the 6th Grade Chorus has been known to pop in from time to time and give us a burst of local color. But no matter who visits, I always know I’m going to have a great time. Every time. It’s the Phil!

These larger-than-life concerts are part of our everyday, smaller-town lives because of you. Every season, we need to raise $530,000 to finance six sensational shows, and every year I need to ask for your help.  Ticket sale are strong, but like all nonprofit, professional orchestras, ticket sales only cover a portion of production costs.  And, like all nonprofit, professional orchestras, we rely on donations to bridge the gap.  Without your support, we wouldn’t be able to roll out a little red doormat much less the grand red carpet we do.

So, please continue to donate generously to the Phil. Please continue to help us turn Memorial Hall into our “living room,” where we can listen to live symphonic music with family and friends. Please continue to help us host the best musical entertainment the South Shore has ever seen. Quite simply, the Phil – our Phil – wouldn’t be the same without you.

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