Page 4 - Phil Connections Magazine 12-2020 final
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A walk with


                                      Steven Karidoyanes







                                      Conductor & Music Director


                                      My daily walk begins in the dark at this time of year. The days are shorter, the nights
                                      longer, but I get to enjoy the sunrise with each step closer to home.
                                      While the final month of 2020 signals the end of our calendar year, it holds special
                                      significance as we approach a date that’s near and dear to my heart.

                                      Every December, on the heels of some of the busiest days of the year for most of us,
                                      the Phil quietly celebrates another birthday. Like a dear friend who doesn’t make a
                                      fuss, the anniversary of the very first Phil concert slips by quietly between Christmas
                                      and the New Year Day holiday.

                                      Some may already know the story, but for those who don’t, it’s beautifully chronicled
                                      by past board chair of the Plymouth Philharmonic, Judy Fosdick, and published in the
                                      book, 100 Seasons, The Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra 1913-2015.  It’s a wonderful
                                      example of the lasting impact one person can have on so many.
                                             The temperature never reached 32 degrees on December 28 that year. It was
                                             impossible to hear a weather forecast on radio in Plymouth or its surrounding
                                             towns. It was 1913 and the first commercial radio broadcast wouldn’t take
                                             place until 1920.

                                             G. Herbert Clarke gathered his baton, his musical scores, and slid into his winter
                                             overcoat, and gloves. He left his house at 20 Summer Street in Kingston, walked
                                             to the trolley, and arrived at the high school building in Plymouth at around
                                             2 PM. At 3 PM, Clarke, a violin teacher and piano tuner, would conduct the
                                             amateur musicians he had recently recruited for what would be the premiere
                                             performance of the newly formed Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra.

                                             The program included the Overture from “The Beautiful Galatea” by Suppe,
                                             Morceau Characteristique, “The Dawn of Love” by Theo Bendix, excerpts
                                             from a new comedy opera (1912) “The Firefly” by Frimi, two pieces by Gillet,
                                             and ending with the “Coronation March” from the Opera “The Prophet” by
                                             Meyerbeer. Two days earlier, on December 26, 1913, the Old Colony Memorial
                                             predicted, “ Every lover of good music will be glad to have the opportunity to
                                             hear this class of music, and there is no doubt but what a big audience will be
                                             present to enjoy the program. “ That was G. Herbert Clarke’s hope for his new
                                             orchestra.

                                             The conductor and his musicians may have been anxious as they tuned up
                                             for the concert. This was a group of musicians who enjoyed the fellowship of
                                             making music together, but they were not professional musicians. They were
                                             adults and high school students who had taken music lessons in school or from


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