I am from south-central Pennsylvania and how I got interested in symphonies is perhaps typical of many in my age group and from the area in which I was raised.
I am from a small town close to Gettysburg. I began singing at a very young age much to the chagrin of my sister. Our musical tastes were so different!
Leonard Bernstein rescued me on Saturday mornings with his Young People’s Concerts. Wow – I was transported to another world. I not only got to hear beautiful music, I was educated as to all the instruments and their place in a symphony. I was more than turned on to the symphony. I was imbued with it.
I have been a subscriber for a number of years to the Houston Symphony and am proud to be. For me, the best symphony took place last year when I had tickets for a performance but could not attend. I gave my two tickets to a University of Houston student who took his girlfriend, a University of St Thomas student. This was a first time for either to attend a symphony. For me their excitement transported me back to my first attendance at a symphony in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The U of H student sent me so many text messages the evening he and his girlfriend attended. Of course, I reminded him of phone decorum and do think he adhered to all the rules and regulations.
Seeing and hearing the symphony from two who never attended was for me the ultimate. I so wish I could expose more to our great symphony. Sometimes, all it takes is one experience. I was fortunate, I was a self-starter. Some, on the other hand, need a push. I freely give my tickets to college students when I cannot attend which is so very rare. I once gave a ticket to a university football player (but that’s another story).
Plus, he told me to never talk about the fact that he attended the symphony and was eager to go again.
-Floyd Robinson, subscriber
Question of the day: How were you introduced to symphonic music? Have you ever introduced someone else to symphonic music? Please share in the comment section below.