The Friday before our last summer concert (Aug 3) I gave a party for the musicians and Junichi Hirokami at my home.
I took up a collection from the musicians who attended and we were able to have wonderful live music for the event, jazz pianist Erik Augis and acoustic bassist Andy Woodson. The rich colors of live jazz filled the house. Both Erik and Andy are sophisticated and talented musicians and deserved what we paid them.
Everyone brought food and drinks. There were about 30 musicians who were able to attend.
When Junichi arrived, we all gave him warm hugs. He was tired, since his flight from Japan had arrived 8 hours late, at 2:30 AM the night before.
Later in the evening we had a special surprise. Ed Thompson, the Grammy award-winning audio engineer who had recorded our live performance of Tchaikovsky's 5th symphony and Romeo and Julliet Overture in March, had phoned me earlier in the day. He told me he had a copy of the final edit of the recording, which will be released by Denon sometime this Fall.
The performance of the Tchaikovsky symphony is the same one I referred to in my essay which was published in the Dispatch. In that essay I noted how optimistically I felt about the ending of the symphony, and perhaps how it might signal a happy ending to our difficult crisis in remaining a viable orchestra in Columbus.
We all gathered around to listen to ourselves playing the brilliant and emotional music. We couldn't believe how good it sounded. For months we had been led to believe we were worth little as expert creators of amazing live music. Now we could hear for ourselves the world-class product we were able to produce. The chemistry between Junichi and the orchestra rendered the music into a unique and palpable voice, which communicated Tchaikovsky's personal message into sonic emotion. Some of the musicians were moved to tears in a cathartic release of all the emotions and stress which has built up in the past 6 months.
Ed recounted how some of the engineers whom he had worked with in editing the recording had commented, with great emotion, how superior the performance was.
I still hope there will be a happy ending to the Symphony. But I fear that those in power in Columbus just don't have the will to make it happen. I hope I'm wrong about that. Because I know that Columbus can do it.