Wooster Symphony Orchestra—Celebrating 100 years
Former Music Directors Take the Baton
As part of its 100th anniversary season, the Wooster Symphony Orchestra has invited former music directors to conduct its Feb. 20 concert.
In 1975, as a young 20-something, Manual Prestamo interrupted his doctorate to come to Wooster to direct the orchestra for two years. Today, Prestamo is president of Performance Management International LLC in Miami, Fl. He will conduct George Gershwin’s Cuban Overture.
In 1977, the College asked resident clarinetist Nancy Garlick to step in as interim director while a search was conducted. One year turned into five, and she directed the orchestra until 1983. She went on to join the faculty at the University of Virginia, where she served for the next 24 years as teacher, performer, and director. On Saturday’s concert, she will conduct Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.
Jack Gallagher, currently in his 41st year at the College, filled in as the orchestra’s music director in 1985. Wooster’s internationally acclaimed composer—the Olive Kettering Professor of Music—will direct two of his own compositions. From Symphony No. 2 “Ascendant,” Gallagher will direct the second movement, titled “Playfully,” which features dance-like rhythms with numerous woodwind solos. Composed between 2010 and 2013, the symphony has been recorded by the London Symphony for Naxos records to rave reviews.
The orchestra will also perform Gallagher’s Berceuse (“cradle song”), which began as a gentle lullaby for piano composed in 1976 for the daughter of friends. Orchestrated and expanded in 1977, it has been performed several times by the Wooster Symphony Orchestra, including in 1978 at the invitation of former music director Nancy Garlick and, later by Jeffrey Lindberg at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre. With separate recordings by the Polish Radio Orchestra of Krakow and the London Symphony, it has been widely broadcast throughout the U.S. and internationally, including more than 120 broadcasts over Colorado Public Radio and more than 50 broadcasts over Radio Klassik Stephansdom, 107.3 FM in Vienna, Austria.
Jeffrey Lindberg began his tenure at the College in 1986 and—with the exception of the orchestra’s founder, Daniel Parmelee—is the longest serving conductor in the orchestra’s 100-year history. Lindberg also conducts the College’s Wooster Jazz Ensemble and is the founder and artistic director of Chicago’s oldest continuously operating professional jazz orchestra—the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. On Saturday’s concert, he will conduct Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave.
The concert is Saturday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in McGaw Chapel (340 E. University Street) at The College of Wooster. Tickets are $10 and are available at The Wooster Book Company, Buehler’s (Milltown and Towne Market), the Lowry Center Wilson Bookstore on campus, and at the door of the concert. There is no charge for C.O.W. students, faculty, and staff.
For more information, contact Jeff Lindberg (330-263-2047) or email.