When the Downey Symphony completes its 55th concert season on Saturday, April 6, the audience can expect some extra flourishes in celebration.
The program opens with the guest conductor who won last spring’s Baton Auction, that coveted opportunity to lead a stage full of professional musicians. She is the fearless Dara Small, who had a distinct aversion to practicing when she was young, tackling first piano, then violin, then saxophone, then drums, sort of. But this is now, and odds are, with a baton in hand, she will shine.
Another special moment will be the symphony board’s appreciation of Wendy Doty, Downey’s retiring schools superintendent. About 15 years ago Dr. Doty and our late conductor, Tom Osborn, established an important outreach, Music in the Schools, which reaches every one of our elementary students annually.
“It was a joy to create this program with Tom,” she says. “I am very happy the music program still exists to benefit the students.”
After intermission we’ll hold the auction for next year’s baton winner; there’s a complimentary reception for everyone at the end of the evening; and – not to be forgotten – somewhere in there is a beautiful concert as well.
Music Director Sharon Lavery conducts Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture and Brahm’s Symphony No. 4. Icing on the cake is soprano soloist Diana Newman singing the ravishing Songs of the Auvergne, by Canteloube.
It’s all happening in Downey’s Civic theatre, 8435 Firestone Blvd. at Brookshire. Lavery’s pre-concert discussion of the music to be performed is at 7:15, and concert time is 8.
Tickets at $35, $30 or $10 with student ID are available by calling the theater at (562) 861-8211 or visiting the box office. Parking surrounding the theater is free and the welcome inside is warm and friendly.
Contributed by Joyce Sherwin, Downey Symphonic Society (courtesy The Downey Patriot)