The Complementary Musical Tales of the Brockton Symphony Orchestra, Sharon Civic Orchestra, and Sharon Community Chamber Orchestra
In Harmony: The Complementary Musical Tales of the Brockton Symphony Orchestra, Sharon Civic Orchestra, and Sharon Community Chamber Orchestra is a stirring, historical account of these three Massachusetts ensembles. Each chapter documents the orchestras' operations ranging from their founders to the conductors, repertoire, players, soloists, volunteers, fundraisers, behind-the-scenes realities, and special features. While details of each organization are presented in depth, a seasoning of interesting, humorous, and at times tragic human-interest stories make these tales come alive. Musicians, audience members, supporters, and readers with a passion for history will find connections to the events told here. Welcome to the inside world of these venerable ensembles which take their places in the history of orchestras with pride. In Harmony is the most extensive and intriguing exploration into community orchestras in the literature.
Musical portraits are enlivened by real-life adventure stories such as survival by WWII refugees, the guarding of Stradivari violins, performing during power failures, and the dodging of puddles caused by leaking concert hall ceilings. Most notable are the contributions made by core players whose passion for orchestral music-making inspires them to share their talent, time, and commitment with the community, often as part of their life's work. Over time, thousands of audience members have enjoyed their concerts, scores of youth musicians have been awarded performance opportunities and scholarships, and players have felt great satisfaction in their calling to perform. Significant details illuminate the history of the Brockton Symphony Orchestra dating back to 1925 and the central roles that women played in the establishment of the Sharon Civic Orchestra and Sharon Community Chamber Orchestra.
The orchestras have been led by conductors from both the local and national stage. Famous performers such as Charles Castleman, Midori, and Gil Shaham were guest soloists with the Brockton Symphony during the early days of their careers. The overall cavalcade of esteemed stars included Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Leonard Rose, Samuel Mayes, Boston Symphony Orchestra members and many others! The conductors, soloists, volunteers, and most importantly, the players, have devoted their lives to the making of symphonic music for all to enjoy. Their tales are masterpieces.
WORDS OF PRAISE
The 'City of Champions' is also the host of one of its most precious and enduring cultural jewels, the Brockton Symphony Orchestra. This well-deserved history of the BrSO is the brainchild of the American Professor Dr. Lisa Redpath. After countless hours of tenacious, diligent, and meticulous research, this well-documented book brings to light not only the history, but also the soul of what we all call “The Brockton Symphony Orchestra FAMILY! Thank you very much Dr. Redpath.
--Dr. Emilian Badea
Extensively researched, this book tells a comprehensive and very engaging story of the Brockton and Sharon orchestras from their inception to the present time. Lisa Redpath is a skilled storyteller and reveals her great passion for community ensembles. As a member of the Brockton Symphony for the past 25 years, I was fascinated to learn the colorful history, cast of characters, and trajectory of my beloved orchestra. Kudos to Dr. Redpath for demonstrating the continued vital importance of community orchestras to the arts in the U.S.
--Dr. Mark Finklestein
About the Author
Dr. Lisa Redpath began her study of instrumental music in the public schools of her suburban Pittsburgh hometown community. After many years of playing flute and piccolo in the school band program she took up the study of the French horn, a musical switch that led her to symphonic playing in neighborhood orchestras. Later, while studying music education at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, she fell in love with the community orchestras she had joined as a supplemental, paid professional. Her experiences with community orchestras throughout the Western Pennsylvania region shaped her entire professional career.
During the 1980s Redpath moved to Boston and earned the M.A. degree in musicology from Boston University and M.L.S. from Simmons College, all the while continuing to play in regional, Massachusetts orchestras. Her lifelong devotion to community ensembles continued for the next few decades while she taught in public school, collegiate, and studio settings. In 2014 she completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Education from Boston University.
While living in Sharon, Massachusetts, she learned of the conducting post vacancy for the Sharon Community Chamber Orchestra and while endeavoring to educate herself about the town's musical history, she stumbled upon references to the Sharon Civic Orchestra. Her curiosity led her to a focused quest for information about the ensemble and, ultimately, the completion of her doctoral dissertation about the organization.
Redpath's passion for local history, coupled with her love for the Sharon Community Chamber Orchestra and Brockton Symphony Orchestra, inspired her to continue her research about these other orchestras from the area. After many years of investigation, she is delighted and honored to present historical and human-interest tales of the Brockton Symphony Orchestra, Sharon Civic Orchestra, and Sharon Community Chamber Orchestra.