25 February 2011
MYSO/MFY members have many memories of their time with the organization. Many of you shared your most memorable experiences with us at the 50th Anniversary/Alumni Weekend. Here are a few that we would like to share:
Cynthia Heiden Raatz, 1975
My most vivid remembrance of MFY was the concerto competition the year I won. I played a solo harp concerto, Laurie Peltin played a solo flute concerto, and everyone else played solo concerti. I would suppose that Bernard Rubenstein was looking for a way to have more performers on the program, because he asked Laurie and me if we could try the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto. Auditions were held during breaks and after rehearsals on two successive weeks. Laurie and I had competed the first week and now had the next week to prepare the Mozart. Of a thirty-five page score, we learned and rehearsed the first 6 pages and the cadenza to the first movement. Several of our friends knew this as well. The next week came, and, after the rehearsal, Laurie and I played the Mozart. At the bottom of page five Mr. Rubenstein told us to stop and go to the cadenza. We played the cadenza, and he said that was enough. Laurie and I looked at each other and held our faces until Mr. Rubenstein had left the area-- when we (and the friends who had gathered around to silently watch the audition) promptly busted up. The next week we were announced as one of the winning concerti! Then we had to get to work and learn the piece!
John Stefaniak, 2003
Most Memorable MYSO moment: Mr. Melby shouting emphatically, “Basses, it’s too wussy!!!”
Dr. Patricia Backhaus, piccolo trumpet 1974
My most vivid memory of MFY was performing Belshazzar's Feast up at St. Monica's. I played in the "off-stage" brass and recall the piece, and the bass/baritone being extraordinary. It is one of the moments that inspired me to pursue a life in music.
Daniel West, 2005
My most vivid memory of my MYSO experience is when I played a Marimba Concerto with Senior Symphony. I loved it and I would like to play another one again some time in my life. A sad memory for me is when John Downey passed away. I played the timpani part for Ode To Freedom in Philharmonia, and it is still one of my favorite timpani parts I have ever played and one of my favorite pieces I have ever played.
Wendy Richman, 1997
As much as I'd like to say that it's of playing Firebird in Carnegie Hall, I'd have to say that my most vivid MYSO memory occurred before I was even in the program. When my family accompanied MYSO [then MFY] on the 1987 Switzerland tour, my older brother Josh had a lovely afternoon rolling down an idyllic hill full of cow manure--and the rest of us then had a truly memorable bus ride.
Anna Petersen, 2003
My most vivid memory of my MYSO experience was the opportunity to play with the MSO in the reading sessions. Those experiences were among the most important in my decision to pursue a career in music!
Daniel Stepner, 1964
Among the many precious memories in the early days of MFY (now MYSO) are the preparation and performance of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony, under MFY founder Milton Weber. This work was far beyond us technically, but the faith Milton Weber showed us and the effort we responded with was a sort of epiphany for me. I didn't play regularly under my father (Bernard Stepner, the co-founder), because he then conducted the younger orchestra, but his example to me at home and in his implicit dedication to music and education are things I value increasingly.