Music Lovers Show Their Love for the CSO Through Their Estate
By Vance Wolverton
We moved to Cincinnati in 2005 and immediately thereafter became subscribers to the CSO. We are both musicians—Peggy is the organist at First Presbyterian Church on Elm Street downtown and I sing in the choir. I retired from NKU in 2011, having served as Chairman of the Music Department and Professor of Music for seven years. I previously served as Chairman of the Music Department at California State University, Fullerton, and retired from that position in 2005. Peggy also served as Adjunct Professor of Music at NKU also retiring in 2005. Peggy continues to teach piano in our home to 20 young students.
I like to tell everyone that we attended more concerts of the CSO in our first year here than we attended of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in all 16 years we lived in southern California.
This is absolutely true and is one of the primary reasons we are so happy here. In SoCal we lived in Orange County, and the commute to Los Angeles took a minimum of two hours. We can leave our home in Union, Kentucky, and be seated in Music Hall (or the Taft Theatre) in under 30 minutes!
And where do I begin to describe our wonderful CSO? We subscribe to the full season because we don't want to miss a single opportunity to hear this superb ensemble! We look forward to Saturday night because we know we will be musically uplifted at every concert. We have also become personally acquainted with several of the musicians and love them dearly.
My research over the past 30 years has focused on the choral music of the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania). I was especially excited to meet Paavo Järvi (an Estonian) and hear the repertoire he featured from that part of the world. I was also very honored to present the pre-concert lectures on two occasions. Being able to present the music of my friend Erkki-Sven Tüür (Estonia) and his innovative music was a truly special honor. I was also honored to write a column for the concert programs in the 2015-2016 season. Many people have told me they really appreciated those contributions.
Peggy has joined the Brahms Fest program in her own inimitable way. Every time the CSO plays Brahms, she plays Brahms on the organ on Sunday. The Austin organ at Covenant First Presbyterian is 101 years old and a perfect vehicle for Brahms' organ music. She always makes certain that the service bulletin mentions the connection with the CSO.
When I was still on faculty at NKU, I required my students to attend CSO concerts. They had to check in with me in the foyer at Music Hall, and this was noticed by our wonderful president, Trey Devey. How much are we going to miss this man?! Trey has done so much for our beloved CSO. Interlochen is lucky beyond words to have this wonderful, talented gentleman! I know the search committee will find an excellent replacement, but we will really miss our good friend, Trey!
We are looking forward to returning to Music Hall, but we have truly enjoyed our interim at the Taft Theatre. Our commitment to the CSO is firm. We contribute annually and putting the CSO in our estate plan was a no-brainer. We want to put our resources where our values are and that, quite simply, is our wonderful Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.