Thomas A. Braun III
When I was still working full time, I always looked forward to the annual Patron Appreciation Luncheon. It was my sole opportunity to take a break from work and spend time with the music librarians. I’ve long had a deep appreciation for the highly specialized work necessary to prepare music before it is rehearsed and performed on stage.
After I retired, I attended that spring’s Patron Appreciation Luncheon and asked Mary Judge, principal librarian, if she needed help in the library. It turns out I had perfect timing—a volunteer position had recently become available.
Volunteering in the library pays dividends in knowledge. I have not only learned about the detailed preparation necessary for each performance, but also about the Orchestra’s larger place in music history. In preparation for the 125th Anniversary Season, I am helping the music library sift through newspaper articles and performance histories dating back over a century. Reading an article from 1909 about the CSO or a world premiere of a piece that is now considered standard repertoire (such as Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”), the depth of the Orchestra’s history is made tangible.
Spending time with the Orchestra and attending performances affirmed my commitment to the music, today and tomorrow. Beyond giving of my time and treasure now, I want to ensure a bright future for the Orchestra, even when I am no longer able to volunteer and enjoy the music. That is why I chose to include the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in my estate plan. Just as the music library prepares in advance to ensure a successful performance, I am prepared to support the Orchestra for many years to come.