Wittry takes stage as first Topeka Symphony conductor candidate

Posted on: September 18, 2012

In Tuesday’s (9/18) Capital-Journal (Topeka, Kansas), Bill Blankenship writes, “A concert should be ‘a journey, an experience, a once-in-a-lifetime thing,’ said Diane Wittry, who will conduct Saturday’s season-opening program by the Topeka Symphony Orchestra as one of five candidates to become its next music director. The concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in White Concert Hall on the campus of Washburn University and the other four classical programs of the orchestra’s 67th season will be public auditions by the five finalists to replace John W. Strickler, who resigned at the end of the last season. Strickler is one of the reasons why Wittry, who currently leads the Allentown Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania, was both aware of the Topeka Symphony Orchestra and interested in becoming its conductor. ‘Believe it or not, John was the assistant conductor of my youth orchestra when I was growing up,’ said Wittry, whose hometown was Pasadena, Calif. … Wittry said she also considers developing an audience for and support of an orchestra part of her duties as music director. She said she would use social media to reach younger ticket-buyers and encourage private donors and businesses to preserve and improve ‘an orchestra well supported by the community, an orchestra that I consider on the move.’ ”

Posted September 18, 2012