Editorial: changing lives for 80-plus years at the North Carolina Symphony

Posted on: September 19, 2014

In Wednesday’s (9/17) News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), Deputy Editorial Page Editor Jim Jenkins comments on the North Carolina Symphony, set to open its 2014-15 classical season next week. “Some will listen from up high in boxes, others will be in the orchestra level…. But all through the hall … the spirits of more than 80 seasons past will be drifting and applauding…. One, of course, will belong to Maxine Swalin, for over 30 years the symphony’s impassioned advocate. Her husband, conductor Ben Swalin, another spirit in attendance, certainly helped bring the orchestra to prominence, saved it some would say, but it was Maxine Swalin who managed things, who went to classrooms all over North Carolina … and helped demonstrate for awestruck students the sounds of different instruments…. The symphony, this spectacular symphony, has come far since Maxine and Ben Swalin retired more than 40 years ago, but the nation’s first state-sponsored orchestra had its course well-charted by them and their successors…. Lives change even if those who hear the symphony as children never gain skills on an instrument, but learn to love music of any kind…. So, Maestro [Grant] Llewellyn, raise the baton and strike it up, if you please. There are still lives to be changed.” 

Posted September 19, 2014