Melrose Symphony in Massachusetts marks 100th season as volunteer orchestra

Posted on: October 18, 2017

“For 44 years, Priscilla Hunt, a violinist, retired Wakefield Schools music teacher, and Tewksbury resident, has relished a standing date: Mondays from 7:30 to 10 p.m., when she rehearses as a member of the Melrose Symphony Orchestra,” writes Kathy Shiels Tully in Saturday’s (10/14) Boston Globe. “This year, the Melrose Symphony Orchestra marks its 100th season…. Nothing—not wars and economic crashes, nor dips in audience attendance or a changing music scene—has stopped them. This September, more than 5,000 fans attended the orchestra’s first-ever, free outdoor Pops concert at Morelli Field…. A mix of professional players and dedicated amateurs makes up the orchestra…. The bulk come from … towns on [Boston’s] North Shore…. [Music Director Yoichi] Udagawa … from Watertown … is also the music director and conductor for the Quincy Symphony Orchestra … and the Cape Ann Symphony…. ‘Sold-out concerts are the norm,’ said general manager Jessi Eisendorf. Audiences regularly fill the nearly 800-seat Memorial Hall [in Melrose]…. Over the century, music stars have appeared onstage with the orchestra, including Arthur Fiedler, the famed Boston Pops Orchestra conductor, actress Maureen O’Hara, and jazz artist Gary Burton. [MSO timpanist Mark] Pilkanis says the MSO is ‘run like a strictly professional group.’ ”

Posted October 18, 2017

Violinist Johanna Szarkowski (center) and fellow members of the Melrose Symphony Orchestra during rehearsal, led by Music Director Yoichi Udagawa. Photo by Josh Reynolds