TSO, Toledoans Conquer CarnegiePublished: 05/10/2011 7:00 am By: Katie Warchol
“I walked on stage for the first time today for the rehearsal and almost burst into tears. It was just like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ It’s like the Mount Olympus for us. It’s THE place.”
An ornately adorned wooden door swung open and Toledo Symphony Orchestra musicians streamed out onto the Carnegie Hall stage, some immediately taking their seats, some taking a moment to breathe in the history of those musical greats who have come before them. One of them was Cheryl Trace, violinist and 20-year veteran of the Orchestra.
“Just walking on stage and thinking, ‘Wow, we’re gonna be here too,” she continued. The Orchestra’s two-year road to the famed concert hall came to an apex last Saturday as part of the Spring for Music Festival in New York City, a brand-new festival encouraging musical innovation from the country’s top symphonies. The Toledo Symphony was chosen from a pool of sixty orchestra applicants for this inaugural event. The Symphony’s program included Shostakovich’s Sixth Symphony, followed by the play Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, written Tom Stoppard and with music by composer and conductor André Previn. The piece was a collaborative effort between the Symphony, Glacity Theatre Collective, University of Toledo faculty and Maumee Valley Country Day School students as cast and crew.
Countless hours went into the polished product, and that afternoon saw the orchestra slowly warming up in the legendary space. Much like the people in the bustling city just beyond the crisp white walls adorned with flourishes of gold leaf, each musician immersed themselves in their own worlds. A rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat of a snare drum, an actor gesturing to an invisible audience, the wild, scraping of strings and the menacing, lumbering of a timpani. Eighty melodies all at once bouncing all around the plush red velvet seats.
“It was crazy,” said Trace. “Such an honor to be able to be chosen for this. It’s bonded the orchestra even more. It’s bonded the community who’s behind us. I feel this flood of support.” The strange and beautiful madness came to an abrupt halt when Conductor Stefan Sanderling appeared. They listened to his directions and pushed off at once into the thick ether. A musical machine pumping in perfect harmony.
“It’s not just me, it’s the whole group, and it’s like we’re like a team. When I came here 20 years ago with the orchestra it didn’t have that feeling so much, and it’s really grown a lot and this has just pushed us that much further.” More than musicians coming together for the momentous occasion, Trace