A history of the Sharon Civic Orchestra
Redpath, Lisa Marie
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The Sharon Civic Orchestra (SCO) was a community orchestra in Sharon, Massachusetts, from 1948 to 1967. It was founded by local musicians, used school facilities, provided performance opportunities for musicians, and sought to enrich the cultural life of the community. The SCO also participated in the development of the public school music program , supported aspiring local musicians, and nurtured music education throughout the community. The SCO afforded women opportunities to play leadership roles, engaged hundreds of residents in orchestra operations, and attracted both novice and professionally trained performers. Local residents Esther Klein (pianist and first conductor), Jeannette Chase (violinist) , and Margaret Conlin (cellist) were the principal founders. The SCO advocated the hiring of Philip Hoffman, Sharon's first public school instrumental music teacher. Hoffman became an SCO violinist and then its second conductor; acted as a liaison between the SCO, students, and schools; conducted youth concerts; and connected the school music curriculum to SCO repertoire. Hoffman's wife, Phyllis Hoffman, was an SCO French horn player and prize-winning composer. Klein, the Hoffmans, third conductor John Bavicchi, and other SCO members supported music education throughout the town . The SCO inspired adults to take music history courses and generated overflow audiences. The SCO and its Sharon Musical Scholarship Fund contributed toward the purchase of equipment for the school music program and private studies for youth musicians in the New England Conservatory Preparatory Division. Some professional musicians today credit much of their success to the Hoffmans and the SCO. Volunteer professional SCO musicians included Werner Gans, Evelyn Dixon Gulzinski, Frances Kahila, and Karin Messina. SCO youth musicians who became professionals included Edward Altshuler, Richard Dolph, Adrian Hoffman, Edward Klein, and Joseph Klein . Guest performers included Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Rowland Sturges, Fredy Ostrovsky, Ayrton Pinto, and Kenneth Wolf. The SCO had a relatively short lifespan despite member talent and resident commitment. Reasons include lack of strategic plans for recruitment, community support and financial security, changes in Sharon's social structure, and a significant benefactor couple leaving Sharon. Philip Hoffman, the conductor/school music supervisor, also moved away, which severed the main connection between the SCO and public schools.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--Boston University