I was born and raised in Galesburg, Ill. Throughout my childhood, music held an important role. I played piano and cello and sang in local choirs. I moved to Colorado for college and have lived there since. My wife, Irene, and I have sung in choirs for many years. My professional life is that of a school counselor.Classical music has always been my first musical love. When I realized that [Saturday's] program would have a Russian theme, I was enthusiastic. I have traveled to Russia three times. I will be conducting part of the 1812 Overture. As a grade school kid, I purchased an LP record of the overture and 'conducted' it many times with a pencil. I was keen on knowing more about the history of this piece and read about Napoleon's advance towards Moscow, followed by the ultimate Russian victory. To be leading the orchestra in this piece is a childhood dream come true. My mother, Norma Coss, put my name forward last spring and I am here tonight because of Norma's support for classical music in Downey. I am in her debt to have this great opportunity to conduct the Downey Symphony Orchestra. My thanks to conductor Sharon Lavery, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in June 2010. My hometown has a college/community symphony, and my grandmother and I regularly attended concerts. I witness firsthand how a local orchestra can inspire young folks to know a world beyond their own. I wish the Downey Symphony the best and say "Bravo" to all you do in community outreach in addition to your annual orchestral programs. Thanks to all associated with the symphony for taking the time to work with me in this exciting evening.
********** Published: March 31, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 50