J. Arthur Morris gets the chance of a lifetime

it seems the city would not be recognizable without his notable contributions.His parents' family owned the Downey Hospital, eventually donating it to the city as a community hospital. Art was administrator and still serves on its Board of Directors. He brought up his own family in Downey. He is a longtime member of Downey's Rotary Club and Historical Society, and of our Symphonic Society. And it was as a director of Downey Savings and Loan that Art secured its financial sponsorship for a program still vital to the music education of all of Downey's school children. In support of the Downey Symphony's Music in the Schools outreach, Downey Savings underwrote the costs of the annual third-grade concerts in the Downey Theatre, where kids experienced the thrill of a beautiful auditorium and a huge stage filled with real people who played a concert especially for them. Most of the students heard for the first time Beethoven and Tchaikovsky and the incredible sounds created by musicians in an orchestra. Somewhere in his involvement with the Downey Symphony, attending our concerts year after year, Mr. J. Arthur Morris was bitten by a bug, big time. Call it The Conducting Bug. For many years he had watched successful bidders in the annual Baton Auction lead the entire orchestra, in front of the entire audience, and obviously it was a blast for everyone. He wanted to do that too. Well, his chance came at last. In 2011 his was the winning bid in the Baton Auction, so you will see him tomorrow evening, a delighted man 93 years young, opening the entire show, having a blast. An no one in that theater will be of prouder stature or higher heart than Art Morris. Bravo!

********** Published: March 29, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 50