BRATTLEBORO >> On Friday, September 30, the oldest state symphony in the country will return to Brattleboro as part of its Made In Vermont tour. The Vermont Symphony Orchestra is touring all of Vermont, from Derby Line all the way to Brattleboro.
Founded in the fall of 1934, Vermont Symphony Orchestra has three tours a year in addition to various performances throughout the year at multiple locations statewide. Local musician Kathy Andrew, Vermont Symphony Orchestra assistant concertmaster and violin player, is excited to play a hometown show.
"Nobody beats our awesome Brattleboro hometown crowd! Looking forward to seeing everyone there!!"
Andrew has been with the orchestra since 1990 with a six-year hiatus in the middle. Originally from Los Alamos, New Mexico, she moved to Brattleboro in 1989 after earning her Master of Music degree from the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, to work with the late Brattleboro Music Center founder, Blanche Morse. Andrew intended to stay for six months to a year and has been here since. Now, 26 years later, she considers Brattleboro her home and is absolutely smitten with life here.
"I love living in Brattleboro and have cultivated an interesting life here, avoiding the big city rat race almost completely, and instead enjoying the more peaceful and beautiful quality of southern Vermont life."
Andrew teaches music at the Brattleboro Music Center as well as at her private studio in Lebanon, New Hampshire. She is a member of the Springfield (Mass.) Symphony and performs numerous other orchestral, choral, and chamber music concerts throughout the year.
Andrew will be playing a beautiful new 2016 violin made by local violin maker Doug Cox in Friday's performance. The instrument is handmade out of local spruce and maple. Cox's instruments are lovingly made in his warm, light-filled studio on Sunset Lake Road overlooking the foothills of Vermont. Cox was educated in Germany at the State Violin Making School in the late 1960s. He has been dedicated to making fine new instruments since 1981, having made over 800 of them.
The Vermont Symphony Orchestra has a dynamic new executive director, Benjamin Cadwaller. A Mannes College of Music graduate, Cadwaller has been with the orchestra for 11 months. He was born in Pennsylvania but moved to South Burlington as a young child. He is excited to bring the orchestra to Brattleboro.
"Brattleboro is an essential hub for the arts in Vermont. Making Brattleboro a permanent stop on this tour is a natural choice," he said. "We're thrilled to be connecting to the thriving arts community in southern Vermont, and look forward to many more years of music-making in that wonderful town."
Cadwaller loves encountering people who are unfamiliar with classical music. He believes that music brings people together. His future plans and dreams for the Vermont Symphony Orchestra include reaching a new audience while energizing and revitalizing the orchestra's existing audience.
"We accomplish this by responding creatively to a rapidly changing environment and actively seeking collaboration and partnership with wildly creative individuals, pioneering companies, and cultural institutions across all art forms."
The Vermont Symphony Orchestra will perform on Friday, September 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the Latchis Theatre in downtown Brattleboro. For more information go to www.vso.org or call the Latchis at 802-254-1109.