Message From the President....
"Welcome back!" Two simple words, but words expressing warmest regards, appreciation, enthusiasm, reflections and memories of lost opportunities, experiences and togetherness and the pronouncement of an exciting post pandemic era for the Albany Symphony Orchestra. For more than a year all our lives and activities have been affected and we have had to face new challenges and find new solutions. The Albany Symphony Orchestra, Albany and Southwest Georgia's orchestra, like similar organizations has had to be flexible, creative and persistent just to maintain viability. Through the devoted hard work of the Board, under the capable leadership of immediate past president M. Matthew Phelps, and the professionalism of our Operations Manager, LeeAnna Anglin, and of course Maestro Claire Fox Hilliard, we remain intact and poised for a bright future. As the incoming president for the 2021-2022 Season, it is my personal pleasure and honor to greet you with those words—"Welcome back!" Welcome back to superb live symphonic performances by our excellent musicians and guest artists.
Although the orchestra was silent, except for a wonderful Peppermint Pops in December and some Symphony ala Carte performances, the Board has been busy reassessing, adapting, planning and revising for this moment. We were able to maintain our office and staff from PPP, grants and individual gifts. As a result, and now that the time has arrived, we have an excellent concert season planned for your enjoyment, along with other related activities such as Link Up and Symphony ala Carte. Also, the Symphony will perform in a variety of venues and settings, expanding and enriching the concert experience for concert attendees. Every challenge brings with it a new opportunity to learn something new and to do other things better. Examples for us are mixed and new venues, a newly developed long-term plan, new and improved ticketing and an improved and updated social media platform, to name a few. None of this could have been possible without the support of our Foundation and your support. We have welcomed several new members to the Board as we also seek a new executive director and a permanent home for the association.
Albany is most fortunate to have its very own symphony orchestra, an asset not possessed by many much larger cities. A city that affectionately and proudly touts itself as "The Good Life City" deserves such an asset. It is the core purpose of the Board, staff and Maestro Hilliard to maintain this asset and present it and make it accessible to an ever-broadening audience. Many of you through gifts and countless other ways have been indispensable to achieving our goal. We need, appreciate and look forward to your continued support. Most of all, we look forward to sharing great music with you! Welcome back to our old friends and a special welcome to our new friends.
The Honorable W. Louis Sands, President
Albany Symphony Association Board of Directors