+ Music critique was wonderfully perceptive
*This letter was originally sent to June LeBell, Observer music critic.
I loved your wise review of the Thomas Hampson concert. I am a string player and grew up in a musical family of string players. So, I play chamber music mostly and have not had a great interest in vocal music. There was some scorn toward singers in my family because so many of them did not have musical training or solfège, which you need to play a violin. When I went to music school, I had to sing with a singer to keep him on pitch and help him keep his place.
So, I was not thrilled at the prospect of this concert; however, because I am a subscriber, I went. I have rarely enjoyed a concert as much as I did this one. I am a student of American literature and poetry, which I teach at the Academy. When I saw the research he had done on the early songs and the poems set to music, I was enthralled. And, to my ear, his voice was excellent, and I could hear every word and understand it.
I came home walking on air and told all my students about the concert.
I do remember how many people left at intermission and I could not understand why. I thought that perhaps it was too intellectual for some people. Your observation was right on, the Van Wezel is not the place for such a concert. I remembered my childhood in Boston. No one would have considered using Symphony Hall for such a concert. We had Jordan Hall and other locations for such concerts. Why don’t we do that in Sarasota? Do you know why?
Again, I want to thank you for your wonderfully perceptive review of this most excellent concert.
+ A just and well-written opinion
Rod Thomson’s editorial on the Tyson-Trayvon solution was without a doubt, one of the most well-written, informational with “right on” intelligence piece that I have read in my 15 years in Sarasota. It was not the typical “one-sided” opinion you generally see in any newspaper editorial section. I made copies of the entire write up and am sending it to everyone I know. It is a true lesson to any newspaper or magazine on how editorials should be written. No “anger,” “not one sided,” just reason, facts and possible solutions, all in one.
+ ‘Ban the Booze’ My View was great
I very much liked your My View article on “ Banning the Booze “ on the beaches in Sarasota County. Being a writer, you can write articles every few weeks to keep the pressure on the elected officials and on the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and officers. It’s hard to believe the excesses that both sides have made.
Neither side wants to do anything about it, hoping that it will go away.
We are snowbirds four-and-a-half months of the year, and have been for the past six years.