Page 4 - A short history of the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra
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held that post longer than Waldo, although it was equaled by Robert Lyall's tenure (1979–90).
Among those who left Oak Ridge were members of the Special Engineers Detachment (SED), soldier/scientists who were drafted for the Manhattan Project. In one photograph of the ORSO, they were lined up in the fir•st violin section as follows: Sgt. Philip Karp (a fine violinist who was a soloist), Cpl. John Helms, Private Rita Bringer and Pvt. Stuart Bloom. Additional soldier scientists who played with the ORSO during its 1944–45 season were violinists Sgt. Aaron Gordon, Pvt. Stephen Gavin, Pvt. Kenneth Hamrock, violist Pvt. Raymond Blanco, cellist Sgt. Abram Levitt, and percussionist Sgt. Harry Lane.
During the war years and subsequent period, Waldo performed numerous tasks normally done by others. Dottie Silverman wrote from memory of the extent of Waldo Cohn's contribution to the budding orchestra: "As stage manager, Waldo swept the floors, set up chairs, moved the piano or anything else that needed moving. As personnel manager he called, cajoled and corralled as many musicians as he could. As librarian he begged, borrowed and/or purchased music with a lean budget and built up an extensive library. He studied scores in his spare time, since by avocation he was a cellist, not a conductor. As publicity manager he wrote articles for the local paper and even on occasion wrote a review. As treasurer he kept accurate records of accounts. Finally, I recall that when the details were taken care of, this dedicated bio-musician would wipe his brow, comb his hair, put on his tuxedo jacket, pull the curtains, adjust the lights, walk to the podium, bow, lift his baton and transport himself, the audience, and the musicians into a world of beauty instead of destruction." He managed to obtain instruments for some players and after the war he inserted an ad into Chemical & Engineering News to attract new players to replace departing scientists.

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