Page 5 - A short history of the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra
P. 5

During his time as conductor, Waldo was able to attract outstanding soloists to appear with the orchestra, namely: violinists Albert Spaulding, Isaac Stern; pianists Nadia Reisenberg, Percy Grainger, Yalta Menuhin, and Samuel Sanders. Jacinta Howard was the first concertmaster, serving during the war years (1944-45). When Jacinta Howard left Oak Ridge with her husband, Fred and their family, the concertmaster post was filled by Alice Lyman, a Juilliard graduate, who was a teacher in the Oak Ridge school system and is considered to be one of the finest musicians Oak Ridge ever had.
When the war ended, many good mus icians left for their former jobs, and others to complete their schooling. At that time, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (KSO), which had disbanded during the war, reorganized under Lamar Springfield, a flutist and composer. Both the Oak Ridge and Knoxville Symphonies had lost musicians, therefore, a cooperative agreement between them resulted in combining the best players of each to form a strong orchestra.
The same concert would be performed one night in Knoxville and the following evening in Oak Ridge. When David Van Vactor arrived in Knoxville in 1947 to conduct the KSO, he organized a Music and Fine Arts Department at the University of Tennessee. The above continued cooperation between both orchestras was strengthened especially with the aid of William Starr, KSO concertmaster, who performed several times as a soloist with the ORSO. This situation endured into the early 1950s until both orchestras were able to perform independently.
With the end of the war, arts in Oak Ridge lost their funding which had come from the Army through its civilian contractor, the Roane- Anderson Co. Waldo Cohn suggested the formation of an Oak Ridge Civic Music Association (ORCMA) board to handle the management and to raise the funds for the support of both the orchestra and community chorus.

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