Page 6 - A short history of the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra
P. 6

The first temporary Board consisted of two orchestra representatives, Dot Silverman and Merlin Peterson; two chorus members, Mary Winters and Donald Grisier; and two community members, Betty McCarthy and Waldo Cohn.
In March 1952, the ORSO performed the premiere of an Overture for the Dedication of a Nuclear Reactor, composed by Dr. Arthur Roberts, Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester. A friend of Charmian Cohn, he had introduced her to Waldo (Waldo and Charmian were married in
1942). The overture used letters to denote notes (e.g. the Atomic Energy Commission (A,E,C)), and the work was composed in a style similar to Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings with the climax of the composition signifying a nuclear reactor going critical. The overture was described in Time magazine, which brought a bit of notoriety (or fame) to the ORSO, thanks to publicist and violinist June Adamson.
Anthony Raisis (1955–59) served as the Oak Ridge Symphony's second conductor. A very good violinist and an emotional conductor, Tony provided good leadership. In 1959 Tony left Oak Ridge for a position with the San Diego school system. During his tenure, he supplied Dot Silverman (who previously had played alongside the concertmaster in the first violin section) with a school viola so that she could become acquainted with the instrument and its range. Dot played the viola until the end of her tenure with the ORSO in 1995. In later years, she sometimes served as principal viola in the ORSO.

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