Page 7 - A short history of the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra
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Eugene Cohen (1959-61) followed Anthony Raisis as the ORSO conductor in 1959 and he served for 2 years. His appointment was criticized by some members of the symphony and especially by Waldo Cohn who labeled Eugene as "a student conductor." I believe this statement was repudiated by Cohen's performance of the Berlioz Requiem on April 8,
1961. There had been some discussion regarding who would conduct this work, the chorus conductor, Edward Francis, or Eugene Cohen, who eventually conducted the Requiem. Numerous brass players of the KSO played in this performance to support Cohen, who played second trumpet in the KSO.
Barbara and Jim Marable, concertmaster and principal cellist, who were not in favor of Cohen's reappointment for a second year, moved to Knoxville about this time and left the ORSO to join the KSO. Meyer (Mike) Silverman, who took over the presidency of the orchestra board at the end of Cohen's first year, led a concerted effort to reappoint Cohen for a second year in a split board decision.
Eugene Cohen was not reappointed for a third year and Franklin Choset, a musician with a strong background in opera, was chosen as conductor for both the orchestra and chorus. His wife, Maika, was an excellent pianist and appeared twice as an ORCMA soloist.
Frank's tenure (1961–68) as conductor lasted through the 1967–68 season. During that period, numerous operas were performed by the ORSO and the Oak Ridge Chorus. On November 17, 1962, Samson & Delilah was performed with famed Metropolitan Opera baritone, Sherrill Milnes, singing the part of the High Priest. Later operas performed were The Marriage of Figaro, Madame Butterfly, and the Consul by Giancarlo Menotti. Starting in the 1965 season, Roberta Silverman joined her parents in the ORSO. It was unique that three performers in the same family performed with the ORS0.
 Late in 1965, numerous members (including June Adamson, Waldo

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