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John C. Sullivan

 

My first memories of experiencing a live symphony orchestra were of attending, beginning at age five, concerts of the GR Symphony at the old Civic Auditorium. Of course, it helped that my parents were, at the time, principal wind players in the orchestra. Part of the thrill, of course was to watch and listen for them. But I got to see many great works, including the fully staged ballets Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. I was introduced to symphonies, overtures and concertos, and heard, for the first time, many fine artists solo with the Symphony.

 

Later I had the good fortune to study with several GR Symphony violinists,

and during my final year in high school I played the entire season with the Symphony. This was always mentioned on my resume as my first professional orchestral experience.

 

Without the excitement of hearing and seeing a live symphony orchestra, my upbringing would have been much the poorer. I hate to think of the Symphony going down hill after all the gains it has made over the years.

 

Keep Grand Rapids vibrant and growing by supporting your fine Symphony Orchestra!

 

John C. Sullivan

Violinist, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra