It is wonderful to be back in Milwaukee after more than three months on the road and it is even more exciting to be gearing up for the start to my second season with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. The great thing about preparing for this second season is the excitement for me stays the same, but the uncertainty and, well… fear… is far less than last year!

I’ll write more soon about our all-Mendelssohn opening weekend – but the unofficial start to our season actually begins this Tuesday, September 11: a free, outdoor concert in the Peck Pavilion at the Marcus Center, 6pm. It is just a simple one-hour, after-work performance to bring the Milwaukee community together to remember and honor all those affected by the tragedy 11 years ago.

I hate to make the whole “music brings us together” argument yet again, but with our lives full of media and technology, it is more important than ever that we find ways to come together as a community. So often, when facing a national tragedy, we become overwhelmed by the news from our computers, TV’s, and phones. I know that I found it incredibly difficult to continue working in the wake of the shootings in my home state of Colorado this summer. But where communication fails to explain such acts, coming together and being together is at least a comfort to be found. I believe that concerts can take away the need to understand incomprehensible events and allow us a space and time to be together – to remember, to honor, and to celebrate. With that in mind, I hope you will join the MSO and me as we remember, honor, and celebrate through an eclectic program of American pops and classical favorites.


About Francesco Lecce-Chong

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