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Kevin Mcmahon | music director and conductor

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Note from the Board President

“In a world of peace and love, music would be the universal language.”
Henry David Thoreau

FIlicky Peneski portrait1

Take a moment to think about this:  A musician in any country can pick up a musical score and know what note is to be sounded, and precisely how long it is to be played.  If you think about our amazing world of cultures, climates and peoples, as well as its myriad of musical instruments, music must surely be one of its wonders - The Universal Language.

If music is truly a universal language, can we be far from Thoreau's vision of a world of peace and love?

Our orchestra's history may give us some hints: We have played through two World Wars. As men went off to compose the army's ranks, women composed our orchestra's ranks. Throughout the decades, we have played through the Korean conflict, the Vietnam War, and Afghanistan. And...

We have also played for those who soulfully asked the world to "Make love, not war."  And, we have also played for those whose voices united to ask "...The World to sing, in perfect harmony..."

Music gives us access to something bigger than each of us.  Could it be that when we hear music, whether it comes from Russia, China, the Mid-East or our own Midwest, that for just a brief time, we come together as one people?  I would like to think so.

As we move into the next Sheboygan Symphony century, let us unite as one community and be mindful of the universal language that we are speaking.  Let us commit to the generations who will follow us.  After all, it is truly a fitting legacy that we leave.  We all love music.  We all crave the peace and love that it brings.

Let's pass it on.