Kevin Mcmahon | music director and conductor

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Note from the Board President

“At 211 degrees, water is hot.
At 212 degrees, it boils.
And with boiling water comes steam.
And with steam, you can power a train.”

S. L. Parker’s, 212 The Extra Degree

FIlicky Peneski portrait1The Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra was built and sustained by those who understood what just one extra degree could do. Our orchestra was founded by music lovers, many of whom were immigrants, who proudly reflected the early German heritage of the community. Symphony musicians bravely played through two World Wars, bringing spiritual sustenance to their neighbors and friends. They didn’t do anything different or anything bizarre. They didn’t “work harder.” They were just committed and took action on that commitment. They got up each morning, came to practice, and performed.

Then for a time in our history, the Sheboygan Symphony was housed in The Sheboygan Recreation Department. The orchestra needed a strong partner to survive, and it found that partner. In that instance, it was the Symphony Board of Directors that went the extra degree.

Because all of our predecessors did what they did then, they created what we have now - the longest continuously playing symphony in the State of Wisconsin.

Fast forward to 2017. We have been working at 211 degrees for a number of years. We are doing some things very well. We are supporting our Sheboygan Youth Symphony and the Sinfonia. Our Symphony Chorus has given local vocalists a platform to be creative. The Symphony Carolers bring joy to the Christmas holidays. Our symphony musicians are dedicated to their art. Our current donors are generous and supportive. Our audiences appreciate our efforts. But what would our Symphony family look like if we all went one more degree?

What if you brought a friend with you the next time you attended a concert? Would that friend become a subscriber next season?

What if you are not currently a donor, but you added an additional contribution to the cost of your subscription and became one? Could we worry less about fundraising and start thinking more about “friend-raising”?

What could the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra become at 212 degrees? Perhaps this is the year that we all – musicians, audience members, donors - turn up the heat and find out. At 211 degrees, hot water is just hot. At 212 degrees it can do incredible things.

On behalf of the entire symphony, thank you for being with us in our audience today. We hope that you come again… and that you bring a friend.