The Delaware Symphony is a tax-exempt charitable corporation.Its business and affairs are managed by a Board of Directors.We are fortunate to have wonderfully able and talented people who serve on our board as directors.But who elects people to the board? Well, that’s what this article is about.

The Symphony is a Delaware non-stock corporation, which means that we have no stockholders, but Delaware law does require that we have Members. Our Members meet at an Annual Meeting, which our bylaws say must occur in the month of June somewhere in New Castle County. This year, the Annual Meeting will take place at the Delaware Theater Company premises, on Monday, June 18, 2018, beginning at 5:30 p.m. What do the Members do at the Annual Meeting? Well, they elect directors to serve on the board, and they also consider other business that is properly placed before them.


Are you a DSO Member? You may well be. But how are you supposed to find out? Well, it’s very simple. The DSO fiscal year begins each July 1. Did you donate $300 or more to the DSO, either during this current (that is, the 2017-2018) fiscal year, or during the preceding fiscal year (that is, the 2016-2017 fiscal year)? If so, then you are a Member.

But if you are a Member, how are you supposed to find out about the Annual Meeting? Read this newsletter? Well, no: our bylaws provide that the DSO must give Members “notice of the place, date, and time of the Annual Meeting…at least twenty (20) days prior to the date of the Annual Meeting to each member entitled to notice.” So, if you’re a Member, you should have received a timely notice from us.


Well, even if you’re a DSO Member, should you plan to attend our Annual Meeting? We certainly hope you will. Of course, we have no power, or desire, to force anyone to come to a DSO Annual Meeting. But if you do, I think you’re very likely to enjoy the experience. You’ll hear DSO musicians perform and you’ll be able to meet and speak with them later; during the meeting, you’ll hear about our past and future accomplishments, plans, and hopes; you’ll have a chance to speak with the people who make the DSO run; and, yes, you’ll have the opportunity to consider some outstanding people who will be proposed for election by the Members to the board of directors. We hope to see you there.


—Charles W. Babcock, President


There are many joys of being Music Director of the Delaware Symphony: working with wonderful musicians; playing stellar repertoire; engaging with our loyal audience; kindling a love of what we do with new audiences. One of my greatest joys, though, is a relatively private one: programming a season.


Balancing taste with budget, and needs with wants, programming a season is a high-wire act with so many extra-musical constraints each vying for preeminence, that it threatens, without careful thought and guidance, to yield a lumpy, bureaucratic season that willfully pits old-school pot-boilers with brusque, off-putting new works. In the end, those seasons leave all involved—on both sides of the proscenium—with artistic vitamin deficiencies—feeling unsatisfied.


I love the challenge of making a season that is broad, interesting to the audience, interesting to the musicians, has themes for those who crave them, but are subtle enough to overlook for those that don’t want them. I pride myself on my ability, with the help of Alan Jordan and Stephanie Wilson, to make satisfying musical programs that also fit the budget, and that fit the appetite of all involved.


The true measure of my, and our success, is whether people attend. I think we’ve succeeded, and I am optimistic that our 2018-2019 season will succeed too.


Our five Classics concerts cover a lot of territory—from the New World to the Old, from the 18th Century to the 21st. Our opening concert honors Leonard Bernstein’s centenary featuring his Serenade—a masterpiece for solo violin and orchestra (featuring DSO audience favorite Jennifer Koh), two seminal ballet scores: Copland’s Appalachian Spring, and Barber’s (of West Chester!) Meditation and Dance of Vengeance, and a vivid 21st Century portrait of Vermont’s Green Mountains by Robert Paterson.

Our all-American opening is balanced by our final Classics concert. Each work—by Respighi, Rachmaninoff, and Rozsa—either speaks to, or listens to, Hollywood. Respighi’s Fountains of Rome is cinematic in its sweep, drama, and technicolor orchestration; Rachmaninoff’s ripe romanticism of his Third Symphony, though written in Switzerland, speaks the lush language of Hollywood’s golden age. Rozsa’s (El Cid, Ben-Hur) Cello Concerto (featuring brilliant young cellist Nick Canellakis) is concert music written by a silver screen master.


In between these bookends, we’ll investigate Beethoven’s relationship to revolutionary values with his Third Symphony and Cherubini’s glorious Requiem—a work Beethoven held in higher regard than Mozart’s. Soprano Mary Wilson will return to The Grand for Strauss’s final work, his Four Last Songs. Steeped in post-war, late-career melancholy, it is the last breath of Romanticism. We’ll also welcome living legend Leon Fleisher. With a career beginning in the 1940s, he has worked with the greats—from Szell to Schnable. It will be deeply inspiring for us all to share the stage with him in Mozart’s 12th piano concerto. All this, plus Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony (Winter Dreams), Bruckner’s 7th, Sibelius’s Night Ride and Sunrise. I have worked hard to create a season that has variety and balance—a season that presents new works and old, familiar and not— all great; all satisfying; all compelling. My 16th season. Sweet 16 it is.


—David Amado, Music Director



A Little Summer Music

At my last job, the end of the winter concert season brought little sense of closure, as staff, musicians, and patrons anticipated a busy outdoor summer concert tour. For two weeks, the orchestra traveled—like a circus show, with production vehicles (tent, stage, lights, sound, and orchestra equipment), musicians, staff, and some groupies, zig-zagging across the state—performing practically every night on ski slopes, concert meadows, polo grounds; anywhere we could fit the production, the audience, and hundreds of parked cars.

Here in Delaware, we are not quite ready to mount such a formidable undertaking, but we scheduled our first summer concert in five years last June, when the DSO made its debut at Longwood Gardens’ Open Air Theater as part of that venerable botanical mecca’s summer performing arts series. The event went so well that Longwood Gardens broke with tradition (not presenting the same group two years in a row) and engaged the DSO to perform another concert this summer. On Sunday, July 8, 2018, beginning at 7:30 pm, David Amado and the DSO will be joined by the wonderful, award-winning violinist Jennifer Koh in a program of music by Mendelssohn and Brahms. Following Mendelssohn’s Overture to Fair Melusina, Koh will perform that composer’s violin concerto, perhaps the most popular work of that genre because of its condensed and simple format, yet chock-full of passion, virtuosity, and memorable tunes. (This will serve as a preview for our opening Classical Series concert September 28 and 30, 2018, when Jennifer returns to Delaware to perform Leonard Bernstein’s only work for orchestra and solo violin, Serenade.) The second half will offer a work I have wanted to experience performed outside for my entire career: Brahms’ Serenade No. 1 is as inspired as any of his symphonies, and still its horn calls, dances, and cheerful buoyancy throughout make it the perfect work for summer outdoor fun.


We want Longwood Gardens to be even happier with this return engagement; so much so, that they consider making the DSO summer concert an annual offering. Tickets remain, but they will sell quickly as people start making their summer cultural plans. Get the best seats remaining by going online to and order today!

But that’s not enough for the summer of 2018. Four days earlier, the DSO will return to Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park in Wilmington to perform a free outdoor Fourth of July concert, concluding with a spectacular fireworks display. This concert is made possible through the Wilmington Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. David Amado will lead the program of American favorites by Dudley Buck, Aaron Copland, John Philip Sousa (of course!), Leonard Bernstein and John Williams, and end with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with the Bells of Remembrance. We hope you can add this wonderful event to your holiday calendar. (A rain date of July 5th has been planned.)


Another thing that DSO patrons can look forward to this summer: the new DSO online box office will launch on August 1, 2018. Ticket buyers will now be able to order tickets for all DSO presentations, including Classics Series concerts, either online at or through the DSO office. (The Grand Opera House Box Office will no longer serve as a DSO ticket outlet.) We hope patrons will enjoy streamlined and more personalized service, and conveniences like print-at-home ticketing, online seat selection, and no handling fees! Watch for more information as we get closer to the launch.


We are so grateful to you, our concert attendees and donors, for your ongoing support. All of us at the Delaware Symphony Orchestra wish you an enjoyable and musically satisfying summer.


—Alan Jordan, Executive Director


It’s not too late to join the 110 Club! If you are currently a Member of the Delaware Symphony Association, (or would like to become one–gifts over $300 in either this or last fiscal year qualify), you are invited to join the 110 Club. For an additional gift to the DSO, members enjoy opportunities for several exclusive functions during the year. The next 110 Club event is on Sunday, July 8, 2018. A special package has been arranged for the 110 Club members for the DSO’s return engagement at Longwood Gardens that will include all-day Garden admission, a special pre-concert dinner in a private dining room, as well as a ticket to the performance.


To join, or for more information, contact Alan Jordan, Executive Director. 302-656-7442, ext. 1001


MONDAY, June 18, 2018 5:30 – 7:30 PM

Delaware Symphony Association Annual Meeting and Reception Delaware Theatre Company


200 Water Street Wilmington, DE 19801 


RSVP: 302-656-7442 or

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4, 2018 – 8:00 PM

DSO Concert

David Amado, conductor

American favorites by Buck, Copland, Sousa, Bernstein, and Williams, Plus the 1812 Overture. Concluding with fireworks! Wilmington’s 4th of July Freedom Celebration on the Riverfront Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park No admission charge. Rain Date, July 5

SUNDAY, JULY 8, 2018 – 7:30 PM

DSO Concert at Longwood Gardens

Open Air Theatre, Kennett Square, PA

David Amado, conductor

Jennifer Koh, violin

Music of Mendelssohn and Brahms


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SPRING 2018 Clef Notes



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