On May 2, Hilton Head Island lost one of its real treasures when Mary Woodmansee Green conducted her last concert with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra.
Over 13 years, she has contributed much to the community, while building our professional orchestra, its chorus, the Orchestra League and suggesting the idea for our celebrated concours. There is little doubt that the orchestra and its associated events attract many seasonal visitors to enjoy our island.
The house was full for Green's last hurrah. A large number of patrons wore green to honor her and to protest her unwarranted dismissal. While the board is adamant, the patrons are equally determined that termination of Green is a huge mistake.
Green opened with the orchestra, chorus and audience singing "The Star-Spangled Banner." She then launched a very challenging program. Featured were Verdi's "Triumphal March and Ballet" and a Bach concerto performed by a large string group from the orchestra, led by concert master Terry Moore and youth orchestra conductor Jonathan Aceto. She wrapped up the evening with a remarkable rendition of "The Planets" by Gustav Holst, accompanied by an ethereal video presentation of the planets. The audience responded with standing ovations for each segment of Green's program.
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The board wants something "different." Why? The audience does not. There is little doubt that there is a "wait-and-see" attitude among many patrons regarding tickets for the next season.
Kenneth R. and Phyllis B. Anderson
Hilton Head Island