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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2011 6 years ago

Play On!

Many Winter Parkers may want to join me in my sincere expression of thanks to Beth Dillaha
by: Louis Roney Staff Writer

•Persons closely associated with arts presenter organizations know that they are usually founded by people of knowledge, determination and “guts” who, when they retire, may not be easily replaced. There are perhaps few successful “starters” in any field, but, God knows, a plethora of “finishers”.

In 1984, my b.w. and I saw our dream creation, a “Carnegie Hall in Orlando”, begin its International world-class orchestral presentations in Central Florida.

We founded Festival of Orchestras in our living room with three knowledgeable friends, all now deceased.

On my 80th birthday, after 17 years of memorable world-class concerts, b.w. and I retired. We turned the organization over to leadership eager to wear the title, but understandably lacking experience in directing an arts presenter organization. We had made bookings into the future intending to sustain our successor until experience took over as teacher.

It is not easy to find leadership having the unique, imaginative money-raising ability upon which music presenting organizations must rely.

However, those taking over a group may find inertia on hand sufficient to keep things going.

In most communities, the affection and need for an excellent arts group might suffice to protect it, in good and bad economic weather.

In 1984, b.w. and I, as founders, dared to challenge the absence of world-class orchestral performance in Central Florida. For 17 years, we labored without pause to provide all financial requisites — and we succeeded. The job requires ongoing nonstop fundraising.

Now, 10 years after our retirement, the Festival of Orchestras’ present leadership has tested its forward inertia and found it wanting.

We are deeply disappointed that Festival of Orchestras, even reduced to its present four concerts, has been terminated by its Board.

Winston Churchill once said, “I did not become Prime Minister to preside over the dissolution of the British Empire.”

We know exactly how Winston felt…

Without world-class orchestras, the quality of symphonic performance in Central Florida is now right back where we started 27 years ago.


• Whenever a source of energy hits a snag, Leftist profit-seekers and ecology cultists keep energy prices high by beating the drum for us to look elsewhere to fulfill our energy needs. Despite recent events in Japan, let us not forget that nuclear energy is the safest energy source we have, is permanently available and has few mishaps. Newer nuclear facilities have proven safe — so far.

•Many Winter Parkers may want to join me in my sincere expression of thanks to Beth Dillaha, whose fine work as a city commissioner was a model of civic dedication and energy.

•“Man’s most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe.” —Euripides

•“I’ve been waiting for Friday at 5 since Monday at 9.” —any stenographer

• Wife: “What are you doing?” Husband: “Nothing.”

Wife: “Nothing? You’ve been reading our marriage certificate for an hour.” Husband: “I was looking for the expiration date.”

• Wife: “Do you want dinner?” Husband: “Sure! What are my choices?” Wife: “Yes or no.”

• “It’s not what you pay a man, but what he costs you that counts.” —Will Rogers

• One day during lunch at the Round Table in New York’s Algonquin Hotel, a famous actor uttered a brilliant “bon-mot.” A fellow Round Tabler said, “I wish I had said that.” “You will,” quipped Dorothy Parker.

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