Win tickets to Fresno Philharmonic’s tribute to veterans

I’m looking forward to the Fresno Philharmonic’s concert on Sunday for a couple of reasons.

For one, it’ll be Rei Hotoda’s second time on the podium as the orchestra’s new music director. She has a moving program titled “Homage” planned that includes Beethoven’s famed Symphony No. 5 and returning guest artist Orion Weiss, who will playing Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

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Secondly (and more personally), I’m actually going to be an official part of the afternoon! I’ll be guest-hosting the pre-concert lecture, “Words on Music,” at 2 p.m. in the Saroyan Theatre. On stage with me will be Hotoda. She and I will talk about the program — which has a Veterans Day theme — and also a little about her as a person off the podium, based on a profile I’m writing that will be posted later this week.

I hope you’ll be able to make it for my own Fresno Philharmonic “debut.” One way I can help: I’m giving away two pairs of tickets to the 3 p.m. Sunday performance. Here’s how you enter: Leave a comment on this post telling us about a veteran in your life and what he or she means to you. (And if you don’t know one personally, you can speak in more general terms.) Or, if you’d rather, just tell us why you want to go to the concert.


I’ll pick two winners at random. You’ll be able to pick up your tickets at Will Call. Deadline to enter is 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 10. I’ll get back to the winners later that morning.

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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

Comments (13)

  • Would love to attend! Thanks for the information. 😀

  • Stephen

    We don’t have the space for me to wax eloquently on the service of veterans. As a young Jewish boy I was awash in stories of the holocaust (a ‘never forget’ thing). Part of those stories was relaying how exhaustingly elated these people were to see Allied troops coming to their aid.

    More selfishly, since I was around 10 years old and saw “Conrack” I have worshipped and adored Beethoven’s seminal Fifth.

  • Jasmin Kloos

    I’d really love to see our new conductor navigate the Beethoven 5th, sounds incredible. Please pick me!!!

  • Amelia Ryan

    I’d love to go. Who doesn’t love Beethoven’s Fifth? I’m really sorry I missed the first concert of the year.

    • Amelia Ryan

      Let me add to my comment. My Dad, a WWII Navy vet, died three years ago. We had moved him and my Mom out to CA in 2010 where we could take better came of them. At the little memorial gathering that we held at my house, my brother said something that summed up the gift he had given to us. He said that Dad bequeathed to us the idea that all culture, no matter how high, was ours to enjoy. The best that civilization had to offer was not the exclusive property of any elite. Dad had filled the house with classical music — although he didn’t play an instrument, he was a great music lover — and we watched Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts on PBS. On weekend mornings, we were sometimes awakened by some great classical warhorse blasting on the radio.
      He didn’t talk about the war much, but, after serving from 1943 through the occupation of Japan, he had come home with a TB diagnosis and had to spend a couple of months in a veterans hospital. He had a lot of time to read and think about what to do with the rest of his life, and he used the GI Bill to go back to school and study architecture. While doing that, he met Mom, a Cadet Nursing Corps nurse who used to stand in line for student rush tickets to the Chicago Symphony. They shared a world view that included the idea that, even though they were from poor backgrounds, nothing was “too good” for them. I like to think that we passed that idea on to their grandkids.

  • Laurie Zimmer

    I’m thankful to those that have served this country.

  • Vicki Cheney

    I would love to go to this concert.

  • Amy Roberts

    My father in law served in WWII. I am so thankful for his service and wish he had lived long enough to go on an honor flight. We have a diary of his artillary unit’s march thru Europe and plan to follow it one day.

  • Very nice.

  • Lisa Gluskin

    I’m a big fan of Bartok. While taking piano lessons, it was his compositions that got me excited to play.

    And veterans…my father joined the Navy at age 17 during WW II, and my ex-husband served in Vietnam. They’re both gone now but I’d like to think hearing this music would bring them closer to me for a moment; my dad was a pianist and musician, and my ex was always appreciative of the beauty others create.

  • Annette Simmons

    My father is a World War II Navy veteran who fought in every major Pacific battle. As a sixteen year old senior at Roosevelt, he and 50 other senior boys were called to a meeting by the principal, who told them America was losing the war. All of them present at the meeting had enough credits to graduate and the principal told them he wanted all of them to leave school to enlist.

    All 51 boys did, including the ASB president, varsity football players, potential valedictorians…

    My dad is so proud of his service, and I am so proud of him.

    His special love is music, and I woold love to take him to this concert.

  • Eva Mee

    My dad was a veteran of the army. He is gone now but he loved to go to the ny philharmonic before we moved to Fresno, he would have loved to have seen this.

  • Linda Ramirez

    My dad WWll. Reminds me of when I was in trouble. Beethoven’s 5th that is.


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