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Albanians need to grab hold of cultural opportunities

By   /   November 18, 2013  /   Comments

“There’s nothing to do!”

That’s the unofficial battle cry of the Albanian.  Residents of our city have often railed about how there are so few opportunities to do things, other than go to bars and “hang out”.  Unfortunately, they’re ignoring some great opportunities to support local culture.

I’ll admit it, I’ve been in that camp as well.  You see, this past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s Beethoven and Blue Jeans performance on Saturday.  The opportunity came because my mother, Albany Journal Managing Editor Bonnie Jefferson, is one of the two surviving founding members of the symphony.  She had been invited to attend as a special guest, and she asked me to go with her.

Now, I’m not generally a fan of classical music.  It’s beautiful to listen to, but it just wasn’t my thing.  However, the truth is, I’ve been missing out for years.

Intellectually, I knew the symphony was world class, but that still didn’t prepare me for what I was about to witness.  As the performers began by putting lips to their instruments or putting bows to strings, releasing an angelic cacophony from their wooden and metallic tombs.  Such diverse instruments blending together perfectly to create something so complex as to seem random, yet fit together in such a melodious way that word “random” has no place in such a discussion.

I won’t say that I’m a “fan” of classical music, but I am clearly a fan of the Albany Symphony Orchestra.  Dr. Claire Fox Hilliard and the rest of the orchestra put on a show that most Albanians are missing.  Oh, they catch the Peppermint Pops from time to time, but that’s not the same thing.  While they do a fantastic job playing Christmas favorites, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” isn’t quite the same thing as Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

The next time you go to say that there’s nothing to do in our fair city, ask yourself if you have been doing an adequate job supporting what we do have first.  Having more entertainment is all fine and good, but that isn’t going to happen if we’re not supporting what is already here.  Judging from the number of empty seats I saw on Saturday night, not nearly enough people are doing that.

It’s time for the Symphony to receive your support.  You will not be disappointed.

Tom Knighton is the Editor and Publisher of the Albany Journal.

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