Symphony Notes

Symphony Notes is Maestro Kevin Rhodes’ guest column in the Traverse City Record-Eagle. New articles appear quarterly.


October 23, 2020

Optimism as we resourcefully navigate COVID conditions

    “The glass is definitely at least half full at the Traverse Symphony this season!

    While that normally wouldn’t sound like an overly positive statement, in the era of COVID, for the performing arts it’s a godsend. For an industry which relies upon as many people as possible collecting in a specific place at a specific time, the challenging times in which we find ourselves is unlike anything those of us alive today have experienced.”


September 11, 2020

Pandemic did not silence TSO
Guest Columnist, Susan Cogswell, President TSO Board of Directors

    “I am already looking forward to the future when we can once again hear first-hand the rich smooth tones of the trombones, the low rumbling of the tympani, the distinctive voice of the clarinet and the harmonic sounds of the string sections.”

July 24, 2020

Creative innovation will carry us through challenges
Guest Columnist, Dr. Kedrik Merwin, TSO Executive Director

    “What I’ve learned, though, is what is valuable is not talent, but creativity — and creativity can be taught. … When there is no roadmap to follow, we need the innovators, those who are practiced in creativity.”

May 8, 2020

A new era of ‘Rambo-style’ home production, and hope for the future

    “Planning, even in the best of times, requires a great deal of hope. It always has a certain stab-in-the-dark quality to it — and hope — both of which have never been stronger that right now.”

March 27, 2020

We will appreciate being together when the time comes

    “I never imagined a moment in time when it would be forbidden to come together to play and listen to live music, but that time has arrived.
    I look forward to its end.”

January 10, 2020

We are moved by Beethoven’s struggle

    “2020 is here and along with it, the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the greatest geniuses and humanists the world has ever known.”

Novemeber 11, 2019

“What I actually do

    ‘What do you actually do?” In the nearly 40 years since I first received a few dollars to conduct as a teenager, that is the question I’m most often asked.

August 23, 2019

TSO takes on Wagner in season opener

    Music, art and all things cultural as well as geopolitical reached a precipice in the early 20th century which resulted in World War I. Certainly the industrial revolution played a role in that event, as it also did in the creation of the figure of Richard Wagner.

April 19, 2019

Flying horses, love potions, super heroes

    For those who have not experienced the music of Wagner live, I cannot begin to describe what you’re in for. It’s not surprising that people who are otherwise not big fans of classical music are drawn to the music of Wagner.

June 29, 2018

Musical magic requires writing in pencil
Guest Columnist, Gary Gatzke, TSO Principal Bass

    Perched high on my stool, overlooking a vast sea of stringed instruments, I always wonder to myself if I might have the best seat in the house.
Symphony Notes