Dear Orchestra Friends,

This week, the NOVA Symphony Orchestra, the Reunion Music Society, and so many others lost a very dear friend. Dr. Ann Reynolds, past president and founding member of the Reunion Music Society, passed away on August 9th, just a few days before her eighty-ninth birthday. Dr. Reynolds was a true friend and loyal fan of the orchestra, a passionate supporter of the RMS, a life-long educator, and a tireless advocate for the arts. To say that she will be missed does not fully express what so many of you who have already said so eloquently in your phone calls and emails.

Song and I have spent the past week in Sedona, Arizona, a beautiful and serene location that, for me, seems to induce personal reflection. While enjoying the sublime natural beauty of this place, I have spent much time thinking about teachers, specifically those who have played a role in my life. As many of them seem to be taking their “final bow,” I find that although I am deeply saddened at losing them, in many important ways, I haven’t lost them. Somehow, the time we spent together and the many things that I learned from them seem to have an everlasting quality.  There’s no doubt that I learned a great deal from Dr. Reynolds. Her kindness, her generosity, her practical nature, her mastery of the English language, and most of all her unwavering faithfulness have all played an indelible role in the shaping of my life. I know that her family, friends, colleagues, and former students would all say the same thing.

In these final days of summer, and as we face the many challenges that lie ahead, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on those who have served as teachers in your life. As you do, I’m sure you will (as I often do) become cognizant of the fact that whether they are near or far, in this world or the next, they are still with you .  .  .

.  .  .  and for that, I am truly grateful.

Christopher E. Johnston

Music Director