Member Kathie Anderson introduced David Pratt to us on Wednesday morning. David is the Executive Director of the Philharmonic Association, the umbrella group that manages the music matters of the Savannah Philharmonic.  David is a fellow Rotarian, was born and raised in Australia, has spent much of his career in the US where he lived for some time on the west coast; now he is a resident of Savannah.  David used a video presentation to show us the highlights of the Philharmonic's activities, starting out with some history.

 

After being disbanded in 2003, the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra made its debut in February 2009.  Maestro Peter Shannon is the Philharmonic's Conductor and Artistic Director.  The Philharmonic is proud to show growth in its five year history, with a balanced budget and a growing list of subscriptions.  David took a moment to reflect on the (well-publicized) troubles of many famous orchestras in the US and elsewhere in the world; many are in need of money to pay their musicians and to fund performances. Some are mired in controversies vis-a-vis their players and support personnel and confronted with strikes and other personnel troubles.  The Savannah Philharmonic is on solid ground, David told us, and not the least because the community is extraordinarily supportive and committed to its well being; the Landings is a conspicuous member of this community in its patronage of the Philharmonic and its programs.

The Orchestra is comprised of highly trained young musicians, it is held to exacting standards of musicianship by Peter Shannon, and offers a varied program for nine months of the year.  This includes classical music, chamber series, choral performances, soloists, pops, family events, and music from stage and screen.  There are one, often two performances every month except in the summer.  Many of these performances are supported financially by a multitude of sponsors from our business community, all of whom were recognized and listed along with the programs they sponsored in David's presentation.

Image

The Orchestra has an outreach program; to survive it must look to the future both for performers and for audiences.  There are programs in many of the Chatham County Schools, some for players, some for audiences.  The Orchestra personnel who participate in these endeavors cannot keep up with the demand for their services.  There is music offered in the hospitals, where it helps with soothing and healing even the sickest patients.  The Children's Hospital at Memorial offers another audience for the Orchestra's music.

Image

David asked us why it is important for a city to have a vibrant prosperous professional orchestra?  He explained that such an institution conveys a very positive message about the city and its life.  The availability of high quality musical performances on a regular and frequent basis in a city sends a message about the cultural life of that city, a message to its citizens, to its visitors, and to those who might consider living there. Thus it has a substantial economic impact which in turn supports the musicians and the orchestra staff and makes it possible for them to continue to offer music for all tastes.

Image

 
Sponsors