I arrived in Redlands in early June completely incognito, because our intrepid president, Paul Ideker, had managed to keep the news of my appointment as Music Director a total secret until the day of the annual Gala on June 4. He took that job seriously and made sure that no one even saw me about town, although we were busy with planning meetings. Then, in the middle of the spectacular Gala dinner, our new Chairman of the Board, Jerry Bean, announced a special surprise to the crowd, and out I jumped from the kitchen area.

My only regret is that they didn’t have a giant cake for me to pop out of!

After the excitement calmed down a bit, I spoke briefly to the crowd and expressed my sincere gratitude and exhilaration at being the newest citizen of Redlands! There surely isn’t another small town like it anywhere: a city that is working, full of people who genuinely support their fellow citizens, and who care about the future. Someone actually referred to it as “sophisticated Mayberry”! That’s a really funny idea, but one that I love.

I also outlined some of my philosophies, hopes, and dreams for the Redlands Symphony. Over the next few posts, I will share that with you as well. I am so looking forward to working with you all, and to building on Maestro Jon Robertson’s incredible legacy.

Musically yours,



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