When the Tri-City Symphony was founded, there were but 16 permanent civic symphony orchestras in the United States. Nearly all of these were in the Northeast or Great Lakes regions, and the Tri-City are was by far the smallest community where such a lofty experiment had been tried. But as in New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Chicago, Davenport had a prosperous and active community of German immigrants determined to establish their own permanent orchestral tradition here. This session will tell the story of the Symphony’s founders and earliest years, its struggles during the Great Depression, and its revival of fortune in the late 1930s and 1940s.
FREE for GAHC&M members, $5 for non-members.
Gates Thomas is a freelance composer, arranger, and music director. Born and raised in Davenport, he was based in New York City for 25 years, writing for the Lionel Hampton Big Band, Bobby McFerrin, Pat Metheny, Gary Burton, Jim Hall, Chris Willis, The New American Orchestra, and many others. Since moving back to Davenport, in October 2020, Gates has maintained his freelance career, and continues to serve as Professor of Contemporary Writing and Production at Berklee College of Music in Boston. In November 2022, he assumed duties as music director of the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of the Quad Cities.
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