A MEDLEY OF
Musical Milestones As the Wilmington Symphony prepares for its golden anniversary concert, the focus is on the future
BY VERA WILSON
Above: Christine Maynard is the new concertmaster for the Wilmington
Symphony Orchestra. Opposite top: Conductor Steven Errante is celebrating
35 years with the WSO. Opposite bottom: The WSO performs at the Wilson
Center in downtown Wilmington.
16 october 2021
S the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra prepares to
celebrate its 50th anniversary, looking back was
not on Executive Director Liz Scanlon’s mind.
“Our focus is coming up strong for our 50th anni-versary,
but we’re not looking to the past,” says
Scanlon. “We’re really focusing on creating a new symphony.”
Eager to put the challenges of the last year behind them, the
symphony took advantage of the pandemic-imposed downtime by
instituting new programs and concerts, as well as introducing new
leaders for the upcoming season. Most notable is the addition of
concertmaster Christine Maynard.
Maynard began as a student in the first class of the youth orchestra
and now serves as the orchestra’s instrumental leader. She exemplifies
what the symphony strives to do for the residents of the Wilmington
community — cultivate a lifelong love of classical music.
Founded in 1971 “by people who just wanted to play together,”
says Maynard, whose mother has been playing in the orchestra since
1983, the symphony, like most start-ups, initially struggled.
“The first concert stunk!” Scanlon says, recounting what one of
the first members said. But there was little doubt that the fledgling
group would persevere. Case in point: the member who gave that
not-so-glowing first review is on the symphony board today.
Another significant milestone to be celebrated is the hiring of Steven
Errante as conductor 35 years ago. Errante says performance and
education enrich each other, so it’s no accident that the Wilmington
Symphony Youth Orchestra began under his tutelage in 2001 and
remains an integral part of the organization.
The youth orchestra, seen as a complement to area school
orchestras, features programs such as the upcoming Rochestra,
which will give students a chance to gain a deeper appreciation for
COURTESY OF WSO