Our current podium has been used for over a decade, and while functional, needs to be replaced. One of the concerns with the podium we are using is that it does not possess a railing to protect the conductor from backing up too close to the edge. Due to wear and tear over the many concerts that it has been in use, the podium is a hazard that needs to be remedied, which is why we have created this fundraiser.
One of the primary ways that we fulfill our mission is through the performance of orchestral music in large venues. Conductors require a podium so that the orchestra, which can range from 50 to 80+ members on stage at once, can see the conductor and their baton. This is crucial to keeping the ensemble performing together to realize the great works that are featured on each concert.
We have identified a premium woodworker in New London, Joshua Friedman Woodworking, who has been contracted to build the podium. There will be many features present in the new podium that will ensure a superior experience for both our Music Director and Conductor, Toshiyuki Shimada, and for you as an audience member. The appearance of the podium will be more stately, with beautiful wood finishes and a satin black railing. As the podium is one of the most visible pieces of equipment on the front of the stage, it will enhance the audience experience through its elegant simplicity of design. Acoustically, it will be filled with spray foam that will prevent energetic conducting from creating noises. It will also have wheels on one side which will allow venue staff to easily re-locate it when necessary.
We would like to present this to Toshi on February 29, 2020 at our "Turkish Delight" concert as a gift from the audience to help celebrate his 10 years with the ECSO. Throughout those 10 years, Toshi has helped reach 20,000 children through our music education programs, conducted in front of 55,000 patrons, led the orchestra in over 60 concerts in performance of more than 200 orchestral scores. This podium is a solid investment in ECSO's future which will last many decades into the future. Help us celebrate Toshi's 10th by putting him on the pedestal that a conductor of his caliber deserves.
The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra is a 501(c)(3) non-profit professional symphony serving Eastern Connecticut through orchestral music. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and connect our communities through live orchestral music.