Cincinnati conductor to say farewell

May 3, 2017 by  

Gerald R. “Gerry” Doan has led the Cincinnati Community Orchestra for 35 years, and is planning a concert to say goodbye as he steps down as the ensemble’s conductor.

Doan was the orchestra’s eighth conductor, and the board is currently searching for his replacement. When he leaves, he will have conduced 221 performances.

Doan is noted for his sense of humor and the fun he and the orchestra had together. Pianist Elisabeth Pridonoff remembered performing a Halloween concert with Doan in 1987. They were playing Liszt’s ‘Totentanz’ (Dance of Death), and the maestro asked Pridonoff to wear a witch’s hat while she played. Adding to the dark humor even more, had himself wheeled onstage in a coffin, and when it opened, he appeared out of a puff of smoke, dressed as Count Dracula.

Maestro Doan’s success as the leader of an all-volunteer orchestra comes in large part from his understanding of the fact that his players have lives outside the orchestra hall. While some players are retired from the Cincinnati Symphony, others are from all walks of life. He respected that, and his ability as a teacher resulted in stead improvement in his players.

Doan’s last day as conductor is this Saturday, May 6, and he has put two of his favorites on the program: “Symphony No. 2” by Rachmaninoff; and the “’Enigma’ Variations” by Elgar. The concert, which begins at 7:30 pm at the Church of the Savior United Method Church, is free to attend.

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