Tradition has it the gift for a 70th anniversary is platinum.
So it's fitting, the Butler County Symphony Association has named its anniversary dinner Friday at the Butler Country Club “Symphony Platinum: 70 Years in the Making.”
Patricia Stagno, association board president, said the association will use the night to start a new tradition naming three recipients of its first awards.
The awards have been established to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the Butler County Symphony.
“We feel that this is a fitting and long-overdue recognition of some very special people who have made this journey possible. It is the association's intent to select and honor additional individuals and/or groups each season,” said Stagno.
One honoree, Janice Larrick, has been a longtime supporter, past president and board member of the symphony.
Stagno said, “Janice has been president, an organist and played cello for a good number of years.”
Judith Wadding, who chairs the event, said more than 100 nominees were considered.
Charles Norton has been a performing member and continued supporter of the symphony.
Norton, who for many years was principal clarinetist before serving on the symphony board, said he was there for the symphony's first concerts.
“The first concert I played was in February 1949. It was an invitational concert. In April 1950, the symphony played its first subscription concert,” said Norton.
“Edward Roncone, he was the first conductor. He was an instigator in getting the symphony started. He was a junior high music teacher at Butler.”
Norton added, “In the beginning, it was all volunteers. In the original orchestra, we had 20 members from Butler County. We hired musicians from Pittsburgh to fill in.”
The symphony's 70th season begins Oct. 6 with its “Bernstein and Barber” concert.
Read the full story in Wednesdayu's Butler Eagle