Each year SCMS plans a Patron Trip to explore an exciting destination while enjoy amazing performances and special behind-the-scenes access at museums and other local landmarks. This year the group traveled to the “City of Brotherly Love”, historic Philadelphia. While there they enjoyed performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and got an insider view of The Curtis Institute of Music with CEO, and Festival Musician, Roberto Diaz.
The group also visited the Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum, Longwood Gardens, and Independence Hall.
We had the chance to ask several members of the group about the trip.
This was your first time joining us on a patron trip. What on the schedule caught your eye to want to join us in Philadelphia?
I grew up in New Jersey, but don’t get back often and I hadn’t been to Philadelphia in a long time. I love cities, and I was attracted to the combination of music/culture/history/iconic garden touring that the trip offered. I particularly enjoyed the walking/tasting tour of the Italian market area, and the visit to the beautiful Longwood Gardens. I found the trip to be well organized, and felt that the value of what was offered was in line with the cost. I think we all had fun with our fearless driver Mary Louise, who drove a bus the size of Mt. Rushmore down the narrowest of Philly streets, and with Becky, our dedicated and knowledgeable tour guide
Did you have a favorite performance on the trip? What made it special for you?
I enjoyed the Philadelphia Orchestra, and especially the soloist Helene Grimaud. Being able to connect with two of the musicians who are friends of SCMS [clarinetist Ricardo Morales and violinist Amy Oshiro], who invited us backstage after the performance, was a treat.
Elizabeth “Elska” Wery
You’ve joined us on a few different patron trips. Can you tell us what makes them so much fun and why you keep joining us for these adventures?
It’s really because of the small group. It’s a big advantage for these cultural trips, which I enjoy so much. I love the music, but the museums are great too. Connie [Cooper, SCMS Executive Director] does such a wonderful job keeping everything organized, and Becky, our host, was just fantastic as she showed us the city. The whole group was really great.
What made this trip special, and did you find an unexpected highlight from the trip?
Hearing the Philadelphia Orchestra and going on a backstage tour was a real highlight. It was amazing to see what all is backstage. When you’re an audience member you don’t usually get to see that. Also, having a chance to tour The Curtis Institute was fantastic. It was great to see how that worked with Roberto [Diaz, President and CEO of Curtis, and SCMS musician]. The Barnes Foundation was terrific, and so was the Longwood Garden, there were just so many great things on this trip!
These trips are always based around amazing performances, was their one that stood out?
For sure it was the Philadelphia Orchestra; they are just on such a higher plane! They had a wonderful Beethoven Piano Concerto, but the performance of Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 had us all on the edge of our seats.