The 55th Anniversary Reunion
August 17, 18, 19 - Columbus, Ohio

By Mel Ponzi

The 55th Anniversary Reunion is over and will go down in history.

There were 112 Alums and their guests for a total of 186 that got to see old friends (some had not seen each other for fifty years, or more) and create some new friendships.

Mel and Betsy Ponzi were the hosts for this gala event (as if you didnt already know this). Helping out (very doggedly) was Jack Monchecourt with all his phone calls. I think everyone received at least a dozen calls! Charles Briefer and Peter Gano worked on the program notes, and Tom Slattery was our head comedian (MC) for the banquet. Sam Adler and Ben Hord had some great things to say, and funny stuff, about the early orchestra and later. John Canarina even read a chapter from his book. I think if we had let him, he would have read the whole thing!

Jerry Pollack did an admirable job as the Announcer for the concert, starting out saying Two score and 15 years ago, which the entire house laughed at, then adding we were all in our 20s then and you can see we are no longer in our 20s, but have come together full of sentiment and affection for the orchestra we were once privileged to play in, and for each other

The Marriott NW in Dublin, Ohio was the perfect place - - practice rooms close to rest rooms, exercise room and pool, great food and a fantastic staff that was available for just about anything we needed. The after concert impromptu get together in the lounge was great, and the staff stayed an extra 2 hours so we all could enjoy some beverages and food.

Here are a few of the comments received from some of the attendees:

Earl Groner, As you know this was my very first 7ASO Reunion, and I cannot imagine a more enjoyable and rewarding first such experience.

David Furholmen wrote: The reunion you orchestrated was certainly among the best I have attended. Your promotion drive certainly was effective.

Tom Slattery said, To be brief the reunion was a professionally organized and carried off as anything I can recall. I have been around, and there have been many. You set the bar that will be difficult to match.

Charles Briefer That was a job of heroic proportions that you did, and the results were both exciting and touching touching when I watched some of us struggling up on stage to join their fellow comrades for perhaps the last time. There isnt praise enough in this world to do you justice.

Sam Adler said, Without Betsy and you this would not have been possible and I feel everyone who attended should send you much gratitude. It was a moving experience for all of us and I feel all the credit must go to the two of you.

We had a group (seven) get together to read and practice the Beethoven Septet, Opus 20. From what I heard, they did pretty well.

The hospitality rooms were filled with all kinds of good things wine, beer, soda, coffee & tea. Candy and Snacks of all kinds. It was a great place to gather over a beer or wine and spin some old tales. There were many photos and posters for everyone to enjoy as well as letters from some who couldnt come.

In case no one noticed the music that we performed was the same music we used when the orchestra existed and is presently being held in the library of the U S Army Band in Washington DC. It was on loan to us for our concert.

The tide recedes, but leaves behind bright seashells on the sand.
The sun goes down, but gentle warmth still lingers on the land.
The music stops, and yet it echoes on in sweet refrains.
For every joy that passes, something beautiful remains

           - Herb Needlman

Das Ist Alles

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