For several years Savannah was without a symphony orchestra; then came Peter Shannon just over five years ago and the chemistry has been electric. He arrived here after heading up the Heidleberg Symphony in Germany. He came here initially to be music director of the Savannah Chorus. But when he found out were were without an orchestra, he went to work building one while incorporating the chorus along with it. A monumental task for anyone for a city of our size but not for the indefatiguable Peter Shannon. Within a year things were falling into place and before long Savannah again had a symphony orchestra. But Peter wasn't satisfied with any orchestra he wanted a world-class orchestra which he told me was essential for a world-class city like Savannah. It's arrived! They opened their fifth season a couple of weeks ago at the Lucas Theater for the Arts with Beethoven's 5th Symphony and it brought down the house.
Last night they brought a crowd of over 20-thousand to their feet with a Picnic in the Park performance that requred four encores! We are so blessed to have this orchestra and the "boat from Heaven" Peter Shannon we need to do whatever we can to keep him and this marvelous Savannah Philharmonic. Please consider becoming a "friend" of the symphony whether you ever attend a concert or not. Remember the impor;tance of this--whenever companies think about where to locate among the questions they ask is about arts and culture of the community. Having a symphony orchestra means BUSINESS and JOBS.