Saturday, July 2, 2011
Maestro Takeda welcomes you to the 1995 Summer Park Concert Series!
This series was in place a year before Yoshimi Takeda took the helm of the
Kalamazoo Symphony in 1974. Under his 25-year tenure as Music Director
of the KSO, he greatly expanded the size and scope of the programs offered.
Bronson Park, the verdant heart of downtown Kalamazoo, became the center
of the summer concert scene.
He took the Kalamazoo Symphony "on the road" to perform the Summer
Park Concert series in towns around Southwest Michigan. Maestro Takeda
saw this as an opportunity for valuable community outreach, and had lots of
fun too! Everyone had fun.
The KSO always featured a singer or ensemble in a solo appearance with the
orchestra. It was a wonderful way to showcase new talent in a "star turn"
with the Kalamazoo Symphony.
"Guest conductors" (age 12 and under) were invited to come up and
lead the orchestra from the conductor's podium, under Takeda's guidance,
in the final bars of Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever or other familiar classics.
This part of the program was an audience favorite, and a great way to end the
'These popular concerts, jointly sponsored by the Department of Parks and Recreation
and the Rotary Club, began what has become a stable feature of the summer season."
-Zaide Pixley, GREAT ENSEMBLE: The Story of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra,
1997, p. 66.
Takeda took the KSO's Bronson Park program to parks in other communities. By the
1990s, the Kalamazoo Symphony had expanded the series to include Three Rivers,
Vicksburg and Plainwell, in addition to their annual appearances in Portage,
Parchment, and Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo.
John Penrod; postcard c. 1960; copyright Penrod/Hiawatha Co., Berrien Center, MI