I’ve been attending the classic series at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra for many years, on Sundays. This past season’s opening concert fell on Sept. 24, the Jewish Fast of Gedaliah. I was fasting.
At the end of the concert, the new music director and conductor José Luis Gomez was going to sign posters picturing him with the caption “José Luis Gomez is home.” I couldn’t stay to get my poster signed because I had to be at Congregation Chofetz Chayim for services.
Many months later, I wrote to Gomez explaining why I hadn’t been able to wait in the lobby for him to sign my poster.
On June 8, the CEO of the TSO, Tom McKinney, came to my home with a signed poster and a letter from the conductor to me. When I wrote to Gomez, I stated that I have attended the TSO for many years, since William McLaughlin’s tenure (1982-1987). I also told him that I once sat next to Camil Van Hulse, the first conductor of the TSO. I asked Gomez to write me a letter with his signature in lieu of the signed poster.
I was very moved by the CEO of the TSO coming to my home and presenting me with the signed letter and poster. In his letter to me, Gomez said he was honored that I wanted his signature and that it was really something that I sat next to Camil Van Hulse. This story had a happy ending!
— Steven M. Freedman