On October 5th, 2008, the Neponset Valley Philharmonic Orchestra (NVPO) was born. The birth of an orchestra is no small feat; in fact, it took well over a year from inception to birth and it’s no small wonder that an undertaking of this magnitude didn’t take years.
Behind every brilliant idea is the passion of its creator, and Boston-area Conductor and Music Educator Lawrence Isaacson has been passionate about music his whole life. As a former trombonist, Isaacson has performed with some of the finest Symphonies in the U.S., including the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As a music educator and faculty member of some of the most prestigious universities, colleges and conservatories in the Northeast, Isaacson has helped nurture talent, spirits and careers of students for more than 25 years. With Isaacson’s vast experience and depth of knowledge of the inner workings of an orchestra, it was a natural next step to create one of his own.
Recognizing a need to bring quality orchestral music to the Massachusetts Neponset Valley area, Isaacson founded the Neponset Valley Philharmonic Orchestra. And with 50 hand-picked musicians on stage, the NVPO performed its inaugural concert for classical music patrons of the Neponset Valley community.
The NVPO’s inaugural performance was held in Foxboro, Massachusetts at Patriot Place, adjacent to Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots. With patriotism and an upcoming election on the minds of all, what more fitting opening piece could be performed than our National Anthem? Isaacson began the National Anthem facing the orchestra, but encouraging the participation and patriotism of the concert guests, he turned to the audience and directed both orchestra and audience as we sang, and they performed, the Star Spangled Banner. It was really quite moving.
The three pieces performed by the NVPO were Impressario Overture k. 486 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Concerto for Violin in E minor by Felix Mendelssohn with violin soloist Markus Placci, and Symphony no. 5 in C minor by Ludwig Van Beethoven.
The Mozart was short and lively, the Mendelssohn was emotional and beautifully played, and the Beethoven was familiar and warming. Each was an appropriate selection for this inaugural performance as the audience found comfort recognizing these well-known, classic pieces.
With more than 400 guests in attendance at the NVPO’s premier performance, the mood was joyful and energetic, and the one question I heard repeatedly throughout the afternoon was, “when is the next performance?”
Speaking about the inaugural concert, Maestro Isaacson said, “Our first performance was a home run in my book. The audience response was truly amazing for our first time out. The hall was almost sold out and the response afterwards was nothing short of amazing. Lots of people wanted to know when our next concert would be happening.”
Nicki Meade Draves, the NVPO’s former Executive Director added, “It was an honor to be part of something so amazing at its infancy. I was awed by the amount of talent on our stage and it made all of our efforts worth while. It was also renewing in a way to finally hear and see what the orchestra is since it was our first performance as a complete group.”
The orchestra is comprised of young and emerging Boston-area performers. Isaacson said, “These players were all hand picked and it was a real pleasure to be in front of them. I guest conduct often, but generally have no input into who plays in the ensemble. The orchestra members were very excited about the level of the new orchestra and look forward to playing together more frequently. They do so many gigs that just pay the bills, so it was a treat for them to work at such a high level for the week.
The NVPO has scheduled 2 future performances, but is in need of public support in the form of donations, grants and sponsorship. Community involvement is instrumental to the orchestra’s continued success and without it, the NVPO may not be able to continue to provide the Neponset Valley-area patrons with the music and passion that the entire NVPO organization brings to the community.
Bringing the NVPO to Patriot Place was the result of hard work by many. The NVPO acknowledged the support from Showcase Live at Patriot Place owners National Amusements, who donated the venue, stage equipment, and meals for the orchestra. In addition The Dedham Institution for Savings Foundation generously awarded the NVPO a grant of $5,000.
Many area businesses donated their services and goods in support of the NVPO. Please consider supporting the Neponset Valley Philharmonic Orchestra today!
“I look forward to watching this infant grow to maturity over time. For our first time out, it felt like we did everything we were hoping to do.” ~Neponset Valley Philharmonic Orchestra Founder Lawrence Isaacson
Watch the inaugural performance of the Neponset Valley Philharmonic Orchestra.
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