The conductor then informed the audience that, as a virtuoso pianist, he himself would play the part of the orchestra, and the vocal soloists for that evening's performance would do their part. I can still recall him playing flawlessly through the score (with no rehearsal.) The soloists helped when he paused to address us, but his English failed him.
The evening's intimacy and the joy with which the master musician played will always be a high point of my Philadelphia Orchestra experience.
George E. McLaughlin, Kennett Square
Head to the tax appeals board
As an active Realtor with 37 years of experience in Northeast Philadelphia, I view the new property tax assessments as a total disgrace and a train wreck coming down the tracks. Were the values reviewed and tested by people in real estate? Looking at both residential and small commercial properties in the Northeast, I found major discrepancies in almost every one. All property owners should appeal their new assessments.
Christopher Artur, Philadelphia, email@example.com
Zoned for a court battle
Cherry Hill's zoning board tried to quietly push along a proposed development until the Barclay Area Civic Association (BACA) turned a light on. BACA questions building 152 apartments on the former Haddonfield Lumber site at Brace and Kresson Roads.
Applicants for a variance must provide compelling evidence that a location provides "public welfare benefits" that do not exist elsewhere in a municipality. BACA hoped to question this premise at a December meeting that was postponed and later canceled. As a result, BACA has been forced to file an appeal in state Superior Court - a legal battle not included in the group's budget. Fortunately, donations to BACA's legal fund continue to arrive as more taxpaying residents learn of this controversy.
Kevin Cook, Cherry Hill
Hite's steps well-protected
I found rich irony in the police protection afforded School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. as he walked a route that young children will now have to take to get to school if the planned closures go ahead: four police officers and at least two police cars with lights flashing.
I. Milton Karabell, Philadelphia
Respite from fear of gun violence
For two days, let us lock all the guns away. Surely, we can agree that this simple act would make Mother's Day and Father's Day so much more meaningful. Let's make May 12 and June 16 days of peace for children and parents this year.
Anne Minicozzi, Villanova