By Mary Kunz Goldman
Steven Thomas, the longtime conductor of the Amherst Symphony, is going to be leaving the orchestra after the next concert, April 6. The word is that he is going to be focusing on musical endeavors in the Southern Tier. Thomas and his wife, Martha, live in Fillmore.
The Amherst Symphony is one of the local orchestras that was founded by the late Joseph Wincenc, longtime Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra concertmaster. It has had only two conductors in its 68 years of existence -- Wincenc and Thomas.
Nancy Wallace, the president of the board of the Amherst Symphony, said that the orchestra has not yet decided on how exactly it is going to go about finding Steven Thomas' successor. She promises to keep us posted.
Meanwhile, the next concert, at 7 p.m. April 6, features BPO Principal Clarinetist John Fullam as soloist in the Adagio for Clarinet and Orchestra by Carl Baermann and the Rhapsody for Clarinet and Orchestra of Claude Debussy.
A pre-concert talk with Mssrs. Fullam and Thomas begins at 6:15 p.m. And a reception after the concert will honor Thomas, pictured above. Thomas apparently has a lot going on: Besides walking, biking and operating his tractor, he is an active private pilot, flying a Cessna 150 out of Perry Warsaw Airport.
For info on the Amherst Symphony, check its website, www.amherstsymphony.com.