Reading Symphony Orchestra Closes Out 89th Season

Reading, MA — The Reading Symphony Orchestra recently held its final Pop Concert of its 89th season, “I could have danced all night!” at the RMHS Performing Arts Center.

Maestro George Ogata and the RSO opened with Loewe’s Highlights from My Fair Lady, which set the stage for the concert’s entire dance-themed program. Next, they performed Habanera from Bizet’s well-known opera Carmen. The Habanero is a style of Cuban dance music that emerged in the 18th century and which influenced the tango. Next were tangos, Albeniz’s Tango in D, and Gade’s Jalousie. After a brief intermission, Khachaturian’s Masquerade ballet suite, and then ended the concert with Ravel’s hypnotically paced crescendo of a dance. Bolero!

The Reading Symphony Orchestra and Maestro George Ogata present I Could Have Danced All Night, May 19, 2024
The RSO and Maestro George Ogata present “I Could Have Danced All Night” – Photo by Kenan Cooper

Reading Symphony Orchestra honors a long-time member of the RSO family, James L. Roth. They announced their newest named principal chair, the James L. Roth Chair for the Principal Trumpet.

Jim studied Music at Eastman School of Music and received his Master’s Degree from B. U. He started at Reading High School in 1957-58 as a music teacher. In a typical year could be directing three choruses the high school band, and serving as the piano accompanist for the Colonial Chorus. In the early sixties, you were apt to find him anywhere in Reading, wherever music was important.

The Reading Symphony Orchestra and Maestro George Ogata present I Could Have Danced All Night, May 19, 2024
James L. Roth and George Ogata – Photo by Kenan Cooper

In Dec 1963, he made his debut as Conductor of the Reading Symphony Orchestra and held that position until May 1980. He would continue working at Reading Schools until 1986. For many years after, he was a member of the Reading Symphony Orchestra Board, serving as Treasurer. He has been a donor to the orchestra for decades and is still regularly attending RSO concerts.

He is still active as a musician, playing Christmas carols with friends using his arrangements of carols for piano, two clarinets, flute, violin, French Horn, and Trombone.

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