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Meet the man behind the Music: Patrick Botti interview

Join us May 18th
Join us May 18th
Patrick Botti Reflects on 5th Anniversary of Waltham Symphony Orchestra
Waltham, Massachusetts.

One of the Waltham Symphony Orchestra Board members recently sat down 
with Maestro Patrick Botti to talk about how the organization has changed since its inaugural concert 
season of 2008-2009. The following are highlights from their conversation.
Board Member: Maestro, you are a Lexington resident. What drew you to found your orchestra in 
Waltham? 
Botti: I knew Waltham well, having spent four years as Music Director for Our Lady, Comforter of the 
Afflicted Church on Trapelo Road in Waltham. I always found the town to be an amazing and up-and- 
coming community, attracting many new residents drawn by its diversity and vibrant civic life. When 
it came time for me to fulfill a lifelong goal of establishing my own civic orchestra, Waltham struck me 
as the ideal community, possessing many advantages---size, multiculturalism, and musically active high 
school on which to build our mission of youth outreach.
Board Member: Tell me about the musicians you’ve recruited to the orchestra—how have things 
changed since your first concert?
Botti: Our musicians are a very special group. When the orchestra started out in May of 2008, we were 
on the brink of a major recession. As this recession lingered, two years ago the players were asked 
to forego their pay, which meant risking the future of the organization. To my amazement and sheer 
delight, the players not only accepted the situation, they took on more ownership of their roles than 
ever before. They love playing! Through word of mouth, we have been able to attract a consistently 
high level of musical depth, talent, and personal engagement. 
Board Member: Describe your involvement with Waltham town leaders and the Waltham High School.
Botti: The Waltham Symphony Orchestra has always enjoyed the welcome support of Mayor Jeannette 
McCarthy and other town officials. As our reputation has grown, we’ve been invited to participate 
in such annual town events as River Fest and Waltham Day. This year, we’ve been asked to consider 
playing a pops concert on the Common. And since youth outreach is a central part of our mission, 
we try to plan each concert with a focus on family attendance. At least one or two concerts each year 
feature the participation of talented young players and soloists studying at home or at Waltham High 
School. I firmly believe that the future of classical performance lies in the hands of our youth.
Board Member: As you look back since your inaugural concert season, what stands out? 
Botti: Our first concert took place at Kennedy Middle School where we perform our 4 annual orchestral 
concerts in October, December, March, and May. This year, in partnership with the Chapel Hill/
Chauncy Hall School and at the request of the musicians, we launched a series of shorter, more intimate 
chamber music concerts in the beautiful school chapel on Lexington Street. It is with great pride and 
pleasure, that I can state our orchestra is considered by many to be one of the top civic orchestras in 
Massachusetts. 
For more information about the mission and concert schedule of the Waltham Symphony Orchestra, 
please visit www.walthamsymphony.org.
 Anniversary of Waltham Symphony Orchestra

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