“Kudos to everyone at MCI on organizing a wonderful tour! I cannot begin to explain the experience for our musicians. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime artistic experience for many of our folks. The feeling of performing in Carnegie Hall was akin to being covered in a warm blanket. The audience was exceedingly receptive to our orchestra, providing a standing ovation twice. Everyone in the CCO is still floating and will be for some time to come!
Please convey my thanks to everyone on the team! I think this was my third or fourth time traveling with your company and this one was, far and away, the very best! All members of the MCI team were incredibly helpful, knowledgeable, and professional. This was truly the easiest tour I have ever planned from my perspective. Cannot wait to load the bus again. We WILL travel with MCI again. So, let’s get started planning!
Keep doing everything just like you are doing it now. MCI is a class act!”
Scott E. Woodard
West Virginia State University
Charleston Chamber Orchestra
I can never truly begin to show the amount of gratitude I have to all individuals and groups who organized and prepared this tour.
Dr. Scott E. Woodard, thank you for allowing me to just witness you prepare for this gift to us. Your undying determination to take things to the next level is what drew me to learn more from you four years ago and follow you. You allowed the Charleston Chamber Orchestra a priceless gift; to perform at Carnegie Hall, but that is only a piece of the true gift- we received a chance to want and have more, and all of it was completely in our control. You gave this orchestra the sublime choice of going far beyond anything we could have dreamt, and it was all up to us how far we really wanted to take it- how did we want to immortalize our work in the greatest place most could ever dream to see from the seats let alone the stage where legends and heroes stood before us. The Charleston Chamber Orchestra is lucky to have such a selfless person at the helm, always sacrificing your needs for the organization and members. In such a short time, you’ve taken this ensemble to the ultimate heights in terms of musicianship and self-pride, what’s more, you still look towards new horizons, never satisfied because you sense the ensemble desires more as well. Not only that, but you have somehow found time to take me as your apprentice and then mentor me to do great things as well, forcing me to grow up and learn that knowing scores is just the tip of the iceberg if you want to lead an orchestra. I sense you’re gearing up for the next big thing, but not for you, but more for us. We are able to surpass notes on the page and vibrations in a hall because your leadership and heart allows us to find more than that, multiplying the musicality, passion, and emotions of our work.
To the CCO as an ensemble, I am eternally grateful. Working with you all has been the most awe-inspiring and deeply humbling experience in my life. From my first ever nerve induced, uncertain downbeat in Mozart’s Magic Flute two years ago all the way to the last echos of the final chord in Berlioz in New York City, I have never stopped learning and growing. Yes, because I am enamored with this divine art, but also because you all deserve nothing less than meticulous and selfless attention to your work. I very seriously believe myself to be the luckiest person on this planet because of you all. No person could hope for a more nurturing and patient group- allowing me to stumble and learn, but also there to catch me and help teach me what it means to really be a leader.
Montclair String Quartet, what can I really say to you? You all are the shining beacons in our ensemble who have shown true from the humble beginnings of the ensemble. Your teaching and sure-footed confidence became infectious, passing from yourselves to the rest of your sections and, eventually, through each and every person associated with our organization. Your expertise was masterfully passed on through all of us. Your gift to me was teaching me how maturity in musicianship does not simply mean understanding the music and score. The CCO and Dr. Woodard are beyond fortunate to have your wisdom, guidance, and more importantly, passion for great music.
Lastly, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Petra and Patrick for being the epitome of professionalism and organization. MCI is wonderful but only because of dedicated individuals like them who keep everything running as planned. I am so beyond impressed with your ability to manage everything in a world where chaos can quickly rule.
I could go on, but I am forever indebted to everyone around me. I will repay you all without unwavering allegiance to our cause for as long as I’m fortunate enough to be welcome.
The luckiest person alive and CCO Assistant Conductor