The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music education: WYSO honors James and Geri Grine with the Rabin Youth Arts Award for Youth Arts Supporters. Plus, the final performance of “Exiled in Hollywood” by the Madison Symphony Orchestra is TODAY at 2:30 p.m. | March 8, 2015

ALERT: This afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in Overture Hall is the last performance of “Exiled in Hollywood” with British violin soloist Daniel Hope (below) and John DeMain conducting the Madison Symphony Orchestra. The music, composed by refugees from Nazi Europe, is by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Miklos Rozsa and Franz Waxman.

Here is a link to my Q&A with Daniel Hope:

And here is a link to a rave review by Greg Hettmansberger for his Madison Magazine blog “Classically Speaking”:

Daniel Hope playing

By Jacob Stockinger

The Ear has received the following news from the office of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO):

The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 2015 Rabin Youth Arts Award recipients.

They are James and Geri Grine, who will receive the award in the category of Artistic Achievement. The award is a glass sculpture (below) designed and made by artist Colleen Ott of Spring Green. It will be presented at state Arts Day on this Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at the downtown Central Branch of the Madison Public Library.

Colleen Ott Rabin award 2015

Deserving individuals and organizations from across the state were nominated for their support of youth arts across all disciplines.

Jim and Geri Grine have been fervent supporters of the arts in Oshkosh and throughout Wisconsin. Through their careers as musicians, conductors, teachers and arts administrators, the Grines have promoted and expanded performing arts opportunities for youth in Oshkosh and the state of Wisconsin.

Geri Grine (below) has been a long-time orchestra director and music teacher at both Oshkosh high schools. She has been the conductor and Musical Director of the Oshkosh Youth Symphony Orchestra for 28 years. Geri created the Oshkosh Youth Symphony’s Philharmonia Orchestra in 2008. She has sponsored several hands-on artist residencies for local high school students as a board member for Project SOAR.

Geri also founded the Suzuki program at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. From 1996 to 2006, Geri built a Suzuki string program in her native Hawaii. This would be become the first string program on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

Geri Grine

Since 2008, Jim Grine (below) has served as the Volunteer Executive Director of the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra. He has been instrumental in raising funds to support the symphony’s Art and Music Synergy Programs, which has led to several collaborations between local arts organizations. Under Jim, the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra devotes one-third of its annual income to supporting the Oshkosh Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Jim was also instrumental in the creation of the Water City Chamber Orchestra which performs an annual concert for third graders in the Oshkosh School District.

Jim Grine

The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, located in Madison, Wisconsin, presents the Rabin Youth Arts Awards in honor of their founding conductor, Marvin Rabin (below), as a means to honor those who follow in his footsteps. The awards are a forum for promoting quality youth arts programs and honoring those who work diligently to provide arts opportunities for children throughout Wisconsin. They also serve as a means to elevate awareness in our community about the importance of arts education for all children.

marvin rabin BW

Now celebrating its 49th season, WYSO membership has included more than 5,000 young musicians from more than 100 communities in southern Wisconsin. WYSO, currently under the artistic direction of James Smith, includes three full orchestras, a string orchestra, a chamber music program, a percussion ensemble, a harp ensemble and a brass choir program. For more information, visit


  1. Here’s a link to a YouTube featuring Daniel Hope playing “Imitazione della Campane” (“Imitation of The Bells”) composed by Johann Paul von Westhoff. Mr. Hope played this as an encore in his Friday night performance.

    Comment by fflambeau — March 8, 2015 @ 7:14 am

  2. This is the kind of “classical” music program that has the ability to reshape the entire outlook of “classical” music. First, the soloist, Daniel Hope, is a first rate musician and violinist. One of the best in the world (and in this area, THE best). Second, the program, with its Hollywood ties, has the ability to reach out to people who may not think they really like “classical” music. Third, the concept the program is built around–featuring music from artists who were forced into exile by horrendous political events–is still timely and this is also subject matter that the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has had huge expertise in (think Prof. George L. Mosse, for one) for many years.

    Kudos again to Maestro John DeMain for coming up with this program and inviting Mr. Hope to Madison. Let’s hope, bad pun for sure, that there are more of these concerts on the horizon.

    After all, there is still lots of music that was not played by the 3 composers featured in this concert and there are other composers to be explored (Victor Young, for instance). I’m not sure that Daniel Hope knows this, but the university has huge archival holdings in the film area (including every film from United Artists, Warner Brothers, RKO from the 1930’s to the 1950’s) all housed at the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research. This would be a very rich vein of music, artistry, and history that could be worked together by many talented people in the area. Mr. Hope, with his activism, is a natural for the area.

    Thanks for these wonderful concerts, the radio talks and the performances.

    Comment by fflambeau — March 8, 2015 @ 6:53 am

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