Mat, Jessica, Steve, Lisa, and Alex

From Lisa Herring, Director of Community Impact

Each year as we approach New Years Eve, I always spend some time reading through the Top Lists found on social media and newspapers: ‘Top Grossing Movies’, ‘Most Played Albums,’ and most importantly the ‘Top Funny Cat Video’.
Although I started with the Philharmonic in the last few months of 2015, here are my Top 3 Reasons that I’m incredibly thankful for working with the Phil:
1.      An unprecedented education week
The first week of November was a great week for the Philharmonic and certainly hasn’t happened in many years We reached out to different people in Erie and the surrounding communities to make sure their day was filled with beautiful music. We donated baby grand pianos to the Downtown YMCA and Benjamin Wiley Charter School. Our Music Director spoke to different groups sharing insights that still inspire me – even though I’ve heard him talk many times these last few months. We had over 4,000 students in the Warner Theatre. I’m so lucky to be the one who gets to read all of the Thank You letters we receive from the students. For those that know me, this is the week of all weeks. It was long and exhausting, but it is very simply my top moment for 2015.

"Music is the heartbeat of the universe.  It reaches into the outer ramparts of eternity where time and space are nonexistent; it touches the stars and is reflected in the beauty of the galaxy … Music is emotional.  It touches the heart and creates a response with the listener without his being aware of the technique."

2.      Positive change
For me, change usually coincides with not-so-great feelings of being uncomfortable and unsure. For the first time in a long time, I have seen changes lead to really great things. The Philharmonic has a brand new (but awesome) staff, updated website, and even new offices in February. Of course we, as a staff, have come across so many people saying “But … it’s always been done this way in the past.” Resisting the easy way of doing it the same ‘ol way has caused an overwhelming refreshing take on each concert and event.

“The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change, the way I see it, is service to a fellow human being.”

3.      Laughter
When you’re working 10+ hour days with the same 5 people, you had better get along with them. I am incredibly lucky to truly get along and enjoy working with my colleagues. And I’m not even just saying that – which is the crazy part! Each day includes some outburst of laughing so hard that you have tears in your eyes. We regularly have paper airplane battles. We send each other funny videos and silly music humor jokes. I have no doubt that laughter is one of the main reasons we have survived the insanely busy fall and continue to move forward.

“If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane.”

Wishing you and yours the happiest 2016!