The first review of the Erie Symphony Orchestra, published in 1913
Erie responded cordially to the first invitation of the Erie Symphony Orchestra and the Apollo Club. The Colonial was packed to the doors and every minute that the orchestra played or the club sang was one of unadulterated pleasure. The old timers must have sat up in amazement. The city of Erie showed itself possessed of enough talent to give a high class symphony concert. It showed itself as having a public that is musically educated enough to patronize such a concert and enjoy it. Truly this is a real city. The main thing to look for now is the continuance of the splendid spirit of yesterday. The spirit was two-fold, that of the players and singers and that of the listeners. On the part of the musicians it was a work of devotion to the cause of good music. This means hours of patient practice and rehearsal, for the responsiveness to the baton cannot come of itself. On the part of the audience it was that of complete sympathy, of receptivity to the appeal of music, an appeal to the head as well as to the heart. The continuance of that spirit will mean an ever increasing audience that will put Erie on the musical map of the country. It will also demand shortly a larger auditorium for the giving of these concerts. For the good auditor of such concerts is an inevitable solicitor for more patrons
There is some satisfaction to the resident of Erie in the contemplation of the unqualified success of the first symphony concert. The tone of the life of the city cannot but be raised by it. The spending of an afternoon is bound to stimulate one, both mentally and emotionally. Pure and good music, when understood, appeals to the highest, just as the other kind appeals to the vulgar and the lower in man. The variation of the program indicates the variety, the richness, of the appeal that may be made through this art. It is due to those who participated in the musical undertaking, one might almost call it a service, that they receive the appreciation and the support of the people of Erie. Yesterday’s experience is an earnest of the face that they will so receive it. Thus, it is safe to predict the enrichment of our communal life by a new cultural element, an influence of our own creation, the work of our own artists. One aspect of bigger and better Erie is already discernible. It is only just to say that the realization is due to the imagination, energy, and persistence of an old Erie boy come back to his own, Mr. Franz Kohler.
Repertoire from the first concert:
Lindner Scottish Folk Airs
Elgar Pomp and Circumstance
Weber Overture from "Oberon"
Schubert Symphony (B minor)
Sullivan Lost Chord, featuring the Apollo Club
Luigini Egyptian Ballet