Kenneth Woods, conductor
-Audience and Musician Comments-
copyright 1991-2007 by Kenneth Woods
Cheers Ken, we had a great time on Saturday night, and all due to yourself. The
energy and passion you showed to the orchestra was amazing to be part of, and
hopefully came back at you, with interest! To me, as an occasional conductor,
playing under you is always a fabulous education
Mark L, concertmaster and principal conductor, Wrexham Symphony Orchestra

How did you manage to persuade the strings to end the Shostakovich so
wonderfully? It was magic.
~Sally D, concertmaster, Surrey Mozart Players

Dear Ken-
It was a great privilege to meet and work with you over the past few weeks. I can't
remember having such a positive response to a conductor from the orchestra. It
was a great concert and we have had lots of positive feedback from many
audience members ... the Dvorak was particularly stunning!

As you are aware, we normally only work with a conductor once. However, after
working with you, we thought it might be useful to have some more continuity and
that it would be nice to build a relationship with a conductor.
~Andrew H., first violinist and chair, Kelvin Ensemble

Hi Ken!
Just wanted to say a massive thank you for all your work with the orchestra in
preparation for Saturday's concert. Your rehearsals were fab - fun but we also
really learnt lots. As someone who began not being a particular "Elgar lover" your
love of, and knowledge about, the symphony (no. 1) completely converted me
and I am now a massive fan! I really got into the piece and we have had great
feedback from the audience. My mum thought it was by far the best concert the
orchestra have given! Hope you had a good time as well, and that you will come
back and conduct us again soon. Thanks.
~Heather T., principal clarinet, Wrexham Symphony Orchestra   

Thank you so much for leading the OES in what was a very memorable
performance of Mahler 1!  There were some truly beautiful moments, especially in
the last movement, where I really got a sense of how Mahler wanted the listener
to have a sense that they were suspended in time.  
~Erin W., cellist, Oregon East Symphony

From a guest editorial in the East Oregonian-
I've been an orchestral musician since age 10, but I've never before experienced
anything like playing in last Sunday's concert with the Oregon East Symphony.
Ken Woods presented Mahler's Second Symphony as Mahler wanted it."
~Joyce R, principal harp, Oregon East Symphony

Two years ago I sat in the audience at an LCO concert; last night I did the same
but it was a different orchestra. I can’t believe how the LCO has come on over the
period since Ken arrived. The sound was delicate when needed, rich when
appropriate, and had beef in plenty when the stops came out.  It’s difficult to
single out aspects of last night’s concert for special mention, it was all good. It
was impressive the way the group coped with the change of idiom between the
two items, the soulful, anguished Shostakovich, the teasing, romping Mozart.
What I remember most from the technical angle was the discipline in the violins in
the fancy fiddly bits of the Mozart, not just the fast runs in the last movement but
also the sudden short interventions high on the E string.  The soloists deserve
special mention – total control and ravishing sound..
~Roger D., violist, Lancashire Chamber Orchestra

Dear Ken-
Thank you for the great store of knowledge and experience you have shared with
us. I have really enjoyed the experience.
~Kathy T., principal second violin, Grande Ronde Symphony 1976-2001

After hearing your concert at the cathedral in Baker City Sunday night, I'm trying
to become a better person! Thank you for an unforgettable, awesome experience.
~Anna T., audience member, La Grande, OR

Dear Ken-
It has been great working with you as director of the OES. We have experienced
a transformation of spirit and self-image under your leadership. I have learned
much in this orchestra and am glad the OES is thriving at this point.
~April C., principal viola, Oregon East Symphony, 2000-2003

Thank you for all you've given to our orchestra. Thanks for bringing the GRSO to
the level it has now attained. Thanks for making us laugh. Thanks for keeping us
serious. Thanks for being professional. Thanks for being human. Thanks for
teaching us
so much
~Fanny F., principal clarinet, Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra, 1988-

The most amazing artificial harmonics I've ever heard- Yo-Yo Ma would have
been envious!
~Anthony L., violinist, Gonzaga Orchestra

What an awesome performance! I'm so glad you were able to play with us- it was
really inspiring!
~Cathy B., principal cello, Gonzaga Orchestra

Dear Ken...and Suzanne,

Yesterday's performance (Mahler Symphony No. 2 with Oregon East Symphony)
brought great joy to my husband and me.

As you know ... we have spent our long lifetimes in the Pendleton area.  We are
true fans of good music, and have, quite frankly, "Seen it all"...until yesterday

Your performance was truly magnificent....and provided an event that will always
be cherished as the finest  of musical memories!

Thank you, dear friends, for wonderful inspiration!  We will  appreciate your
Most sincerely,     
~Dave and Virginia L., Pendleton, Oregon

Hi Ken-

I just wanted to drop you a note and say thanks for your contribution to the
concert in Pendleton on 2/24.  I truly enjoyed your performance of the Elgar
concerto.  I only wish I would have been out front listening instead of in the back
of the orchestra.

Thanks again for an amazing evening of music.

~Bob S, co-principal trombone, Oregon East Symphony

Hello Ken,
What a pleasure to play the last Rose City concert.   I always go a bit nervous
into Rose City performances based on the quick rehearsal schedule and this
concert was no different.  However, I’m glad to say I think everything went
smashingly well thanks in great part to your skill and patience.
~Kris K, principal cor anglais, Rose City Chamber Orchestra
Hear directly from the
in this
multimedia slide show
from the Oregonian. OES
principal trumpet James
Smock and co-principal
hornists Rebekah Schaub
and Michelle Kajikawa
talk about working in "the
best damn redneck
orchestra on the planet"