The Maestra Dr. Sandra Dackow Endowed Chair was established in 2022 to recognize and honor Dr. Dackow’s contributions to the Hershey Symphony Orchestra. The endowment will help fund the expense of a conductor for the Hershey Symphony in perpetuity based on a very generous gift from Frank and Karen Paris.
Dr. Dackow’s tenure with the Hershey Symphony encompassed 32 years. During her tenure, the Hershey Symphony became one of the finest volunteer symphony orchestras in America and was invited to play at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Dr. Dackow’s quest for musical excellence improved the skill of the players resulting in many outstanding and memorable performances over the years.
In addition, Dr. Dackow expanded the repertoire of orchestra to include music from the realms of popular genres such as pops, Broadway, and movies. This increased the Hershey Symphony audience while striking an important balance between the culture of symphonic music and the popularity of these other genres.
Just as the orchestra grew in performance quality and popularity, Dr. Dackow grew in her concert style. She developed a concert presence reminiscent of the great Leonard Bernstein. In her introductions to pieces, she cued the audience for what to listen for, gave the audience the “back story” behind the music, and she shared biographical (often humorous) tidbits about composers. Thus, she effectively engaged the audience to become more involved with the music in a most entertaining way.
In addition to being a first-rate conductor, Dr. Dackow was a dedicated music educator. She founded the Hershey Festival Strings, an organization to involve middle school students in orchestral performances. Over the years, the program involved hundreds of students. Many went on to become members of the Hershey Symphony Orchestra or other community orchestras.
The Hershey Symphony is grateful to Dr. Dackow for her many years of service and her tremendous contributions to its success and is also pleased to honor her as Conductor Laureate.
View Italian Accents, Dr. Sandra Dackow, Conductor
Recorded April 28, 2023