President Dudley Thompson convened the 5,368th Civic Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club of Oakland where we unite with 36,000 Rotarians and 10,000 Rotaractors across the United States to make a difference. President Dudley welcomed members attending in person in the California ballroom and those attending via Zoom.
Gary Flaxman shared a personal thought in honor of today’s speakers. He observed that the club is filled with individual members who provide service to the community but together we make up an orchestra of service.
Past President Robert Kidd introduced our two speakers, Mieko Hatano and David Moschler. Mieko is Executive Director of the Oakland Symphony where she manages the business, human and financial resources of the symphony. She is currently leading the search for the musical director to replace Michael Morgan.
David is the Musical Director of the Awesome Orchestra which performs in traditional and non-traditional venues and strives to bring the orchestra to people and places that are not familiar with symphonic music.
Mieko and David shared thoughts on the joys and tribulations of symphonic music. While the music director and business director occupy distinct functions within their organizations, the jobs often overlap. Decisions on who plays, how long they will play, and how to ensure that tickets are sold impact the overall success of the symphony. Commenting on “Why an orchestra exists” David shared his vision that an “orchestra wants to take the listener on an adventure”. The Awesome Orchestra ensures this by providing an adventurous repertoire, adventurous venues, and adventurous people to play with. The Oakland Symphony also strives to inspire listeners through adventurous music.
Both speakers emphasized the importance of live performances to truly experience the pageantry and excitement of orchestral music. Orchestras have become somewhat “ossified” exemplifying the need to bring the symphony to new and diverse audiences and the willingness to take risks. One test of music being bad or good is if you want to hear it again. It is important to erase the perception that symphony is only for a certain segment of the population.
Pres. Dudley reminded members that he shared his three major goals at his inauguration. They include bringing the club members back together, ensuring that we are the best service organization in Oakland, and engaging members to the fullest extent.
Committee work is the backbone of the Club and efforts are impressive especially given the challenges with COVID 19 restrictions. These include:
KinderPrep Committee continuing to support TK classes although OUSD does not allow for visits. Alternate support includes supporting teachers with gift certificates and supplies and funding specific projects. Interact is active in 4 High schools.
HOPE is currently mentoring 5 students who had the opportunity to attend a Warriors game with courtside seats during warmups.
Saroni Lena Scholarship Committee is supporting 25 students. Enterprise Institute is planning the 40th Anniversary Camp in April.
Speech Contest will be held at the last meeting in February.
Service Committees are funding many projects locally and internationally. A trip to Mexico to distribute wheelchairs is planned for the summer.
Housing Insecurity is negotiating for a property. Food Insecurity is working with Laney College to provide food baskets.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee is developing tactics to encourage the club to appreciate and respect differences.
Board of Directors has developed reciprocal relationships with five Chambers of Commerce in Oakland. The board has developed a method to resolve member disputes. The Club’s financial position is strong. The Oakland Rotary Endowment has reached $5 million.
Joel Parrott shared that the new Environment Committee is being established to increase awareness that we all must become carbon neutral. Dr. Parrott shared several recent examples of environmental actions (tornadoes, drought, etc.) that highlight the need to focus on the environment.
President Dudley announced the following upcoming club events:
1. December 23 & 30 - no lunch meetings – Happy Holidays
2. January 6 - first meeting of 2022 with Mayor Libby Schaaf and District Governor Richard Flanders
3. January 7 – Stand Up Broadway Comedy Night at the Sound Room, Oakland
4. January 15 - High Adventure visit to the Pacific Pinball Museum, Alameda
5. February 3 - Lunar New Year dinner at Peony Seafood Restaurant, Oakland
6. February 27 - Dinner with RI President-elect Jennifer Jones at Blackhawk Museum,
Danville President Dudley adjourned the final meeting of 2021 at 1:34 p.m.
Click here to watch Mieko Hatano and David Moschler video segment
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