George Zack has a way of connecting with his audience, but what the maestro had to say, his audience didn't want to hear.
Zack said, "when I first came here, I wanted to make this orchestra big enough and good enough so that any person leaving might leave a vacuum for a moment, but the organization continues on strong as ever. We've reached that point, and it's time now."
It's not a sad time for the Zack family now that he is retiring.
"Not at all. Everything in my life has been commanded by the symphony schedule. We can't do this because of the symphony schedule. Can't do that because I have a rehearsal. But if you know my grandchildren, my daughters and traveling with my wife. My goodness sakes, that's gonna be fun."
Fun is what Zack always tries to provide concert goers.
"You never lose respect for the audience. The problem I find with today is I'm connecting with them to say goodbye, but I'm taking my time saying goodbye," Zack said.
Yes, he'll remain as music director here through the 2008-2009 season, and his farewell performance won't be until the first concert of that season. Zack told those in attendance that the average stay for an orchestra conductor is between 3.5 and 3.7 years.
Zack has been the director for 35 years, and says his greatest accomplishment over that time is making so many friends through music.