Christina Gamota Shares the Story Behind Lexington Symphony's Concert Fund Partners

Music has been with me all my life one way or another. In our life, music was the hope and memories of the past that sustained our parents in good and bad times.


Lexington Symphony’s upcoming performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m. at Cary Hall is made possible by the generosity of Lexington Symphony's Concert Fund Partners. 

Lexington resident Christina Gamota, the inspiration behind the Concert Fund Partners, tells us how this group started:

“After Lexington Symphony’s all-Rachmaninoff concert in 2007, sponsored by an individual donor, with the brilliant performance of pianist Sergey Schepkin and the response of the audience, I was so moved and inspired. My mind was full of floating ideas and questions.  

How can we continue to have concerts like this? How can we make it more affordable to be a sponsor? Can the rest of us work together to be sponsors? I knew we had to use a different approach to draw a larger donor participation. This could be a partnership created by friends and lovers of music.  

With these ideas I approached Maestro Jonathan McPhee at a reception following the concert; he was very positive and asked me what I would like to hear. Being Ukrainian by birth, I said, “Chaika, Tchaikovsky” as you know him. He smiled and said he has some great ideas. That was enough for me.  

I started to approach my friends and everybody was so supportive. By the end of that evening I had five partners, which grew to 13 partners and today in 2012, 5 years later, we have 20 partners and two pending.

My partners in this endeavor are all lovers of music: Friends that have been inspired by their parents, teachers, siblings and others. This Concert Fund is also a wonderful opportunity to honor someone very special that might have introduced us to music, and at the same time to share the music with others.

In my life I had two people that loved music, a parent - my dearest dad - and my friend Kathy. My dad was not a professional musician, he came from a musical family where all his siblings and his parents played instruments and sang. Every summer they met with the rest of their family and performed for each other. It was a wonderful family tradition.  

After escaping from Ukraine, music his voice, his instrument became even more important. He joined an all male a cappella choir. He traveled to other cities in Austria to bring hope to others during the war.  Even after the war and immigrating to other countries, he continued with his passion and sang in numerous choirs. 

As a child of the war and later an immigrant in several countries, I traveled with my dad to many of his choir rehearsals. I was his companion most of the time. Now even as a mature woman I still remember sitting on my father’s lap on the train in Buenos Aires and waiting to hear that heavenly music by my father’s all male a cappella choir.

Music brought hope to my father in a strange land and made him happy, and our family of three, we too were happy. My father had a beautiful voice, and music became increasingly important in my life.  

Later in my life I met a new person who would become a very special and close friend. She was Kathy Yates, who lived here in Lexington. Kathy loved music. Music and trees were two of her biggest loves. Kathy introduced me to many different musical groups in the Boston area, as well as different people who later became good friends, and remained good friends after her death.

My memories of my dad’s love for music will always be with me. My memories of Kathy Yates, my dear friend, will also be with me. I will always cherish the times that we attended (four of us) the different concerts when my George was away on travel. Music has been with me all my life one way or another.  

In our life, music was the hope and memories of the past that sustained our parents in good and bad times. It was also a new learning experience and it continues to be.”

Participation in the Lexington Symphony Concert Fund Partners is open to all, and new Partners are always welcome. For information on how you can become a Concert Fund Partner, please contact Christina Gamota at 781-523-9009 or cgamota@lexingtonsymphony.org

Join Lexington Symphony and the Concert Fund Partners for Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, Saturday, November 10, 8pm, Cary Hall, 1605 Massachusetts Ave.  Conductor’s talk with Jonathan McPhee, 7pm.  Tickets available online at lexingtonsymphony.org, by phone at 781-523-9009, or in person at Crafty Yankee, 1838 Mass. Ave., Lexington Center (cash/check only).  $50, $40, $30, $20 (student).  Lexington Symphony offers “Lex3”, bringing you Mahler in November, Beethoven in February and “Porgy and Bess” in April, all at a 15% discount.  Call 781-523-9009 or visit www.lexingtonsymphony.org to buy online.  Offer ends Nov. 9.  You may also credit your Mahler ticket towards a Lex3 season ticket at the ticket table at the performance on Nov. 10.

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