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Forte: Who is your hero?

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Lawrence Golan conducts the Yakima Symphony Orchestra at Heroes and Superheroes!, September 15, 2018.

YAKIMA, Wash. -- At 6 p.m. on Sept. 15, young symphony patrons were already lining up at the Capitol Theatre box office for a 7:30 p.m. performance. The first two in line, costumed as Wonder Woman and Cat Woman, could scarcely contain their excitement for the Heroes and Superheroes! concert in the wings.

Backstage and in the wings themselves, the orchestra members and stage crew, too, were eager for the concert to begin. As a season’s opening night concert, the fullness and poignancy of both opening a new season and coming together as performers and crew after four months apart was palpable. Layered into that was the season’s theme, Heroes!, and the invitation to express that through costume on stage.

With the cue to musicians to take their seats, two Elastigirls (from “The Incredibles”), a cowgirl, Donatello (a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle), The Incredible Hulk, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Valkyrie, Batman, several Supermen, a Hobbit, Cat Woman, multiple Wonder Women, a military hero, Leslie Knope from 
“Parks and Recreation,” Judge Judy and more heroes and superheroes filled the stage.

The house lights dimmed and Superman, aka Maestro Lawrence Golan, stepped to the podium. From the first notes of “The Star Spangled Banner” to a “007: Through the Years” James Bond medley, conducted by “James Bond,” to an Indiana Jones encore, conducted by “Indiana Jones,” it was an evening of high energy, nostalgia and delight.

Heroes, represented so diversely on stage and similarly throughout the audience that evening, are personal. Sometimes heroes are mythological or legendary figures endowed with great strength or ability or illustrious warriors. Sometimes heroes are people admired for achievements and noble qualities. Sometimes heroes are inescapably visible, like the superheroes of movies taking out villains and saving the world from destruction.

More often, heroes are in the moment-to-moment of living in those who inspire and influence our daily lives. Not all heroes wear capes.

As we move through our 2018-19 season of music written about, by and/or inspired by heroes, we invite you to share your heroes. Ask a friend or family member or colleague, “Who is your hero?” And then share your heroes in return.

We will be honored to hear about your heroes; send your stories to us at:

This column was written by the staff of the Yakima Symphony Orchestra. Learn more at

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