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Fanfare for Susan

September 3, 2009 - Phyllis Sigal
What a beautiful tribute to Susan Hogan, who retired earlier this summer as executive director of the Wheeling Symphony.

Close to a couple of hundred admirers and supporters joined her at the Stifel Fine Arts Center for a reception on Wednesday evening.

It was great to see past presidents of the symphony board — including Betty Mullen, who with her husband Joe, came from their home in Virginia for the reception — board members and lots and lots of community members join the festivities.

When Susan retired, she said she didn't want any parties — unless of course it could be a fundraiser for the symphony. What a great idea, the development committee thought. In fact, noted Betsy Delk, president of WSO board, the committee thinks Susan should stay awhile, then retire again.

Why? Her retirement shindig brought in more than $12,000!

Before Susan took the floor, she held up a photo of her grandbaby. "This," she said, "is one of the reasons I retired."

She also took it upon herself to assure the audience that they WILL get their season tickets, soon!

There has been a delay in the ticketing process because of the new powers that be at the Capitol Theatre. They've renumbered the seats, and tickets are now going through Ticketmaster.

"The reason you don't have your tickets is because there are no tickets yet," Susan explained. "Just be patient!"

How nice of her to take the heat off the symphony staff!

Susan has been executive director of the Wheeling Symphony two different times, for a total of 17 years.

And I still remember when she retired the very first time. She stood on the steps at the Fort Henry Club, announcing that she and her husband, Bill, were going to Africa to volunteer for the Peace Corps.

And according to the July concert program, "There has been no one more passionate or devoted to keeping symphonic music alive in the Ohio Valley than Susan Hogan. She worked tirelessly to promote the orchestra and to raise money to fund concerts such as the one we will enjoy tonight. Her greatest delight was introducing children to classical music through the symphony’s Young People Concerts and bringing artist-in-residence programs to economically disadvantaged school children. It is impossible to measure all that Susan Hogan brought to the Wheeling Symphony and to all of us who love music."

Best wishes, Susan. Enjoy your retirement, and that cute little granddaughter of yours!


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Susan Hogan