Jay Mann Looks Forward to Full Retirement

Posted on July 31, 2012

Jay Mann plays an essential role in highlighting the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra (LSO) by coordinating the Symphony Pre-Concert Talks.

This will be his last season undertaking Symphony Pre-Concert Talks. He plans to go into full retirement and move to Colorado Springs, Colo., in September to be closer to his family. He has coordinated and led these talks since 2008.

Mann worked at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, as a college professor and purchased a cottage in Lakeside in 1991, moving into it full-time after his retirement in 1998.

For the Symphony Pre-Concert Talks, he works hard to familiarize the LSO musicians with the music that they will perform, as well as educate Lakesiders about specific symphony concerts during the talks.

Mann prepares handouts with the history of the composers and their music so that Lakesiders can become better acquainted with who the composers were and what their music means.

He also plays excerpts of the music that the LSO will be playing for their concert and conducts extensive research on each composer.

Gretchen S. Curtis, the current director of Operations at the Lakeside Heritage Society, approached Mann about coordinating Symphony Pre-Concert Talks at the Firelands Presbyterian Church, where he worked as the Music Director.

Curtis had visited the Chautauqua Institution in New York and learned that they had someone who coordinated Symphony Pre-Concert Talks, and thought that Mann would be great at conducting similar talks at Lakeside.

Although he is looking forward to fully retiring, he will miss his duties at Lakeside.

"I’m really going to miss the symphony," he said. "I hope that people understand how unique and special the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra is."

Mann’s favorite part of working with the LSO is coming to their rehearsals and seeing special moments that could only happen in Lakeside.

"Once there was a little girl that had to be only 13 years old who blew me away when she played a 16th century violin. I’ve never seen someone that young play the violin so great. She was really a child prodigy," Mann said. "It is the little moments like this that are so special."

The LSO and the Lakeside Chautauqua community would like to thank Mann for his work with the Symphony Pre-Concert Talks and dedication to Lakeside Chautauqua.

There will be a Symphony Pre-Concert Talk at 7 p.m. Tuesday,

Aug. 7.