The Pierian Foundation has published a history of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, entitled For the Joy of It, in celebration of its bicentennial. This 76-page volume chronicles the evolution of the orchestra from its modest but enthusiastic beginnings in March 1808 to the appointment in Spring 2010 of Federico Cortese.
The first years of the HRO history are based largely on secretaries’ minutes, compiled in eleven hand-written notebooks now stored in the University Archives. Don Wetmore, Class of 1943, an HRO cellist and Associate Director of the Pierian Foundation, wrote the history covering the early years to 1943. John Bethell, Class of 1954, a Director of the Foundation from 1979 to 2004, completed the account. The book documents the adventures of the Pierian Sodality, as the group was first called, through 200 years of music making, including its growth from six members to a full symphony orchestra. It includes information on conductors, guest artists, and tours, most notably the 8-week tour in 1962 to Mexico, where an audience of 5,000 enjoyed a concert at Chichen Itza. The book is illustrated with historic photos of the orchestra in its various configurations, in concert and on tour, as well as posters and programs. The Pierian Foundation would like to thank Christine Slywotzky for her efforts to produce this terrific book.