Joe Mohan: “My experience from the stage was no different. It was a pleasure to play under his baton, and I often dreamed of being in his position. From the audience and from the stage, he was a beloved leader, something to aspire to.” — Joseph Mohan, about Marvin Hamlisch (1944–2012)
From: Joe Mohan
I hope this message finds you well. It was a privilege to hear you speak last year at Juilliard for Marvin’s tribute, as was the rest of the program. Shelly Fuerte from the PSO phoned to let me know about it.
I met Marvin in Buffalo when I was 10 and he invited me to let him know when I was auditioning for colleges. Of course he kept his word and was instrumental in encouraging me to decide to attend Juilliard. He gave me my first professional engagement with an orchestra (The Pittsburgh Symphony) along with many words of advice. To this day his encouragement is one of the main factors why I continue to write and pursue a career in music.
I do not claim to have known Marvin as well as many others, but I cannot stress enough the impact he made on my life. My first time at the Holiday Pops in Buffalo was characterized by a man who knew how to make the audience laugh, and how to get a symphony orchestra to play the holiday classics with an infectious spirit. He seemed to have a way with the orchestra that not only got the job done, but kept the atmosphere light and enjoyable. My experience from the stage was no different. It was a pleasure to play under his baton, and I often dreamed of being in his position. From the audience and from the stage, he was a beloved leader, something to aspire to.
It is not enough just to say a special thank you to you, the ASCAP Foundation, and all the mentors and participants for making the inaugural conducting program what it was. I hope it’s a continued success for years to come and that I can honor Marvin’s legacy somehow in the upcoming years. I think he’d appreciate that.
My best regards,
(Joe is a skilled pianist of all styles, he has played with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Buffalo Philharmonic, under the baton of notables including Marvin Hamlisch. To date, musical direction and production credits include “All About Women,” “The Day We Know as Christmas,” a Christmas musical that he also composed and orchestrated. He is presently the conductor of the School of Visual Arts Orchestra in New York City, and is currently studying at The Juilliard School pursuing a degree in Piano Performance.)
WATCH Joseph Mohan’s interview with WGRZ news:
Thank you note from Terre Blair — Hamlisch
Dear Joe ,
You are making Marvin very very proud!!!
I am very moved by your letter. He would want you to continue your passion. He said he was the luckiest guy in the world to do what he loved! Yes, he was a man of his word, a brilliant, insightful, kindhearted genius that made it look effortless and touched all our lives deeply.
You continue in this way and you will propel his legacy forward. I know he is so very proud of you
With much gratitude,
Terre Blair — Hamlisch
Joe Mohan plays Liszt Spanish Rhapsody: