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Taking Keith Clark's Baton

March 12, 1988

I was deeply disturbed by the articles I read in your paper about Keith Clark and the Pacific Symphony (Calendar Feb. 24, 26, 28).

I was Dr. Clark's personal secretary for over a year. Certainly, if he were "arrogant," "impossible to get along with," and "the cause of staff turnover," I would have experienced that firsthand. On the contrary, he was kind, polite and extremely appreciative of all the work I did for him. I saw that (when) employees differed with Dr. Clark, it was because he was completely dedicated to the growth and excellence of the symphony, and he required the same perfection of others that he required of himself.

While others spent their time back-stabbing, Dr. Clark would isolate himself in his office, refusing to participate, refusing to lower himself to their level, and (concentrating) on his responsibilities as music director. In all my close dealing with Dr. Clark I never heard him utter a negative word about anyone, though I heard some of his so-called friends stabbing him in the back.

Artistic excellence was always of primary importance to Dr. Clark. He was thoroughly dedicated to the artistic quality and progress of the symphony, never to his own personal success.

I hope the many others who know this side of the story will make their views known.

DOROTHY SMITH

La Habra

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