Conductor Murry Sidlin of the Long Beach Symphony did not follow hallowed tradition May 21 at the Terrace Theater. Upon concluding the program with a magnificent performance of Mendelssohn's "Midsummer Night's Dream," he took a short bow and left, with enthusiastic applause ringing in his ears. By our standing ovation, many of us wanted to bid farewell to Sidlin on his final concert. Long-established protocol would have called for, at least, two or three curtain calls. The lights were turned on; the musicians, chorus and narrators were waiting; the applause went on. But he never came back.
In his own way, he had already given his farewell. Towards the very end of Shakespeare's narrative part of "Midsummer Night's Dream," he dramatically left the podium, joined the narrators at the microphone and, assuming Puck's role, read his parting lines:
\o7 If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here,
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme
No more yielding but a dream.
Gentles, do not reprehend:
If you pardon, we will mend.