In the wake of a lot of publicity about the Orange County Pacific Symphony and its founder, Keith Clark, it appears that a reminder of Clark's immense contribution to the cultural growth of Orange County is necessary. My vantage point is from that of a former (Pacific Symphony) staff member, as well as editor and typographer; my knowledge of the organization stems from its beginning to its opening concert at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.
When the organization was young and struggling, Clark had no qualms about personally tackling any task to keep it going. When others wanted to call it a day, Clark remained committed to the job at hand, whatever it was, refusing to compromise in favor of an ordinary end product.
Clark's dedication and perseverance paid off, culminating in the emergence of an important orchestral presence in and for Orange County. The satisfaction of creative work accomplished under pressures imposed by time and budget was realized time and time again by Clark and those who had the privilege to collaborate in whatever role necessary.
The community owes Keith Clark an immeasurable debt of gratitude, which will become increasingly obvious as time goes by. No matter what the politics may be, the simple fact is that there would be no Pacific Symphony today had it not been for Keith Clark's dream of creating a first-class ensemble at home. Which he did.