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LETTERS

Gentle Goldsmith

August 01, 2004

Every obituary of Jerry Goldsmith reminded me of his extraordinary appetite for composition and prolific musical output. But what was missing was a description of his appetite for collegial kindness and his prolific output as a man.

He was a teacher of amazing breadth, a good-souled optimist, a man who said "yes" to almost any request, even during his illness, and a gentle and supportive colleague.

I will never forget the first invitation I received to conduct an "All Goldsmith" program. I asked for a set of scores immediately. When the set of scores arrived, I saw hundreds of pages of illegible chicken scratches, no note heads, no stems, no rests; musings, really. I was faced with 15 or 20 different scores, two hours of film music, four rehearsals with a reputable orchestra in Europe whom I had never met starting in 10 days, and no notes!

I phoned Jerry's management and explained the problem. The next day my phone rang. It was Jerry Goldsmith. We did not know one another. In minutes, he had me laughing. He said he would go through every score and write in the notes for me. Ten days later, when the audience stood on its feet and cheered and stomped for the "Star Trek" finale, I phoned him from backstage so he could hear them.

"Jerry," I hollered into the cellphone, above the din, "listen to this shrieking! It's all for you!" "No, my dear," I heard him faintly reply, "it's all for you."

But it wasn't. The standing ovation was and always will be for Jerry Goldsmith.

Rachael Worby

Pasadena

Rachael Worby is the music director and conductor for the Pasadena Pops Orchestra.

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