Pat Bond became involved in the symphony about 25 years ago, when it was observing its 50th anniversary, remembered Dr. Dan Foster, also on the symphony's board.
"He became Mr. McClaugherty's protégé for a number of years," Foster said. "He did a superb job of guiding the symphony during challenging times after Mr. McClaugherty's death. He provided leadership for at least six years and set the stage for where the orchestra is going now.
"The key is Pat's close tie with John McClaugherty, which makes them the perfect duo to honor. He enabled the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra to move in a very positive direction where orchestras in other parts of the country were not. John McClaugherty set a spark, and Pat Bond made sure it didn't go out."
Bond and McClaugherty also are perfect examples of how friendships are made and fostered through symphony ties, according to their friends Lodge and Foster.
Lodge first met Sallie McClaugherty in the early 1970s, she recalled, through their involvement with the West Virginia Symphony League (then called the Women's Committee), which supports the orchestra through various fundraisers. "In the 1980s, our seeds of acquaintance grew into a very close friendship," Lodge said.
"She never loses her cool," Lodge said of her best girlfriend. "As a leader, this is remarkable because people can disappoint. She's also very modest and thanks people for what they do. She listens to people. She does her own analysis and comes up with a plan of action. Once she becomes involved, she is totally immersed in it."
Foster has similar warm friendship feelings about Bond: "Pat and I are personal friends. Our families grew up together. We've worked together a long time on the symphony."
Regarding the impact of the orchestra on the Charleston community, Foster said, "We are incredibly blessed to have the quality of orchestra we have here in Charleston. Speaking as a physician at CAMC, it makes it easier for us to attract professionals to our city. If we didn't have it, it would be a lot harder."
"A symphony is not just doing concerts," McClaugherty said. "It has an education outreach. It gives children an opportunity to have their lives enriched by music. We used to have just one children's concert a year, but Grant Cooper said, 'Give me a child who benefits from three concerts a year and I'll make a music lover of them.'"
Bond echoed the sentiment that bringing the joy of music to young people and enjoying music as a family has been an important part of his involvement.
"There have been so many wonderful things that have occurred," Bond said. "When we had Yo-Yo Ma come and I was able to have my children meet him, that was really special. That was the only concert in our history that we did midweek because Yo-Yo Ma doesn't do weekend events so that he can be with his family."
In addition to Ma, Young cites in his article many other highly recognized soloists and conductors who have performed with the orchestra in its 75-year history. They include Itzhak Perlman, Isaac Stern, James Galway, Emanuel Ax, Marilyn Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Doc Severinsen, Henry Mancini, Dave Brubeck, Peter Nero, Victor Borge and Arthur Fiedler.
Young writes: "The orchestra premiered several works including Poem for Orchestra, the orchestral debut of 17-year-old George Crumb. The West Virginia Symphony celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1989, with a five-city tour culminating at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington."
The "Diamonds are Forever" cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m.; dinner is served at 7 p.m. at the Clay Center. Dress is black tie. Tickets cost $175 and may be purchased at wvsymphony.org. Gala sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, contact Kortney Major, donor relations manager, at 304-561-3514.
Reach Judy E. Hamilton at judy.hamil...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.