The Wartburg Community Symphony in rehearsal.

In last Monday’s (10/16) Waverly Newspapers (Iowa), Tim Schumacher writes, “Most Iowa towns, however small, have a band, even if it’s only the high school band. The love of music is strong in this state. But a symphony orchestra is rare indeed. [The Wartburg Community Symphony] started 70 years ago, with a man named Ernest Hagen. Hagen was 38 when he arrived in Waverly as a Wartburg professor of music. He had studied conducting in Berlin and directed a 60-man Army chorus. And he desperately wanted an orchestra to conduct. So he went to work, tirelessly recruiting area musicians to join his fledgling symphony. They debuted as a chamber orchestra … in 1952 … They haven’t stopped since. Today, nine conductors later, Dr. Rebecca Nederhiser holds the Symphony baton, the latest embodiment of a proud tradition…. The College provides a solid backbone for the Symphony, and many students play in it, along with members of the community and professional musicians when needed, who act as mentors to the students.”