Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in Massachusetts.

In Thursday’s (10/12) Western Mass News, Wesley Days and Ryan Trowbridge report, “It’s a big weekend in downtown Springfield as both the Thunderbirds and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra open their seasons on Saturday and the orchestra is celebrating a big milestone: its 80th season. ‘It’s a remarkable achievement. There’s just not that many cultural institutions that have survived 80 years,’ said Paul Lambert, president and CEO of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. For its eight-decade anniversary, the orchestra is celebrating in style and is bringing talents from across the country together … ‘We’ve been unbelievably gifted and proud to have this remarkable series of guest conductors and artists that are coming to play with us,’ Lambert explained. [On Saturday], guest conductor Mei-Ann Chen and guest soloist 15-year-old prodigy Amaryn Olmeda will take the stage … ‘We have Rachmaninov’s luscious Symphony #2. If you don’t know the symphony, wait until the slow movement when the clarinets melt your heart,’ Chen noted…. ‘People might be surprised that we take basically two days to put everything together. We have what we call double rehearsals each day,’… Chen explained. ‘Guest conducting for me, I like to call it speed dating the orchestra.’ ”