It was a poignant moment April 12 when Wenatchee Valley Symphony conductor Nikolas Caoile lowered his arms at the close of Samuel Barber’s exceptionally beautiful Adagio For Strings. They were the final strains of Caoile’s final Wenatchee concert, and the knowing audience waited in a prolonged silence before erupting in affectionate applause. It was the kind of musical drama we came to expect from the enormously talented Caoile. He will be missed.
Caoile, orchestra director for Central Washington University, announced in January that he would not renew his contract after this symphony season. Work and family required his reduced efforts and sacrifice of the Wenatchee baton after four years. He leaves behind a greatly energized orchestra, with a growing audience and musicians who learned under Caoile’s direction that they are capable of far more than they ever dreamed. This will continue long after Caoile’s departure. Leadership of that caliber is rare in music, or in anything else. Caoile should know how much a community yearning for beauty came to appreciate it. Thank you, maestro.