Arthur Shaw’s love of classical music and his desire to share it with others began while in high school. One day while he and other musicians were practicing by the school auditorium, some athletes came clumping by on cleated shoes, interrupting the music. Shaw determined to do something about it.
After becoming the conductor of the Rogue Valley Symphony in 1987, Shaw gave creative programs in the public schools to help students better understand and enjoy the music. He preceded his concerts by giving talks explaining the background of the orchestra’s selections.
Shaw’s most popular concerts were the Candlelight Concerts performed each December for 22 years. These events were held in area churches lit by candlelight for a Baroque atmosphere. Shaw was so inspired by Medford’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church that he composed the piece “Mi Re Sol” as the grand finale of the 1999 Candlelight Concerts.
The church had been the site of the first candlelight concert 12 years earlier and Shaw said the church’s beauty, excellent acoustics, classic design and feeling of history almost demanded that he write the piece.
Sources: Varble, Bill. "Candlelight Concerts." Mail Tribune, 9 Dec. 1999 [Medford, OR] . Accessed 2 Nov. 2016. www.mailtribune.com/article/19991209/News/312099966; Varble, Bill. "Rogue Valley Symphony conductor plans to hang up his baton after 2009." Mail Tribune, 7 Dec. 2008 [Medford, OR] . Accessed 2 Nov. 2016. www.mailtribune.com/article/20081207/NEWS/81207031; Dodge, Dani. "Shaw work debuts at Sacred Heart." Mail Tribune, 17 Dec. 1999 [Medford, OR] . Accessed 2 Nov. 2016.