Remembering Sam Goldstein; Dancing in the Loop

By Lois Caplan

IN 2007, THE ST. LOUIS WIND SYMPHONY lost one of its favorite sons, Sam Goldstein, who succumed to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Sam, a French hornist, was an original member of the St. Louis Wind Symphony and a ray of sunshine to everyone who knew him. Sam’s widow, Jo-Ann Goldstein, told me that the symphony initiated a project to commission a work to honor Sam’s memory and his exemplary service to music making in our community. The Goldstein Commission Work Committee selected a nationally recognized composer, Andrew Boysen, to compose this work, which will be premiered at 3 p.m. March 16 at Chaminade College Prep School, 425 S. Lindbergh Boulevard. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and may be purchased at the door.  A reception will follow the concert. 

I was intrigued by the fact that “A Symphony for Sam” reflects what was important to him. The composer said that the underlying emotional inspirations in each movement are: 

• Family — a stronger movement, at times bittersweet;

• Faith and love – beautiful, confident; 

• Humor and sports – a scherzo using lots of light energy to reflect the enjoyment of life;

• Music – a powerful finale that attempts to create the sorts of movements Sam would have liked as a musician. 

Jo-Ann hopes that the many friends who contributed to the creation of “A Symphony for Sam” will be there to hear it at its premiere.

ALICE BLOCH, a recent recipient of a Regional Arts Commission Artist’s Fellowship and a St. Louis resident since 1991, has a doctorate in dance history from Temple University. Her curriculum vitae is awesome and includes such tidbits as a “fourth-generation Isadora Duncan dancer.” 

Have you seen her dance? Neither have I, though she has appeared throughout our community and has also taught movement classes for older adults. Now we all have the opportunity to see her perform in “Alice Bloch Dance Life: Celebrating 50 Years of Dancing” at COCA on March 14 and 15. Alice and 20 of St. Louis’ best dancers will perform choreography to Bach, the Klezmatics and traditional Bahamian music. One of the several dances is a hilarious look at women and aging entitled, “Old Lady Skin.” 

You can purchase tickets at the COCA box office at 524 Trinity Avenue or online at 

DANCING IN THE LOOP, presented by J Associates, returns to The Pageant March 1, featuring some St. Louis “favorites” and professional dancers from Simply Ballroom. This year’s local faves include Mark Cantor, Alyson Garland, Diane Katzman, Ronnie Light, Lenore Pepper, Larry Samuels, Julie Sandler and Andy Trivers.  The evening will be hosted by KSDK News Channel 5’s Leisa Zigman, and guest judges are Dan Gray, winner of Dancing in the Loop 2011; David Hoffman, winner of Dancing in the Loop 2010 and Kathy Huss, owner of Merle Scheff School of Dance. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the competition begins at 8. Sounds like a very exciting dance competition, but let me tell you the best of it.  Proceeds from Dancing in the Loop are allocated to various departments of the Jewish Community Center and used for scholarships and other programs. Touching all faiths, races and ages, from infants to the elderly, J Associates raise funds for home delivered meals for seniors, Theatre Unlimited for adults with special needs, and scholarships that allow children to attend the JCC’s Early Childhood Center and summer camps. Tickets, at $125, are on sale now and may be purchased at or by calling Kimmi Levinson at 314-442-3109. Complimentary parking will be provided.

TRIVIA NIGHTS FREAK ME OUT, as I truly believe I do not know enough to answer any questions. But here is one made for me, and people like me, who know a little something about music. A music trivia night to benefit the Little Bit Foundation will take place March 8 at the Whitfield School, 175 S. Mason Road in Creve Coeur. Doors opens at 6 p.m. and trivia begins at 7, with beer, soda, and Buffalo wild wings being served, all for $25 per person or $250 for tables of 10. 

The Little Bit Foundation, founded in 2001, serves 4,300 elementary and middle school students at, or near, the poverty level, in 16 St. Louis area schools. Volunteers work one-on-one with each child and help provide necessities such as clothing, shoes and coats, ensuring each child’s personal dignity. School administrators say the positive results of kids being involved with Little Bit include improvement in attendance, fewer discipline issues, and an uptick in reading and test scores To reserve your spot at music trivia night, call 314-669-0040.

HERE’S A NATURAL AWARD FOR OLDER ADULTS in the St. Louis Jewish community: the 2014 Ageless Remarkable St. Louisans Gala, sponsored by St. Andrews Resources for Seniors System. This annual event honors outstanding St. Louis area older adults age 75 and older for their many contributions on the job front and in areas such as philanthropy and volunteer service. 

Seniors from the metropolitan area are eligible for recognition at the 2014 gala, which is set for Nov. 9. In addition to serving as St. Andrew’s most significant fundraiser of the year, the Ageless Remarkable St. Louisan Gala has played a critical role in helping to reshape the face of aging in the region and transform, enhance and improve the image of older adults in the region. Over the past 12 years, more than 260 seniors have been recognized for their amazing contributions well past the age of traditional retirement. 

“Too often, we find that older adults are stereotyped as frail, unproductive members of our society,” said Mary Alice Ryan, President and CEO of the St. Andrews Resources for Seniors System. “We wanted to demonstrate what diverse and outstanding lives area seniors are leading and showcase how fulfilling life can be after 75.” 

So if you know of someone to nominate, do so by March 10 via the St. Andrews website at