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Your Good Wishes

Laurie, We have followed your amazing success with the MVP from afar and are really looking forward to seeing you on the 24th. lots of love, Catherine & Terry

Best of luck to you, for the final final concert and for the next exciting phase of your musical career! Best, Linda

Playing in MVP and becoming part of the musical community you have created has changed and contributed so much to my life! You are an amazing musician, leader, teacher, and friend. There are not enough words to express how much you have given to us musicians and to the music-loving community of Marin. You have created quite a challenge for us to fill your shoes at MVP, but we are hopeful that the strong foundation you built will keep us going to carry your vision forward for many years to come. Here’s a virtual toast to you and your next adventures!

Right on!!! Well deserved. What a huge accomplishment and gift to so many of us and to the community. Meghan

Best wishes in your retirement. You’ll be missed as you’ve done such an excellent job.

Laurie, you have made a wonderful contribution to music…. congratulations! Susan Erdman

Congratulations and I cannot thank you enough for everything. Feeling sad that after this concert series you will not be there as a conductor..please keep us posted on your next adventure, or relaxed life, whatever you do I’m sure you deserve it. Ryoko Matsukata

Congrats on a glorious run! Suzie Lipman

I admire you SO much, and am full of gratitude for having been part of this chapter in your life. Angela Cadelago Zullinger

Congratulations! You are so gifted and generous to share your gifts with the community! I can’t wait to hear what’s next for you! Sabra Redfern

Laurie, congratulations, on your retirement! It must feel so good. What will you do with ALL your Free time? Yvonne McCullough Jefferson

I’m wondering what your next move is…I am ever amazed at your abundant talent, energy and creativity. Hope to see you some time…Love, Paula

Don’t pack up. Dore Coller

We wish you all a hugely successful concert series this weekend and Laurie, congratulations on all the scrumptious music you’ve made, the leadership you’ve provided, the community you’ve built and the path ahead. Best, Lois Salisbury

There was the subbing as CM, 2nd violin Principal, Kablevsky Violin Concerto Solo along with so many great sets with MVP or just Chamber Music Readings..Laurie: you have definitely been a strong force in my musical life–mentor/friend/conductor. The prof gigs I do now ultimately trace back to a network through you in the beginning and I am forever grateful for that! Although you and I have butted heads some along the way, I now know it was because you see the value in me that I didn’t see for myself. I really attribute my awareness and desire to become a better Musician because of you and the standards I learned because of the opportunities you had given me.
I’m sad about your retirement as I so enjoy playing under your instructions and having you on the Podium. I hope your retirement will give us more time to play more Chamber Music?
Whoa, getting emotional here.. Prob good to let you know here as I don’t want to cry in public after the concert or at your party ;p 18yrs from Beginning to Now of knowing you, playing with you, growing with you…
Nothing you didn’t already know though–I, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for being the Musical Inspiration you have been in my life!!
With love, Ace

Congratulations! You created a great institution when you started MVP. I’m glad to have been part of it
for many years.


I really wish I could join you for the Ninth concerts…
I can only imagine how great it’s going to be…….talk about going out in grand style!!!
Congrats to you. Best wishes for a spectacular weekend!


Break all legs, bask in the glory, and thanks for all you’ve done for music in our funny little community!

I am sorry that I will be out of town for the 9th as well as your party! That is not cool! In the article, you talked about the Miwok program. That is probably one of the more memorable programs I ever did with the group and I thank you so much for giving us that opportunity, as well as so many more! Meghan

Laurie, can I be you when I grow up? Angela

Ah Laurie,

We loved being at your wonderful concert yesterday. What a tour de force! Such a great, ambitious finale on your part of the great, ambitious project of starting and running the Philharmonic. As I sat and let the music wash over me, I thought about what I value in life — family, community, deep connections, art, good work — and how much this monumental effort fits into all of that. And taking on the 9th! How fitting.
Sam and I are sorry that we can’t come to your Sweetwater celebration. We didn’t want to bud in on people who have known you and your music much better and longer — but I hope that you saw us out of the corner of your eye.
Sending you huge congratulations, and love,

It is such an honor to be part of your amazing musical creation. What a treasure you have given to the community. Enjoy a well-deserved retirement filled with things that bring you joy. Elizabeth

Laurie, what can I say? The depth of gratitude I have for you is boundless — beginning with you accepting me into the orchestra 7 years ago after just having started playing viola again after a long break to teaching me key phrases such as, “when it doubt, play out!” as a way of boosting my confidence, to giving me the incredible opportunity to grow musically in the role of principle viola for Beethoven’s 9th. Your courage, focus and commitment to the orchestra and community has driven you to think big and tackle tough musical challenges and by association, you have taken me on so many wonderful journeys over the past years. It has been an honor to be able to work with you.
Enjoy your retirement, if that is what you call it. I look forward to seeing what you do next. Xx

There once was a woman named Laurie
who reflected on her life’s story.
At that time she was fifty
and thought it’d be nifty
to tackle orchestral glory.

She gathered her friends,
musicians all,
and pursued her dream in hall after hall.
After wielding her baton for 18 years,
she led her last concert,
fought back her tears,
and savored the audience ovations and cheers.

Laurie – It was your dream but we are the beneficiaries. My deepest thanks for this gem you’ve created. I’m not a musician (and clearly not a poet), but who knew our random meeting 37 years ago in a camera shop would turn out to be the start of a wonderful friendship (and my tenure as MVP treasurer). And, so it goes on!
Billy joins me in wishing you the very best in all these years ahead. Love,

I cannot attend the retirement celebration, but wish to express my gratitude to Laurie Cohen. I attended the symphonies from the inception in Mill Valley to the B. Osher venue, introduced the symphonies to many friends (and was happy to donate in addition to the ticket price). I was unable to attend for the last several years due to reduced mobility. Thank you Laurie, and the MVP, for many hours of beautiful music. You will be missed. Margit

At the risk of repeating myself, I want to tell you how much I admire you. It takes a huge amount of integrity, character, drive, creativity, passion and vision to accomplish what you have – and you have it all! Congratulations on a wonderful career – and we are so grateful for all you’ve brought to this community. Thank you for supporting the board in our desire to continue with the orchestra. Love.

In response the Beethoven concerts

I would just like to tell you that I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to participate in part of the development of the MVP which has been a great fulfillment of your dream. Surely, during your endeavor there have been sobering nightmares as well. The end result, however must be seen as a great accomplishment for you, and a huge donation to the life of community music making in America. Thank you so much for the experience. Bert

THANK YOU for including me in this most exciting, wonderful experience, from rehearsals to the grand performances! I don’t know how you pulled this off, with all the planning, time commitment, continuous communication, technical concerns,etc,etc. Not to mention prep for rehearsals and concerts, and conducting and teaching all of us, and taking us all to a grandiose, Joyful Finale, which brought the huge audiences and all of us to our feet with long, well-deserved ovations to you!! You are truly amazing!!! The memory of this will last forever, for you and all of us!! Kudos & Admiration to you for making little Mill Valley the center of a Bay Area musical phenomenon these last 18 years! You’ve created an orchestra which a new conductor can feel proud to conduct. Only hope he or she can fill your shoes and continue on the track you set up for them. Will be quite a challenge! Ricca

Congratulations – what a grand experience to see so many musicians, so many singers, all on stage, making music together! And what a fitting farewell to your creation of the Mill Valley Philharmonic! May it carrying on into the future as the wonderful institution you’ve made it….Catherine

What a triumph! Every note of your Beethoven had meaning, and it all added up to a deeply felt connection—to Beethoven, and also to the orchestra and you. I had to rush off to the Mill Valley series, the Young Artists concert, and missed giving you hug on the spot, but I imagine you are black & blue with all the hugging——well deserved! It was a tremendous accomplishment. With love and admiration – Tina

The performance tonight of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was just wonderful, but you must know that the standing ovation was not just for the performance, but a thank you for founding Mill Valley Philharmonic, with its concerts that make classical music affordable to all of us. I do hope MVP finds a worthy successor, but you have left big shoes to fill. I have so enjoyed attending the concerts so far. Deirdre

We loved being at your wonderful concert yesterday. What a tour de force! Such a great, ambitious finale on your part of the great, ambitious project of starting and running the Philharmonic. As I sat and let the music wash over me, I thought about what I value in life — family, community, deep connections, art, good work — and how much this monumental effort fits into all of that. And taking on the 9th! How fitting. Maude

Congratulations to you on all of your really impressive and devoted hard work on building and sustaining the Mill Valley Philharmonic during your tenure. You really brought imaginative and challenging ideas to your programing with them, and I know
it enirched the lives of your orchestra members and your audiences.

It was a pleasure and a privilege to be part of your final performance. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be a part of it, to take on the challenge and experience the power of the Ninth from the inside. I enjoyed your leadership and musicianship very much and will never forget your Pink Panther tiptoeing to show us how you wanted the section at letter R!Alison

Laurie, I’m heading off to Big Sur for an extended weekend, so I regret not being able to make your shindig tonight. I wanted to say thank you so much for the opportunity to get involved and reconnect with music. When I first came along, I had only recently dusted off an old horn after many years. Back in my old home town, there were no opportunities to play with orchestras, and no one I knew ever took up the violin. It was all about peppy band music and a jazz band, and I like it well enough. But I went to one district concert event, I think as a high school senior, and played Vaughn Williams English Folk Song Suite in an orchestra–and secretly loved it. That enjoyment stayed buried and latent until you took me in.

I’ve particularly dug your selection of music–most of which has been unfamiliar to me. Every single set has been a discovery of something new for me, and all of it is music I’m going to enjoy listening to the future. You’ve got great taste!

We’re going to miss you, Laurie. Thanks so much for kickstarting and sustaining this thing, and for being a fantastic director and leader.


Your Good Wishes

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