My name is Chris Martin. I am principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and was the trumpet soloist at the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest concert Dec. 12.

I am writing to express my regret that the issue between First United Church and the Symphony has taken a negative tone [Church swings downbeat on Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest, News, Jan. 29]. From the two concerts I have performed with the symphony over the years, I know the church to be a beautiful facility with lovely acoustics. It is unfortunate that the symphony will no longer be allowed to perform in such an excellent sanctuary and music space.

Perhaps there are other issues of which I have no knowledge, but the specific incident referenced in your local paper is the impetus for my letter today. I was present in your nursery space during all of the times referenced in the article. At no time did anyone enter the nursery and ask myself or Jay to leave. If someone from the church had asked me to do so, I certainly would have.

The only occurrence I can recall follows. A woman did enter the nursery before the concert. Mr. Friedman asked her if we should leave, and she said there was no need as she would only be a few minutes. She did a few things around your nursery and left without another word. She did not ask us to leave, and, in my observation, Mr. Friedman was at no time rude or disrespectful.

It is regrettable this became a public issue, and I hope to clarify at least this one event regarding the description of Mr. Friedman in your article.

Chris Martin
Principal trumpet, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

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