There was a full house as the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus closed out their seasons with the Brahms Requiem Saturday night.

The program featured Beethoven as well, with the intense String Quartet Serioso in F Minor arranged by Gustav Mahler.

But first, guest conductor Noel Burgoyne took the stage and "The Baton" for her debut.

Passing the baton has been a tradition since 1969, when community members step onto the podium to conduct the musicians of the orchestra for one piece, while raising funds for the Erie Philharmonic.

With a long and dedicated history of supporting the orchestra, the Erie Junior Philharmonic and their many events and performances, Noel certainly earned her opportunity to take the baton, and lead the orchestra in a performance of Overture from The Marriage of Figaro.

With a few jitters, or maybe for fun, she flipped the baton at first, then grabbed hold and took charge of the orchestra in expert fashion with Maestro Daniel Meyer looking on.

With a generous matching gift of $10,000 Noel did her part to encourage donations for her big night.  The Baton 2019 brought in $28,100 for Burgoyne's special conducting night.