Man Celebrates 65 Years with Springfield Symphony

SPRINGFIELD, Mo- Tommy Zongker will be celebrating his 82nd birthday this December, but his biggest accomplishment is celebrating 65 years with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra.

"I just knew that it was another season to begin and I just went, I never did even think about not going, but here I am again," says Zongker before rehearsing for the first concert of the season. 

Throughout his 81 years, Zongker says he has been a caretaker for everyone close to him. 

"I was the caretaker most of my life for my elderly mother, she got sick when I was in college, and that's why I never married I just worked, took care of her, and played in the symphony and that's it."

"I have older sisters two in their 90's, and one of them had a stroke so I take care of her, there's always something."

But that hasn't stopped Tommy from making a joyful noise with his laughter or with his bow and bass. 

"That's about the only other thing that I have is the music."

When it comes to the music Zongker says he loves playing the classic romantic style song. He talked about the main song that the orchestra would be performing and how demanding it was for him and the rest of the bass players. 

As Tommy said earlier, "That's about the only other thing that I have is the music." And that is nearly true for the string bass player. His other love right now... sports.

"I don't just wanna sit at home and stew about things. I love sports on TV, that's the one thing about our fall series on Saturday's, there's always one I wanna see desperately but we have to come to rehearsal."

Tommy hopes to continue playing in the orchestra but can tell that he might be retiring his bass soon.

You can see Tommy in action with the Symphony at their next concert on October 14th. For more, you can visit the Springfield Symphony Orchestra website. 

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