Beloved Chamber Music Society of Detroit member, Southfield resident dies

By: Jacob Herbert | Southfield Sun | Published January 27, 2021

 Everyone who knew Rohn Goldman knew he was the kind of person who wanted to get to know everybody. As a longtime attendee of chamber music concerts, he made a lasting impact on everyone from performers to concertgoers.

Everyone who knew Rohn Goldman knew he was the kind of person who wanted to get to know everybody. As a longtime attendee of chamber music concerts, he made a lasting impact on everyone from performers to concertgoers.

Photo provided by Lydia Goldman

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SOUTHFIELD — Chamber Music Society of Detroit President Steve Wogaman describes chamber music as intimate and extremely pleasing to people who know music.

That is also the way the people who knew Ronald “Rohn” Goldman would describe him.

Goldman was a longtime season ticket holder of the Chamber Music Society, and while it’s unclear just how long he had been attending concerts, his positive impact on the people he met will last a lifetime.

“The string quartet is like the most common ensemble type,” Wogaman said. “It’s two violins, a viola and a cello, so it covers a range of very high to very low. In the middle of that is the viola, which rarely gets any solo parts and yet it interacts with everybody in a way that holds the whole ensemble together. That was Rohn.”

Goldman was the type of person to make friends with everyone he met. From the person checking out his groceries to the person cutting his hair to the clients he made while running his interior design business.

It’s no secret that Goldman was an important morale boost to everyone who attended chamber music concerts.

“He literally lit up the lobby,” Wogaman said. “You always knew when Rohn was there because the atmosphere was just better. He was such a positive influence on the people around him.”

Goldman’s involvement in the Chamber Music Society went beyond just attending concerts. He was a regular contributor to fundraising drives. Goldman always embraced the challenge of asking for money for the betterment of the Chamber Music Society, a challenge that a lot of people may shy away from.

As part of their fundraising efforts, Wogaman would write an annual fundraising letter to all season ticket holders. The main problem with fundraising letters, according to Wogaman, is that it’s hard to make a letter sent to thousands of people feel personable.

As a way to combat this, each year Wogaman picks one person to write a letter to and distributes it to all season ticket holders. This year’s letter was addressed to Goldman.

“What I’ll do is every year I’ll pick one person I really know and love and I will write a letter to them,” Wogaman said. “When I write the letter, I’m thinking about that person and that person alone. This year I thought, who’s it going to be? And I saw Rohn’s face. So I wrote, ‘Dear Rohn.’”

Lifelong friends of Goldman, Barbara and Paul Goodman, knew Rohn Goldman for 73 years. They describe him as a phenomenal people person who cared about people and was sincere in that caring.

“Even as a child, Rohn was charming,” Paul said. “He was fun to be with.”

In a year that was difficult for a lot of people, Rohn Goldman was a consistent bright spot and a reminder of the good in the world.

“In a time like this where you’re struggling to stay positive and you’re struggling to keep your focus on what really matters, there is no better person to write to than Rohn,” Wogaman said. “He represents, particularly in a time of challenge and difficulty, he represents what is the best about the Chamber Music Society of Detroit.”

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