Durham Symphony’s 2009-2010 Young Artists Competition

Classical Music, Durham, Music Comments Off on Durham Symphony’s 2009-2010 Young Artists Competition

The Durham Symphony will be holding their annual Young Artists Competition at the Durham Arts Council on December 12, 2009.  Applications are due by November 27, 2009.  This competition allows classical musicians ages 13-21 to compete to play solo with the Durham Symphony in their 2010 spring concert.  This will be the Durham Symphony’s first Young Artists concert with their new conductor William Henry Curry.  If you know of anyone who might be interested in this competition, please send them over to the Durham Symphony website for full details.

Mikado Sing-Through

Classical Music, Durham, Music, North Carolina Comments Off on Mikado Sing-Through

The Durham Savoyards, Ltd. presents

Gilbert & Sullivan’s


and invites you to join in a public


at the Durham Arts Council building

120 Morris Street, Durham NC 27701

Sunday, November 1, 2009

2pm to 5pm

Scores will be available for loan or sale ($25).



2010 Performances: March 18, 19, 20, 21
at the Carolina Theatre
309 West Morgan Street, Durham NC 27701

January 2010 at the DAC
by appointment
Sunday, January 3 from 1pm to 6pm
Monday, January 4 from 7:30pm to 9:15pm
Callbacks: Tuesday, January 5 at 7:30pm

To schedule an audition or receive more information, contact
or 919-491-2364

Audition guidelines, preferred selections, and complete show and ticket information are available at

Tori Amos at the DPAC

Durham, Music, Popular Music Comments Off on Tori Amos at the DPAC
Musician Tori Amos in New York

By way of newraleigh.com, it looks like Tori Amos will be coming to the Durham Performing Arts Center at the end of July. I haven’t seen her in concert since moving to Durham from the DC area in 1998, but I remember she had a good show then. I wonder what her stuff is like now.

A Prairie Home Companion in Durham

Durham, Life, Music, North Carolina Comments Off on A Prairie Home Companion in Durham

If you haven’t been to the DPAC yet, you might want to consider going on May 9th.  It was just announced that in association with WUNC radio, Garrison Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion will be coming to the DPAC.    Tickets won’t go on sale until March 2nd but when they do you can get them at the DPAC tickets page.

I had heard rumors of this a few months ago, but had thought they fell through.  It’s nice to see they were correct.  A Prairie Home Companion is my son’s favorite show and he just picked up two books by Garrison Keillor at the Book Exchange in their going out of business sale.

Musical Reviews

Classical Music, Duke, Durham, Music, North Carolina Comments Off on Musical Reviews

Just a quick note to point out two reviews of musical concerts from this past weekend:

Interestingly enough, the concert for the Duke String School got a review while the 3 full performances of Handel’s Messiah, presented by the Duke Chapel Choir, did not.  Something’s a bit wrong there.

In The Mood For Some Christmas Music?

Classical Music, Durham Comments Off on In The Mood For Some Christmas Music?

The Christmas season is upon us and that means Christmas concerts. This weekend there are three performances of the entire Handel’s Messiah by the Duke Chapel Choir at Duke Chapel. In addition the Durham Symphony will be performing their annual holiday pops concert at the Carolina Theater on Friday evening. Featuring former Miss NC Elizabeth Grayson and guest conductor Fouad Fakhouri the Durham Symphony will perform Christmas favorites along with Beethoven’s first symphony. The concert starts at 7pm and tickets can be bought at the door or online at the Durham Symphony website. There will also be a silent auction at intermission to raise money for the symphony.

Annual Durham Savoyards Sing-Through

Durham, Music, North Carolina Comments Off on Annual Durham Savoyards Sing-Through

The annual Durham Savoyards Sing-Through will be this Sunday from 2-5pm in the basement of the Durham Arts Council.  Everyone is invited to come and site-read the vocals from the Savoyards show next year: Gilbert & Sullivan’s Gondoliers.  More information can be found here (note that the web page doesn’t include the time, but it will be from 2-5pm).  If you have any interest in singing, vocal music, or Gilbert & Sulivan, please come out!

Duke University String School Concert October 11

Classical Music, Duke, Durham, Life, Music, North Carolina Comments Off on Duke University String School Concert October 11

The Duke University String School will be having the first of their 4 yearly concerts this weekend.  On Saturday, 11 October 2008 in the Baldwin Auditorium in the Biddle Music Building on Duke’s East Campus there will be a concert of the beginner 1 and 2 and intermediate 1 groups at 3pm.  Then, at 4pm there will be a Memorial Concert for Wei-Lee Kuo. Finally at 7pm, there will be a concert of the intermediate 2 group and the DUSS Youth Symphony Orchestra.

My son has been taking violin with the string school this fall and will be performing with the beginner 1 group at 3pm.  In addition, when my son started, I mentioned to his ensemble’s group instructor, Stephanie Swisher, that I played double bass and asked if she needed any help.  While they didn’t need anything with the beginner group, she asked if I’d be willing to help with the intermediate 2 group, so I’ll be playing bass with that group at 7pm.

Anyway, if you’re in Durham tomorrow afternoon and are interested in some classical music, consider stopping by!

Update: When posting late at night, double check all your facts. Baldwin Auditorium, of course, is not in Biddle Music Building.  Oh well, here’s hoping I get it right next time. Their next concert will be December 6.

Primary election tomorrow

American Tobacco Trail, Classical Music, Durham, Elections, Music, North Carolina Comments Off on Primary election tomorrow

I went to the Obama rally at UNC last week and had a great time.  Unfortunately, it went very late and I didn’t get to bed until 2am which wiped me out for basically the rest of the week.  Obama is a fabulous orator and really knows how to work a crowd.  As a Christian, I was a bit disappointed that the event started with an extremely long prayer.  I’d much rather see him upholding separation of church and state.  But, that’s not enough of an annoyance to make a big difference.

Last Tuesday evening, I went to the meeting about the future American Tobacco Trail bridge over I-40.  Architecht/Engineer Steven Grover showed off a bunch of designs that were rejected and then 3 that were still in contention: a truss bridge like the one in Raleigh, an arched bridge, and a cabled stayed bridge that I really like.  Everything on the cable stayed bridge evokes triangles and for a bridge in the heart of the Triangle I think it’s really appropriate.  I hope that’s what we go for.

This weekend was the Strawberry Festival for Central Park School for Children.  I spent the morning scooping strawberries onto shortcake and then wandered around with my son until heading home to change into a tuxedo and pick up my double bass for the Durham Symphony Orchestra concert at the farmer’s market at Durham Central Park.  We had a very large crowd and except for a bit of wind had a good concert.  I’m really looking forward to the fall when the symphony starts back up.  We’ve got a good slate of guest conductors for the upcoming year and I’m really looking forward to see what they will do.

Tonight, I helped setup the polling place at the school of Science & Math.  I’ll be there tomorrow from 6am until at least 7:30pm as an election judge.  If you have already voted, great!  If you have not, please make sure to go vote tomorrow.  It doesn’t matter who you vote for, but please do go vote.

Assuming I’m not completely wiped tomorrow night, I’ll have more information about how tomorrow goes.


Durham, Music, North Carolina Comments Off on Recovering

I’m starting to recover from the whirlwind week I had last week where I spent around 25 hours total just playing the double bass at the Savoyards rehearsals, shows and even one Durham Symphony concert. This weekend I also went through election official training with Durham BOE Mike Ashe (who is a trip!) and election equipment training. Tomorrow evening I have ballot training and then a 1-on-1 interview with Mr. Ashe, all in preparation for being an election “Emergency Judge” for the primary on May 6. I’ll have more to post on that soon.

Until then, I’ll just leave this one picture that refers to a previous post. A good friend of ours from DC was down this weekend for a show and since she’s a very accomplished balloon artist, she created for us, on basically the spur of the moment, an octupus, a dwarf and a snake so we could take it to the last performance. The official line spoken by the character Colonel Fairfax, in response to the question “what was that”, in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Yeomen of the Guard is “an arquebus, fired from the wharf, unless I much mistake.” However, it’s easy to mishear it and so that apparently gave rise to the line, that the singer actually had the guts to use in the first rehearsal with the orchestra, “an octopus, sired by a dwarf, unless it was a snake”. So, here is Steve, who played Colonel Fairfax in Yeomen next to the octopus, dwarf and snake. 🙂

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