Durham Symphony’s 2009-2010 Young Artists Competition

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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

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The Durham Savoyards, Ltd. presents

Gilbert & Sullivan’s

THE MIKADO

and invites you to join in a public

SING-THROUGH

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).

——————

THE MIKADO

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

AUDITIONS
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
mikado.producer@gmail.com
or 919-491-2364

Audition guidelines, preferred selections, and complete show and ticket information are available at
www.durhamsavoyards.org

Musical Reviews

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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?

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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.

Duke University String School Concert October 11

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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

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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.

Opening Day & Night

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Two things start today:

  1. Early voting starts
  2. The Durham Savoyards production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Yeoman of the Guard starts tonight.

I encourage everyone to avail themselves of both options.

On Saturday I start training to be an election judge and hope to have some interesting posts from that.  Until then, take a look at some pictures that were taken Tuesday night at the first dress rehearsal for Yeoman of the Guard.

DSO Guest Conductor

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At the Durham Symphony Orchestra rehearsal tonight we had our first guest conductor: Andrew McAfee.  He’s the former principal horn player for the North Carolina Symphony and is now apparently working on his Master’s degree in conducting.  Tonight was his first rehearsal with the Durham Symphony.  Beforehand he had sent out a schedule of what we were going to work on when and by and large he stuck to it.  Since this was our first rehearsal for our upcoming pops concerts, tonight was mainly about site reading the pieces and making notes on what to work on before the next rehearsal next week.  All in all, I think he did a pretty good job and should do very well conducting our upcoming concerts.

Another interesting bit of information that was announced at the DSO rehearsal tonight was that we had apparently received 96 applications (with accompanying DVDs of their work) for the position of DSO conductor!  The search committee has now winnowed that down to 10 and will be looking to reduce it even further down to 4 and invite those top 4 to guest conduct during the next season.  I have no idea who the candidates are but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing who the search committee picks.

Durham Symphony Orchestra Upcoming Pops Concerts

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The Durham Symphony Orchestra starts rehearsals tomorrow for their series of pops concerts at the end of April/beginning of May. The concerts will be April 20 at 5pm in Trinity Park, April 27 at 3pm in Cameron Park, and May 3 at 6pm at the Farmer’s Market Pavilion in Durham Central Park. All the concerts are free and open to the public.

These concerts should be interesting as they are the first ones since Conductor Emeritus Alan Neilson retired. The Durham Symphony plans to host guest conductors until a replacement for Maestro Neilson is found. Up first will be Andrew McAfee who is the Music Director/Conductor for the Triangle Youth Ballet and Durham Intermediate Youth Orchestra and Adjunct Instructor of Horn at UNC. He was also formerly the principal Horn for the North Carolina Symphony from 1992 to 2007.

Maestro McAfee has started off by e-mailing the orchestra a complete schedule down to the minute of what he expects to cover during our rehearsal on Tuesday. This is actually the first time I’ve ever had a conductor do that and I find that I actually like it quite a bit. It lets the instrumentalists know what the expectations are and doesn’t leave us wondering how much more we need to cover in the rehearsal. As to whether the reality will actually fit the schedule, that remains to be seen, but I am hopeful.

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