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.

An Octopus Sired by a Dwarf!

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This past weekend on Saturday afternoon we had the first orchestra run through of Yeoman of the Guard.  It went pretty well.  Most of us have had the musical scores for a while now and the main problems were making sure we were together and blending well.  Then on Sunday, we had both the orchestra and the chorus together.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable run-through of all the show’s music and definitely the first and only time I’ve ever heard someone sing this post’s subject. 🙂 (Extra points to anyone that can a) tell what the original quote was and b) where in the score it can be found!) As a musician, I had not really been clued into what was happening with the chorus except for the few queues in the score and what my wife has told me after her stage chorus rehearsals.  So, it was fun to see that part of the story.  I’m really looking forward to Tuesday night where we’ll be all together in the Carolina Theater and I’ll get to see the full show in the first dress rehearsal.

So, for those of you who haven’t heard, the Durham Savoyards will be performing Gilbert & Sullivan’s Yeoman of the Guard at the Carolina Theater on April 17-19 at 8pm and April 20 at 2pm.  Find out more information at the Savoyards website and please come see our show!

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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