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Report to the Community: 2013. Click on the map below to read.

Interactive: North Carolina Symphony Blog

Editorial Speaks of Symphony's Reach

As our 2014-15 season opens, we wanted to share a link to a Op-Ed piece by News & Observer editorial writer Jim Jenkins.  Mr. Jenkins’ editorial is a testament to the North Carolina Symphony’s 80-plus years of bringing great music to the people of North Carolina, and also reminds us that our work is more important than ever.


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Llewellyn on Bernstein: “Charisma and Brilliance”

The North Carolina Symphony’s 2014/15 Pops Series opening weekend is September 26-27, and features West Side Story, with Leonard Bernstein’s extraordinary score performed in Meymandi Concert Hall by Grant Llewellyn and the North Carolina Symphony as the film plays on a giant screen in high definition. 

NCS Music Director Grant Llewellyn (pictured here with Bernstein) says, “Never have I met a more charismatic and simply brilliant communicator. Those same qualities – charisma and brilliance – permeate the entire score of West Side Story, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.”

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North Carolina Symphony Education Program… A Teacher Says Thanks

I am Jenni Sonstroem, and I am a music specialist at the year-round Laurel Park Elementary School in Apex, N.C.  I am so excited to have the chance to express how grateful I am for the opportunities provided to teachers and students by our very own North Carolina Symphony. As a former “symphony student,” I understand how beneficial the Symphony’s Education Concerts are for the youth of our state.

I’m also honored to have been asked to help author this year’s curricular materials published by the North Carolina Symphony in partnership with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. Every year, teacher workbooks featuring the composers and lesson plans that correspond to the concert program are published for use in North Carolina arts education classrooms. These workbooks aid educators in preparing students for their North Carolina Symphony field trip and education concert. Along with three other colleagues, I was invited to write lesson plans and be a presenter at the 2014-2015 Symphony Education Teacher Workshop held earlier this month.

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Remembering Lorin Maazel

The brilliant conductor Lorin Maazel passed away July 13 at the age of 84.  North Carolina Symphony Resident Conductor William Henry Curry shared this remembrance.

I am greatly moved by the passing of Lorin Maazel.

I first saw Maazel when the New Philharmonia was on an American tour and came to my home town of Pittsburgh. I was 16. I was used to seeing the rather restrained and idiosyncratic William Steinberg conduct. He was the longtime Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony, and in failing health.  In comparison, Maazel was a cyclone of youthful energy and commitment. For me, his intensity and control of the orchestra that evening was the most stunning concert experience of my teen years.

The program that night was truly "his":

Sibelius 7th symphony
Bartok Miraculous Mandarin Suite
Intermission
Delius Paris
Strauss Till Eulenspiegel

An absolutely unforgettable concert! Sitting directly behind him in the second row I felt electric shock waves from him in the climax of the Sibelius where the strings suddenly play alone. After the concert, as I was waiting on the elevator at the parking garage, I surprised myself and all my friends by suddenly throwing the printed program to the floor and shouting, "THAT is the standard! Otherwise, you shouldn't bother!"  After that, I resolved that, whatever it took, I was going to be a conductor.

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Go 'Fourth" and Enjoy Great Patriotic Music!

The North Carolina Symphony will celebrate America’s 238th birthday with patriotic favorites and high-spirited classics in its popular free Independence Day concerts July 1 in Fayetteville, July 3 in Garner, and July 4 in Cary

The programs, which will be conducted by North Carolina Symphony Associate Conductor David Glover, will include “Servicemen on Parade,” “Hoedown” from Copland’s “Rodeo,” and “Duke Ellington Fantasy.” The concert also includes John Philip Sousa’s “Washington Post March,” Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” and much more. 

Each patriotic concert will, of course, include the Star Spangled Banner.  North Carolina Symphony 2014-15 Scholar-in-Residence Will Robin recently wrote a fascinating piece on How the National Anthem Has Unfurled in the New York Times.

These free Independence Day concerts are part of the North Carolina Symphony’s “Concerts in Your Community” series. Click here for more information about these outdoor concerts that highlight the role of the Symphony as the state’s orchestra.

EXTRAordinary

As the fiscal year draws to a close, our Philanthropy department has been asking our donors to remember to make a year-end gift.  One of our appeals was for them to be a bit “EXTRAordinary” and give more this year, Dr. and Mrs. James W. Winslow, from Tarboro, N.C., replied: “We are glad to be a bit extraordinary this year—the Symphony is extraordinary all the time.” Thanks to generous North Carolinians, the Symphony is able to continue to be extraordinary through comprehensive statewide service and artistic excellence.

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On the Road, #ncstruck

As folks drive the highways and byways of North Carolina they see a very visible reminder of the North Carolina Symphony – our 28-foot insulated truck with the orchestra’s photo on both sides and a beautiful violin on the back door – purchased through a generous gift from State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) members via the SECU Foundation.   The truck carries instruments and gear as the Symphony travels 18,000 miles each year to North Carolina students and communities. 

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Welcome to Summerfest!

If you are a first-time visitor to a North Carolina Symphony Rex Healthcare Summerfest concert at Cary's Booth Amphitheatre, or even if you are a Summerfest veteran, it may help to peruse these FAQs.   They answer some of the more common questions about Summerfest.

Opening night on Saturday, May 24, features three pieces performed by the orchestra with the addition of citizen musicians.  Every year, we love hosting “Play With the Pros,” which nearly doubles the orchestra’s size for those pieces.  We will also feature saxophonist Dylan Ward, winner of the 2013 Kathleen Price and Joseph M. Bryan Youth Concerto Competition, and after intermission, Beethoven’s famous 5th Symphony!  Click here for more concert information.

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Nature, Humanity, Love - Mahler's 3rd Symphony

We are within view of the end of another fantastic Classical season and we are closing it in a larger-than-life way – with Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, which is one of the most epic musical statements ever made.  In it, he writes about nature, love, heaven, humanity…it’s not overstating it to say that he truly has tried to encompass the world and the human condition in this one piece of music.

And, Mahler’s orchestra matches that epic statement in its sheer size and variety – he calls for four flutes, all doubling on piccolo; four oboes, including English horn; five clarinets, including bass clarinet and two E-flat clarinets; four bassoons, including contrabassoon; eight horns; four trumpets; four trombones; one tuba; two timpanists and five percussionists; two harps; and a larger than normal string section to hold their own among all of those winds, brass and percussion.

This weekend is your chance to hear a thrilling example of what an orchestra can really do.  We’ll have the Maserati of ensembles on stage and the sound is sure to be magnificent. We’ll be joined by the women of the North Carolina Master Chorale and the wonderful mezzo-soprano Susan Platts.  You’ll also hear the sweet voices of the Raleigh Boychoir from their perch high above the orchestra, in one of the upper boxes – that location is specified by Mahler in the score. 

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Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

In her program with the North Carolina Symphony, titled “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda,” legendary Broadway star Patti LuPone performs songs from hit Broadway musicals which she could have played, should have played, did play and will play. The musicals include Hair; Bye, Bye Birdie; Funny Girl; West Side Story and Peter Pan and, of course, from her Tony Award-winning performances in Evita and Gypsy.

In recent interviews, Ms. LuPone talks about how she is looking forward to performing with the North Carolina Symphony.  When she spoke with the News & Observer's Roy Dicks, she also shared memories about the last time she appeared in Raleigh in 1976.  During a chat this week with WPTF's Brian Freeman, she talked about Broadway, singing, and about being in the Carolinas. 

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