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Interactive: North Carolina Symphony Blog

Ten Behind-the-Scenes Facts about the North Carolina Symphony

  1. Music Director Grant Llewellyn spent a year playing soccer on a semi-pro team in Italy.
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  3. Members of the orchestra and Symphony staff like all kinds of music… In fact, the North Carolina Symphony Bluegrass Band, which occasionally comes together to perform, will be featured as part of banjo master Béla Fleck’s concert on Tuesday, Sept. 24 in Meymandi Concert Hall.
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  5. Principal cellist Bonnie Thron received a nursing degree from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and worked as a nurse for several years at Johns Hopkins Hospital and as a case manager in home care nursing.
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  7. North Carolina Senate Bill No. 248, which established state funds for the North Carolina Symphony in 1943, became known as the “Horn Tootin’ Bill.”
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  9. The Llewellyn family thinks so much of North Carolina that they even named their dog “Raleigh.”
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  11. Like tens of thousands of youngsters each year, Symphony violinist Maria Evola saw the North Carolina Symphony in fourth grade at an education concert.
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  13. Box Office Manager Gavin Brown worked for many years for Royal Caribbean International as a Cruise Director.
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  15. The North Carolina Symphony was nicknamed the “Suitcase Symphony” in the 1940s because of the miles it logged around the state.  The Symphony travels more than 18,000 miles each year around North Carolina.
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  17. Symphony Concertmaster Brian Reagin is an avid private pilot with single engine land and sea ratings and over 700 hours logged, including nearly 300 in his homebuilt airplane, “Second Fiddle II,” which he keeps at his own airstrip in Johnston County, N.C.
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  19. Symphony Operations Manager Allyn Love spent many years playing pedal steel guitar and touring with some of the biggest acts in country music, including Steve Wariner and Jo Dee Messina.

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