As I’ve mentioned several times in this blog, one of the great things about my job is the variety of musical activities I get to participate in, one of my favorites being regular performances with the Monroe and Rapides symphony orchestras, and occasional work with the Shreveport and South Arkansas symphonies. This year is shaping up to be very exciting in terms of repertoire, with several masterpieces as well as some new and less known works being programmed. I’ll write more about the individual concerts and repertoire in the future, but for now here’s a month by month summary (so far) of my orchestral playing for this year.
- Pops concerts with the South Arkansas Symphony (Beatles Tribute Band) and Rapides Symphony (Cajun music group BeauSoleil). For better or worse, pops concerts are a reality in orchestral music, and I actually think they’re a great way to start a season. In Rapides the first pops concert is usually outdoors, and free to the public, which can really help build audiences for future concerts.
- Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana International Piano Competition Finals. This competition is held every other year, and brings artists from around the globe to Alexandria, LA. The RSO accompanies three finalists in performances of complete concertos for the final round, and I am always impressed with the quality of the soloists. The big name works – Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Liszt, etc. – almost always make an appearance, and it’s really fun getting to accompany these outstanding soloists. On a side note, the last time the competition was held we played Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 twice in one night because two of the finalists had chosen it for the competition.
- Monroe Symphony Orchestra, The MSO opens its 41st season with En Saga, by Sibelius, The Moldau, by Smetana, and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The concerto will feature Minjeong Kim, winner of the MSO’s Emerging Artists Competition.
- Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Holiday Concert
- Monroe Symphony Orchestra, Sounds of the Season
- Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Strauss, Death and Transfiguration, Bernstein, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Wagner, Siegfried Idyll.
- Monroe Symphony Orchestra, Respighi, Pines of Rome, Glazunov, Violin Concerto in A minor, Shostakovich, Festive Overture, Roger Jones, Live Oak (premier performance)
- Monroe Symphony Orchestra, Spring Pops
- Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Leoncavallo, I Pagliacci
As always, I’m looking forward to working with great colleagues on great repertoire, and taking what I learn from these experiences into the teaching studio. There will also be numerous chamber performances with our faculty brass trio and other groups, as well as some performances and presentations at conferences – more on those later!