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Classically Speaking

Classical music in West Virginia and Beyond

Mozart Summer Sing Pictures

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · June 30, 2010

The final day of FestivALL was intensely, overwhelmingly hot. That Sunday afternoon, as thunder rolled through the valley, a group of singers gathered at Christ Church United Methodist in Charleston to sing Mozart's Requiem

Some had rehearsed and performed this music before; others of us were just reading along and trying it out.

First, David Castleberry introduced the Requiem and its history, clearing many of the misconceptions that started with Mozart's wife Constanze and have been perpetuated by other musicians and writers, and carried even further by the play and the movie AmadeusAnd then, we sang.


Summer Sing2
Chris "Brewhead" Morris
Truman Dalton (Chas Civic Chorus) conducted several movements of the Requiem

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Summer Sing 1
Chris "Brewhead" Morris
A few audience members chose to observe rather than sing

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Summer Sing 2
Chris "Brewhead" Morris
Soloists David Castleberry, Mariel von Dalsum-Boggs, Bob Morris, and Emily Capece

Do you know of similar events in other cities? I had a lot of fun participating, and I wonder what we're going to sing next summer!

Thank you to Chris "Brewhead" Morris of Music In Motion Promotions for sharing these photos from FestivALL.


Previously: 

* FestivALL Summer Sing! by Carole Carter

Make New Friends

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · June 28, 2010
FestivALL logo 2010
Last week during FestivALL, I had the opportunity to hear some amazing classical musicians with ties to West Virginia, some originally from the state and others who live and/or work here now.

Some of them, I’ve spoken with before – pianist/composer Evan Mack, clarinetist/conductor Robert Turizziani, and conductor/composer Grant Cooper.  I met several others for the first time,
Soprano Elisabeth Baer
Soprano Elisabeth Baer

and I'm looking forward to sharing their music through West Virginia Public Radio, getting to know them better, and featuring them here on Classically Speaking.

These new acquaintances include flutist Lindsey Goodman, soprano Elisabeth Baer, and clarinetists Jeanne Frieben and John Weigand


They all participated in the “Moveable Feast” concert series during FestivALL.

Yesterday, FestivALL concluded with another fun event connected to classical music – the Mozart Requiem Summer Sing.  I joined in the alto section, where I had a lot of fun singing and managed not to get too lost!  I’ll hopefully have some photos from that event to post for you here soon. 

How’s your summer been so far?

Sibelius and Storms

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · June 24, 2010

Gray Sky in June
Janet Kunicki
Stormy sky on a summer afternoon

At the end of my show on the radio today, a serious storm rolled through the area. On the radio -- Symphony No. 2 by Jean Sibelius.  As surge protectors beeped, people gathered at windows and doors to look outside and thunder shook parts of the building. I stopped everything else and listened to the finale.

Here's my recording of choice.

I haven't posted here in what feels like forever, but we'll be back with some new interviews and other posts over the next few weeks. I have just returned from a little vacation, and since I've been home, I've been on the radio during the day and participating in FestivALL every evening, especially with "A Moveable Feast," a little chamber music series in Charleston this week. You can read about it on the WV Gazette FestivALL blog in the post Aperetif Chamber Music.

Do you have a favorite stormy classic?

Sights of Symphony Sunday (2010)

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · June 10, 2010


A Classically Speaking reader has come to my rescue!  In response to my guilt-laden Symphony Sunday post, photographer Michael Keller has shared some of his photos to post here.

Enjoy the sites of Symphony Sunday -- fireworks, music and musicians, picnicking, the view towards the river, and Maestro Cooper’s Oz-inspired jacket.


WVYS Brass at Symphony Sunday
Michael Keller
WV Youth Orchestra at Symphony Sunday

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River view at Symphony Sunday
Michael Keller
Looking out over the river

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Flying Music at Symphony Sunday
Michael Keller
Keeping track of windblown music

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Picnicking at Symphony Sunday
Michael Keller
Picnic on the University of Charleston lawn while listening to music

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WV Symphony at Symphony Sunday
Michael Keller
WV Symphony plays at Symphony Sunday

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Fireworks at Symphony Sunday
Michael Keller
Fireworks at conclusion of Symphony Sunday (note: photograph has been modified)

Thank you, Michael! 

It’s really nice to share these pictures with you. I’ll try to take some of my own this summer, and perhaps if you are out and about at other events (Huntington Symphony’s Picnic with the Pops, the Wheeling Symphony’s July 4th tour, the WVSO at the new Haddad Park stage, the Mozart Summer Sing, etc.), we can share your pictures and stories here too. Let's talk.


Related links:

* Michael Keller Photography
* The Reality Tourist blog
* West Virginia Symphony
Orchestra
* Any Given (Symphony) Sunday
* Classical Music in WV, Summer 2010

Zuill Bailey: Bach at the Tiny Desk

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By Jim Lange
 · June 9, 2010
Zuill Bailey
Zuill Bailey

Zuill Bailey recently played an impromptu concert at NPR Music's Washington, D.C., headquarters, just behind All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen's desk.

You can watch this mini-concert on NPR Music’s site here (Zuill Bailey: Tiny Desk Concert)

I do so admire Zuill Bailey.

His tone is rich, his playing fluid and his new recording of the Bach Cello Suites is wonderful. Talented and handsome, you might imagine such an artist a bit selfish, but in Bailey's case, you would be wrong. In my interview with him, you can feel his passionate commitment to his teaching at the University of Texas at El Paso. Such lucky students.

 

Related links:

* Zuill Bailey and the Wheeling Symphony (interview)
* Zuill Bailey: Tiny Desk Concert
* Bach Cello Suites / Zuill Bailey

Any Given (Symphony) Sunday

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · June 8, 2010

Bless me, for I have sinned.

Dear Internet: I’m wracked with guilt, and I need your help with my penance. 

I had planned to go to Symphony Sunday this past weekend. I was going to take pictures, borrow a camera and try to record videos, listen to the music, and certainly make sure to eat a Symphony Sundae.  

Symphony Sunday 2010 logo

At the previous two Symphony Sundays, I had played viola with the Neophonic Orchestra. Those years included nauseating heat interspersed with terrible thunderstorms, yet it still managed to be a pretty good time. That orchestra is on hiatus, so this year, I could go just for fun, with no obligation to dress up and chase flying pieces of sheet music off a stage.

Instead, I went on a trip with some friends, reassuring myself that I needed some time away, and that maybe I’d be back in time to hear the WV Symphony and see the fireworks. I had a wonderful day out of town (full of adventures and good company that I’d be hard pressed to trade for anything). 

It was late when we got home, and as we drove back into Charleston, giddy and tired, I was suddenly overwhelmed with regret about missing Symphony Sunday.  I hadn't planned on admitting all this here on the blog, but I've heard that confession is good for the soul (although I have also heard that guilt is its own reward). 

My punishment so far:

I’ve heard that Symphony Sunday was especially fun this year – the rain cleared, so it was sunny, cool, pleasant, and not humid at all. The music was good, the food excellent, and everyone loved it. Facebook has made sure to continue to let me know what I missed.

Here is where I need your help to make it worse:

Were you at Symphony Sunday? What music did you enjoy the most? What Wizard of Oz costumes were the cutest? Did you race to beat Beethoven? What food did you get to sample?

Tell me your stories and share your pictures (I can link to them here, or if you’re willing to give permission, we can post them), let me know more about what I missed. You can post comments below, or you can send me an email.

I will be reproached with what I missed, and Classically Speaking readers can enjoy the stories and sights of Symphony Sunday.  Perhaps then I’ll have fulfilled my penance, and I will be able to move on, hopefully to sin no more.

And if you are kicking yourself, as I am, for missing a fun, free day of food and music with the WV Symphony, let’s make a date. We’ll meet on the University of Charleston lawn next June for Symphony Sunday. 


Related links:

* Classical Music in WV, Summer 2010
* Musical Pirates (Symphony Sunday 2009)

Chad Winkler: Mahler & Homecoming

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By Chad Winkler
 · June 4, 2010
Chad Winkler

Chad Winkler is a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra trumpet section.  He is a native of Morgantown, West Virginia, and he received his Bachelor of Music degree from West Virginia University. He kept a journal while traveling through Europe with the Pittsburgh Symphony, and emailed stories back to us whenever he could!  You can read his previous posts here: first - second  - third.

One of the things I’ve always wanted to do is visit the grave of Gustav Mahler. Mahler has always been a hero to brass players for writing challenging and inspiring music, especially for us. For just about every audition for any brass instrument, there is at least one excerpt from a Mahler symphony.  

When I had heard several months ago that the orchestra would be visiting Vienna, I made plans to go to the grave site. Together, with PSO trombonist Jim Nova, we made the 30-minute trip. We were a little concerned about the weather, since it had rained all morning. But, when we arrived at the grave site, the skies cleared for a beautiful afternoon.

It was such a great experience visiting the site, and certainly a moving one at that. We had decided that we would bring our instruments and play something. Jim played an excerpt from Mahler’s 3rd symphony, and I played the posthorn solo from the same piece. You can hear the PSO play the entire symphony in a few weeks, back at home in Heinz Hall.


At Mahler's Grave
Chad Winkler at Mahler's Grave

It was so wonderful to pay our respects to a great composer — a composer that is constantly challenging us brass players to play our best. I’m so thankful that I had this opportunity! 

After 18 days, and 12 concerts in 10 cities, today we head back home to Pittsburgh! It’s been a very good tour, with very appreciative audiences. What a privilege it is to play great music with great colleagues!


PSO Tour Poster

I hope you’ve enjoyed these blog posts. We will be home in about 20 hours!


 
Previously:

* Have Trumpet, Will Travel: Meet Chad Winkler 
* Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Tour, Pt 2
* Finding Food on the PSO Tour

FestivALL Summer Sing!

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By Carole Carter
 · June 2, 2010
FestivALLlogo-100
Charleston's FestivALL 2010

Calling All Choristers!

OK – here’s the problem: Choirs typically don’t rehearse over the summer, so many people miss singing in a chorus. Some want to improve their sight-reading skills. Others just love to sing some of the most beautiful music ever written.

Q. What’s a chorister to do?

A. Join the FestivALL Summer Sing for the Mozart Requiem! Sunday, June 27 at 4 pm at Christ Church United Methodist – piano accompaniment.

Mozart Requiem score

 

Never sung it? That’s OK. There will be 2 rehearsals: Tuesdays, June 15 & 22 at Christ Church at 7 pm.

Bring your own score – Peters, Kalmus or Schirmer – or pick one up at a rehearsal.

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

 

Mozart died before he could finish the work in 1791, so his student Süssmayr, did.

(If you saw the movie Amadeus, you’ll remember all this.)

Let’s just say Süssmayr, didn’t have Mozart’s muse. Then again, Süssmayr wasn’t facing death as Mozart was either.

If two rehearsals are not enough, there are some helpful Internet sites as well.

You can catch performances of each of the movements on YouTube. 

Requiem and Kyrie

There are 12 movements, but don’t panic. Three of them are solo quartets –and some are pretty short.

Perhaps you want to work on your part separately. No problem. There are MIDI files of each part you can download to listen to..

Maybe you don’t speak fluid Latin. (Like, anybody does?!) There are pronunciations and translations online as well.

Emily Capece of womanSong is organizing the event. There will be several directors: Emily, David Donathan, Truman Dalton. David Castleberry, and Dirk Johnson. Most of them will also be soloists, joined by Mariel Van Dalsum-Boggs and Bob Morris.

But says Emily, “we are going to open solos up to choristers as well, if anyone wants to sing a movement.”

This is a grand experiment. It should be fun. Meet & greet at the reception following.

Want more details? Contact Emily Capece or leave a comment here and we’ll check it out for you.

Mona and I will see you there!

WV Classical Calendar -- June 2010

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By Mona Seghatoleslami
 · June 1, 2010
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