Jackson, Michigan

Monday, August 27, 2012

Symphony Music School to begin school year

JSO Community Music School to begin school year, adds flute instruction

The Jackson Symphony Orchestra Community Music School is proud to announce the addition of Marissa Olin to the faculty as instructor of flute.  She received her doctorate in flute performance from Michigan State University in 2010.  Dr. Olin has a long-standing relationship with the JSO, playing in the symphony’s flute section, coaching students and performing a concerto with the Jackson Youth Symphony, and teaching at the Community Music School’s Summer Music Camp.  She is also the flute instructor at Spring Arbor University

Registration for private music lessons begins August 27. Lessons and classes for the fall semester will start on Sept. 10. Instruction is available on the following instruments: bass, bassoon, cello, flute, oboe, percussion, piano, trumpet, viola and violin. (Instruction on some instruments may be temporarily unavailable due to enrollment levels.) 

The Community Music School is continuing its successful “Education Explosion” classes from last year.  The topics include Chamber Music, Theory/Ear Training, Composition/Arranging, Conducting, and Percussion Ensemble. (See more details below.) Start dates are anticipated for late September. Please call school registrar Liz DeLano at 782-3221 ext. 118 if you think you might like to enroll. 

Registration for Early Childhood Music Classes also is underway. The classes begin Sept. 11 and last for 13 weeks. The program provides children — infants through age 5 — with exposure to a variety of listening, vocal, tactile and movement activities. The classes not only contribute to brain development, but also facilitate the development of skills such as communication, self-expression, social interaction, group collaboration, language development and literacy. Parental participation in these classes is required.

To celebrate the new season an Open House will be held from 6-8 p.m. Sept. 7 at the JSO, 215 W. Michigan Ave. 

“All students and families, both new and returning, are invited to attend,” said David Schultz, CMS Administrative Director. “At the open house you’ll be able to get your first look at our new facilities and talk with instructors about the new class offerings. There will be general information meetings for new parents/guardians.  We’ll also have live music and refreshments!”

Schultz also is encouraging inspiring musicians to check out the Jackson Youth Symphony Orchestra.  

“The main group consists of a full symphony orchestra of intermediate to advanced students in grades 8-12,” he said. 

The JYSO also has a strings-only ensemble for younger students that acts as a training program for the full symphony. An open rehearsal will take place at 3 p.m. Sept. 9 with auditions the following weekend.  

“Any student interested in participating is welcome to attend,” Schultz said. “If you’ve ever dreamed of what it’s like to play in a large symphony orchestra, these groups are for you.”

For more information about the JSO’s Community Music School programs, visit the JSO web site at www.JacksonSymphony.org or call DeLano at 782-3221 ext. 118.

“Now in its 21st year, the JSO Community Music School is celebrating over two decades of providing life-long music learning opportunities to Jackson area families,” DeLano said. “If you want to become a musician, or take a class just for fun, there’s a wide variety of courses available.” 

SIDEBAR — Education Explosion
Chamber Music
For: Any student taking private lessons that has had at least a year of previous private instruction.
Class Description: Experience the joy of music by playing together with your peers! Students are arranged into small chamber ensembles (2-5 people) for the entire semester. Each group is given specific repertoire to play and is assigned a faculty coach. Groups will rehearse on a regular basis and will receive regular coaching from faculty. Enrollment includes access to JSO rehearsal rooms during normal school hours and participation on an end-of-semester recital. Beginning/Intermediate ensembles will receive twelve 45-minute coaching sessions. Advanced ensembles will receive nine 60-minute coaching sessions.
Faculty: Ji Hyun Kim, Clyde McKaney, David Schultz, Fangye Sun, Daniel Tressel
Theory/Ear Training
For: Beginning/Intermediate students who have studied music for at least one year and more Advanced students who have studied music for at least four years.
Class Description: Enhance your musical skills by focusing on the building blocks of musical construction.  Students receive instruction in music theory, covering topics such as note recognition, intervals, key signatures, chord construction, and chord progressions. Classes will make use of the Community Music School’s brand new computer and keyboard lab. The class contains two sections: Beginning and Advanced. Each section contains twelve 45-minute sessions per semester.
Faculty: Daniel Tressel
For: Advanced students who have studied music for at least four years.
Class Description: Put your original musical ideas on paper, learn about the art of orchestral arranging and gain experience using musical notation software. Students will receive class instruction on composition techniques, ways to develop musical ideas, orchestration and notation. Classes will make use of the Community Music School’s brand new computer and keyboard lab. (The class will also be offered as private lessons at teacher’s discretion.) Class consists of ten 60-minute sessions per semester.
Faculty: Daniel Tressel
For: Advanced students (10th grade or older) who have studied music for at least four years.
Class Description: Learn the basics of directing an ensemble. Class will cover baton technique, expressive gestures, and score study. Enrollment includes one conducting session in front of a chamber ensemble comprised of professional Jackson Symphony Orchestra musicians. (Class will also be offered as private lessons at teacher’s discretion.) Class consists of ten 60-minute sessions per semester.
Faculty: David Schultz
Percussion Ensemble
For: Any musician interested in banging a drum (no prior experience necessary!), or more advanced percussion students with at least three years of instruction.
Class Description: Class consists of two sections: beginning and advanced. The beginning class offers a chance for anyone to learn the basics of percussion technique. The advanced class presents an opportunity for more experienced percussionists to rehearse in an organized ensemble with specified repertoire, culminating in an end-of-semester performance. (The advanced class will run in conjunction with the Jackson Youth Symphony Orchestra. Auditioning for JYSO is strongly recommended. Class consists of ten 60-minute sessions per semester.
Faculty: Scott Moilanen

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pops Concert Goers Should Get Ready to Party!

It's summer, which means the time has come to party and unwind with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra.

The JSO's popular "Annual Summer Pops Concert" will begin at 7:30 p.m. July 28 at the Potter Center on the Jackson Community College campus, 2111 Emmons Road. A post-concert outdoor party will follow.

The orchestra's evening concert will feature an eclectic mix of patriotic pieces, Broadway songs, summertime classics and folk music with many special guests. Guests include "Fiddlers ReStrung," a string ensemble made up of Saline High School students, who are spotlighted annually in more than 80 performances. Their diverse repertoire includes fiddle music, bluegrass, Celtic and progressive folk. Other guests are the Jackson Chorale, members of the Jackson Youth Symphony and string musicians of all ages from throughout Jackson County.

"I'm very excited for this concert," says JSO Associate Conductor David Schultz, who will be conducting the performance.  "The Summer Pops is always a fun way to start our season, and this year promises to be no different.  I'm especially looking forward to our collaboration with Fiddlers ReStrung, who are one of the most entertaining acts I've had the privilege of seeing."

Program selections include the festive "Carnival Overture," plus "Dance of the Hours" (which Allan Sherman used as the tune for his 1963 summer-camp parody "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduah") and "Hoedown" from Rodeo (an American cowboy ballet that was later used in the Broadway musical "Oklahoma"). Also on the program are "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" and the easy-livin' classic "Summertime." The fanfare piece is a composition that John Williams wrote for the 1984 Olympic Games, held in Los Angeles. Sometimes described as "goosebump music," it was featured during the opening parade of athletes, medal ceremonies and official events to reflect the Olympics' spirit of cooperation and heroic achievement.

After the concert, dancers (and observers!) are invited to enjoy the Michigan State University Salsa Band during an outdoor (weather permitting) "Dancing Under the Stars" party.

The Jackson Symphony Guild is sponsoring the "JSO's 31st Annual Summer Pops Concert."

So, put on your party mood for this exuberant event, which has long been a favorite summer event for listeners of all ages.

Tickets are $15 for VIP seating, $10 for general admission and $5 for children and students with ID. Tickets may be ordered online at the JSO website
www.jacksonsymphony.org, at the box office by phoning 517-782-3221, or in person at 215 W. Michigan Ave., Jackson.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

If You Enjoy Singing, Don't Miss This Opportunity!

Calling all singers! As part of its annual Summer Pops Concert on July 28, the Jackson Symphony Orchestra will be performing several works which include a chorus. Singers with some chorale experience are invited to join in the festivities. No audition is required. There are three rehearsals for the concert as follows:

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 17 — Jackson Symphony Orchestra Hall, 215 W. Michigan Ave.
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 24 — same location
7:30 p.m. Friday, July 27 — TBA

“The Jackson Symphony Orchestra and Jackson Chorale need you," says Stephen Osmond, Music Director of the JSO, "and Summer Pops is always a lot of fun."

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at JCC’s Potter Center Music Hall. Following the concert, all are invited to “Dancing Under the Stars” with MSU’s Salsa Band from 9-11 p.m.

If you’d enjoy singing with the chorus at Summer Pops, please phone 782-3221, ext. 117 or email jso@acd.net and leave your name, contact information, and voice range.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

JSO Summer Pops Concert 2012 - It's a Party!

Summer Pops
It's a Party!
Saturday, July 28 7:30 PM
Jackson Community College Potter Center

Special guests: Saline’s Fiddlers ReStrung
Jackson Chorale
Jackson Youth Symphony members
Jackson Community Strings members
Jackson County area string musicians
Carnival Overture • Dance of the Hours • Hoedown for Rodeo
The Olympic Fanfare • Summertime • and more!
Concert Tickets:
$15 VIP-Main floor, center
$10 General Admission-Main floor, back
$5 Students w/ID and Children


215 W. Michigan Ave.
Jackson, MI 49201

Dancing Under the Stars 9-11 PM
Post-concert party featuring the MSU Salsa Band
sponsored by the Jackson symphony guild

Sunday, May 27, 2012

JTV's new music show, SoundWave, features Viktor and Brad and airs 30X through Thursday, May 31.  Hope you get a chance to see and enjoy it!  This can be viewed on www.jtv.tv/soundwave . 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


WKAR-FM will begin the fifth season of "90.5 Community Concerts" on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 7 p.m. and continuing each Tuesday night.  The concerts will be streamed on 90.5 WKAR and on WKAR Classical on wkar.org.  Each week's program will also be repeated on the WKAR Classical stream Saturday at 6 p.m.  Jody Knol will host the series.

June 5   
John Adams:  "The Chairman Dances"; David Schultz

June 19  
Tchaikovsky:  Symphony No. 5; Stephen Osmond
Addinsell:  "Warsaw Concerto"; Rich Ridenour, piano; Stephen Osmond 

July 17
Arturo Marquez: Danzon No. 2; David Schultz 
Debussy: "Sacred and Profane Dances"; Laurel Federbush, harp; David Schultz 

July 24
Korngold: "Captain Blood" Overture; Osmond
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2; Arthur Greene, piano; Stephen Osmond

August 7
Gershwin:  "Rhapsody in Blue"; Rich Ridenour, piano; Osmond 

August 14
Morricone:  "Gabriel's Oboe" from "The Mission"; Heather Peyton, ob; Osmond
August 28
Debussy: "Clair de Lune"; Rich Ridenour, piano; Osmond

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Program Notes for May 5, 2012

Program Notes
May 5, 2012
By Composer in Residence

            Composers, like all writers and artists, continually strive for originality.  The search for a unique voice takes many forms, but some pieces are universally hailed for their freshness and originality.  Tonight’s performance of Original/Cutting Edge music by the JSO will feature two works by pioneering composers of the past and a brand new composition by two highly-creative artists of our own time. 

Overture to Oberon

            The landmark operas of Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826), Der Freischütz, Euryanthe and Oberon, played a very significant role in the evolution of music, especially in German Romantic opera.  His strikingly imaginative music paved the way for the operas of Wagner and Richard Strauss, as well as magical “fairy music” of Felix Mendelssohn.

            Weber was also one of the first conductors to lead the orchestra without also playing the piano or violin, and his brilliant concepts of orchestration are cited several times in Hector Berlioz’ Treatise on Instrumentation, which was the definitive bible for orchestral writing in its time.

            Weber’s Oberon, also known as “The Elf King’s Oath,” is a three-act Romantic opera which – surprisingly – was written in English.  The opera was commissioned by British impresario Charles Kemble, and Weber traveled to London against his doctor’s wishes as the work neared completion.  Weber studied English at a furious pace as he put the final touches on the music, and the strain of the work and his social obligations proved too much.  He died on June 5, 1826, just weeks after Oberon’s April 12th premiere in Covent Garden.

            Oberon was later translated into German, and that version is most often performed today.

            The story is a farcical tale of knights, fairies, the Caliph of Baghdad and a magical horn that summons Oberon, the fairy king.  Weber’s music transcends the silly plot with brilliant characterizations, colorful evocation of exotic scenes and unifying elements like the horn call, which several later composers quoted as a tip of their hat to Weber’s creative genius.

Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber

            One of the most famous tributes to Weber was written by German composer Paul Hindemith (1895-1963), a very unique composer in his own right.  

            Hindemith was working as a violinist and violist in 1922 when several of his compositions were performed in Salzburg at a festival sponsored by the International Society for Contemporary Music.  The 27 year old Hindemith was quickly recognized as one of the finest composers of his time.

            Hindemith was a remarkable musician.  He wrote a series of very difficult concertos for a wide variety of instruments, from the tuba to the harp, and reportedly could play all of them very well on the original instruments.  He was highly praised for many professional achievements, including a top-to-bottom reorganization of music education and performance in Turkey.

            Hindemith was forced to flee Nazi Germany when World War II broke out. Friends arranged for him to travel to the USA, where he taught at Yale and delivered influential lectures at Harvard.

            In 1940, choreographer Léonide Massine commissioned Hindemith to create a ballet based on music by Weber, but Massine didn’t like Hindemith’s arrangements, and Hindemith found he didn’t care for Massine’s ideas either.  The project collapsed.

            Hindemith later crafted the music into a four movement set, which he called Symphonic Metamorphosis. He finished the adaptation on August 29, 1943, and the first performance was given on January 20, 1944, by the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Artur Rodziński.

            Three of the movements of the Symphonic Metamorphosis are based on tunes from piano duets by Weber that Hindemith and his wife often played together.  For the second movement he chose a theme from Weber’s incidental music for the play Turandot, the same story that inspired Puccini’s famous opera of the same name.

            Perhaps ironically, the Symphonic Metamorphosis has proven to be one of Hindemith’s most enduringly popular works.

Duo Concerto for Cello and Guitar

      Viktor Uzur and Brad Richter became familiar to Jackson audiences in 2011, when they dazzled us with their impressive performance and their colorful mix of classical, rock and world music styles.

            Both men are highly accomplished classical musicians – Uzur studied at the Moscow Conservatory and Richter at The Royal College of Music – but both also played guitar in rock bands in their youth.  They also share a passion for folk music and music styles from many far-flung parts of the globe.  In their collaboration, they make the most of these diverse interests and skills.

            The duo met in 2005 at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, where Uzur teaches cello.  As they worked together on Richter’s composition Navigating Lake Bonneville, they developed a close friendship and deep mutual respect.  Since then, they have performed together in many venues, and their music has been featured several times on radio programs like NPR’s Performance Today.

            Richter lives in Tucson, Arizona, which is almost exactly 1000 miles from Uzur’s home in Ogden.  It isn’t easy to collaborate on compositions when you live that far apart, but the two men make a concerted effort to create works through genuine collaboration.  To do that they make the most of electronic media, sharing Finale files by email and communicating by Skype and by phone.  When they do have an opportunity to perform together, they spend as much time as possible backstage and in their hotel rooms sharing ideas and polishing their performance.

            As far as they know, their new Duo Concerto for Cello and Guitar is the first concerto ever written for this combination.  That’s surprising, they say, “because of the beautiful contrast the two voices create: the guitar with its percussive attack and rhythmic precision and the cello with its singing tenor and warm depth.”

            In their own words: “The Duo Concerto has an accessible tonal language and a pulse that borrows more from world music than classical. It is modern to be sure, but through a blending of eastern European folk melodic structures, rock music idioms and classical form and development [we have] created a piece that is both forward looking and familiar. Movements I and II are more traditional, reminiscent of some of the great romantic concerti in their structure and use of instrumentation. Movement III is a flashy and intelligent mash-up of the Duo’s favorite Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) guitar riffs that intertwines layers of fantastic rock riffs with a studied sense of counterpoint and pointillism.”