Filed under: News | Tags: Aaron Copland, Austin Wintory, Brahms, Charles Ives, Chip Michael, Conrad Kehn, Devin Hughes, Malcolm Arnold, Patrick Sutton, Poulenc, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Schumann
The ever improving Boulder Symphony Orchestra, under the directorship of Maestro Devin Hughes, has announced its new season. I might point out that their coming season features some really fine avant-garde composers that need to be performed more.
Note that two of the performances given next season by the Boulder Symphony Orchestra will be given twice. Their home base is the First Presbyterian Church in Boulder, but two of these performances will also be done at Bethany Lutheran Church in Denver.
Without further ado, here is their new season:
A Collaboration with the Cherry Creek Chorale
October 14 (Fri), 7:00 PM, First Presbyterian Church, Boulder
October 15 (Sat), 7:30 PM, Bethany Lutheran Church, Denver
Johannes Brahms: Nänie
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Toward the Unknown Region
Francis Poulenc: Gloria
Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme of Haydn
Austin Wintory: Gray Rain (world premiere)
Starting from a childhood obsession with the music of Jerry Goldsmith, Austin Wintory’s passion for composing has led to a career spanning over 200 productions, encompassing films and video games, TV shows, commercials, shorts, podcasts, video art installations, and audio books. Beyond composing, Austin is also a strong advocate for music in the schools, particularly in early education, and as such is a very active member on the Board of Directors for Education Through Music – Los Angeles (alongside composers John Debney, Christopher Young, Michael Giacchino, James Dooley and many other music, business and education professionals)
Nov. 18 (Fri), 7:00 PM, First Presbyterian Church, Boulder
Johannes Brahms: Serenade Nr. 1 in D Major
Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring: Suite for 13 Instruments
Malcom Arnold: Serenade, featuring Patrick Sutton, guitar
Austin Wintory: Fugue of Fugues (world premiere)
Patrick Sutton began taking guitar lessons with Kevin Alumbaugh of the Evergreen School of Music at the age of eleven. His main studies in high school were in Rock, Blues and Jazz which later led to an interest in the classical guitar. Patrick graduated from the Lamont School of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree in guitar performance. Patrick is the only guitar major ever to earn the recital of distinction award for both his junior and senior recitals at Lamont. He is currently working on his Master of Music degree in guitar at the same institution studying with world famous virtuoso/composer Ricardo Iznaola.
A Collaboration with the First Presbyterian Church Choirs
December 9 (Fri), 7:00 PM
December 10 (Sat), 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM, First Presbyterian Church, Boulder
Holiday Favorites and Sing-alongs!
February 17 (Fri), 7:00PM
Chip Michael: Invisible Heroes (world premiere)
Aaron Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man
Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Concerto no. 2 in F major
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony no. 3 (Eroica)
The Shostakovich Piano Concerto will be performed by the winner of the Colorado State Music Teachers Association concerto competition.
Chip Michael is Composer-in-Residence for the Boulder Symphony Orchestra. Conductor Devin Hughes created the appointment for the BSO 2010-2011 season. The BSO will be performing You Can’t Catch Rabbits with Drums and Exchanging Glances (commissioned by the BSO) this season. Mr. Clark returned from the UK in 2009 after studying composition with Kenneth Dempster and Stephen Davismoon in Edinburgh. Currently, Chip is studying with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Percussionist, William Hill, while working in the Marketing Department for the Colorado Symphony on implementing their new website. With the assistance of the Napier Development Fund, the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra premiered Chip’s Symphony No. 1 Figuratively Speaking in June 2008.
A Collaboration with the Playground, contemporary chamber group based in Denver
March 31 (Sat) 7:00 PM, First Presbyterian Church, Boulder
Robert Schumann: Manfred Overture
Conrad Kehn: Playgrosso, Concerto for Playground and Orchestra (World Premiere)
Charles Ives: The Unanswered Question
Johannes Brahms: Symphony Nr. 4 in eminor
Conrad Kehn is a performer, composer, improviser, educator, writer and artist. He is the founding Director of The Playground; a chamber ensemble dedicated to modern music. Conrad holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Commercial Music and Recording Technology from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music (1996). He also has a Masters Degree in Composition from Lamont (2000) where he was named the Outstanding Graduate Student in Composition and the Outstanding Graduate Student in Commercial Music. His composition instructors include Don Keats, M. Lynn Baker, and Bill Hill. He is currently pursuing an MBA at the Daniels College of Business focusing on Entrepreneurship and Non-profit Management. Conrad is a lecturer of Music Theory, Composition and Music Technology at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, where he directs the Lamont Composers Concert Series.
A Collaboration with Cherry Creek Chorale
May 18 (Fri) 7:00PM, First Presbyterian Church, Boulder
May 19 (Sat) 7:30?PM, Bethany Lutheran Church, Denver
Johannes Brahms: A German Requiem
Austin Wintory: Inter (world premiere)
I think that it is quite admirable that the Boulder Symphony Orchestra is using local composers and a local performing artist, Patrick Sutton, for their coming season. True, Austin Wintory no longer resides in Colorado, but he is a Colorado native. However, in all humbleness, I would like to suggest that in their 2012-2013 season that the BSO consider two outstanding composers in the immediate area. One is Luis Jorge Gonzalez, Professor Emeritus of Composition, who lives in Boulder, and William Hill, who teaches composition at the University of Denver. These are two more composers who are very close by. And, look at all the Brahms they are doing. There is nothing at all wrong with Brahms, but instead of doing the Brahms Serenade, why not perform the Serenade for Strings by Dvorak’s son-in-law, Josef Suk? This is an absolutely gorgeous piece that is hardly ever performed in this country.
But, nonetheless, this looks like a very promising season for the Boulder Symphony Orchestra. It is a good organization that plays very well, and I hope that their audience continues to grow because their programs are always rewarding.
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: Amra Tomsic, Antonio Domenick, Charlie Daniels, Chip Michael, Jeff Ashear, Jonathan Parker, Lamont Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Golan, Malcom Lynn Baker, Myranda Whitesides, Traci Nelson, Travis Jürgens
I am constantly amazed at the versatility of the Lamont Symphony Orchestra and the Lamont School of Music. Their performance on Tuesday, April 26, in Gates Hall was comprised of new pieces – world premieres – of works produced by the composition students and faculty at the Lamont School. The Lamont Symphony was conducted at this performance by Travis Jürgens who is well on his way to becoming a major conductor in the world of symphony orchestras.
Maestro Jürgens is the Assistant Conductor of the Lamont Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theater inDenver. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance with High Distinction from the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, and his Masters of Orchestral Conducting from the University of Illinois. While there, he was the cover conductor for the University of Illinois orchestras and Assistant Conductor for the University of Illinois Opera Theater. He also founded the United Orchestra of Urbana. One of the reasons that his conducting is so spectacular, aside from its energy and abundant musicianship, is the fact that he knows how to lead rehearsals. An absolutely unimpeachable source told me that this concert was produced with only two rehearsals. That is quite remarkable – almost miraculous – when you consider that every piece on this program was pristine and very difficult. It also says volumes about the quality of the students that the Lamont School produces.
Let me say at the outset that I was very impressed with the maturity of these compositions. There was none of the catchy, experimental, hit-them-with-avant-garde “noisemaking” that many composers still use today. I am referring to playing on washboards, shaking marbles in a tin can, etc., that really were an outgrowth of all of the experimentation that legitimately went on in the late 1950s and through most of the 1960s. In that period of time, composers were truly looking for something absolutely new, and even Igor Stravinsky said (in the mid-1960s) that the compositional techniques being taught to composers were totally inadequate. He was referring to musical notation which went through radical changes in the 1960s, and was even filled with gimmickry by some composers. Stravinsky also said that composers were totally unprepared by their schooling. Keep in mind that Stravinsky made those comments in the 1960s (he died in 1971), and like any art of any era, composers and those who teach composition, are finding their way through all of the complexities that they face.
My point is that the composers whose works were on this program seem to be facing the present in a very artistic way, and a very confident way, without resorting to passé styles of making sounds. This was refreshing indeed, because it not only represents the latest in the art, but there was not one piece on the program that relied on musical “tricks.” (Please note that there is always a use in percussion ensembles for something new or something old.)
The first work on the program was by Antonio Domenick, who is a composer, arranger, singer, and trombonist from Denver. The title of this piece was In Several Keys. The first thing that struck me about this new composition was the excellence of the orchestration. There is no doubt whatsoever that he knows his way around an orchestra. The orchestration and chords that he used reminded me very much of the pre-twelve tone compositions of Arnold Schoenberg, particularly his Gurrelieder. The chords were quite complex, and he seemed to have many added note chords that almost became tone clusters, and that is something that Schoenberg did not use. However, these added note chords were used in a way that had a function similar to tonality, which provided a strong structural sense. It also seemed that there was quite a bit of influence from Bartok. I really look forward to hearing this piece again. Many critics seem to think that it is very unscholarly to say that a new piece of music was “beautiful,” but that’s exactly what this piece was.
The second piece on the program was entitled Mystery Lie, and was exceedingly short, but exceedingly appealing. It was written by Jon Parker of Denver who is active as a pianist, composer, arranger, and conductor. While in the Army, he was the pianist with the NATO Big Band and has performed for government dignitaries throughout Europe. He is still in the adjutant general officer corps of the Army reserves while he works on his Masters Degree in Musicology from the Lamont School. Mystery Lie was really a soundscape, very dulcet and very ethereal, which bordered on the microtonal.
Jeff Ashears’ work, 11:1, was next on the program, and was clearly microtonal. I don’t know exactly what the title – a mathematical ratio – refers to, but my guess would be that the whole step relationship, which is traditional in pre-avant-garde music, contains 11 steps rather than two half steps in this work. There was also a minimalist aspect of this work which reminded me of Arvo Pärt and/or John Tavener. I was a little puzzled by the use of the piano, which, when played, normally was highly effective. But, when the pianist plucked the strings with his fingers, or tapped directly on the strings, the sound generated was almost inaudible. It didn’t really seem to me that the composer wanted that part of the performance so very soft. This was a very effective piece, very well done.
Lamont faculty member Malcolm Lynn Baker’s work, Giving, was performed next. This terrific piece began in the orchestra, but it soon became apparent that this was a short introduction which led to an almost John Cage-like percussion ensemble, which reminded me very much of Imaginary Landscapes One and Two, by Mr. Cage. This was a deceptive piece simply because I fell into the trap of imagining that the work with the title of Giving would be a little more gentle, but this was a hard driving and very impassioned piece of music. After this section, and it seemed to be inABA form with the percussion solos in section B, the orchestra in the A return was clearly microtonal. But its emotional fluency was so great that I wondered if this wonderful piece was some kind of avant-garde tone poem. I would really like to see the score to this composition.
The next work on the program, Pace Plateau, was written by Amra Tomsic. I would have loved to see some kind of bio statement in the program, but according to the web: “Amra Tomsic is a Junior transfer student new to DU this year. He comes from a small town in Colorado called Gunnison where he attended Western State College for three years. He majored in classical voice, piano and Music Education. Now at Lamont he is working on a BM in classical voice, after which he plans to get his Masters, also from the Lamont School. He plans to pursue a career in operatic performance after his completion of school and hopes to someday teach as well. He also loves conducting, theory, and composition.”
Pace Plateau was a very energetic piece quite reminiscent of Yugoslavian or Slovenian folk melodies. There was a great deal of forward drive in this work which was very short indeed, but was possessed of great saga. Though the harmonies were not so terribly new, this was another terrific piece that I am quite sure was very difficult for the orchestra.
Chacon is the title of the composition that was performed next on the program. It was composed by Myranda Whitesides ofDenver. Again, I quote from the website, DU Portfolio: “Myranda Whitesides is a BA in Vocal Performance at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. Her instruments include guitar, piano, and cello. She participates in the Lamont Chorale, and also plays in two bands in addition to performing acoustic shows at DU and various coffee shops inDenver. She recorded an Alternative Rock EP with original material in 2009 at FTM studios. Myranda graduated from the International Baccalaureate Program at Lakewood High School in 2009 with High Honors. She participated in Lakewood’s Encore and Acappella group Eclipse. She also performed in Lakewood’s orchestra for 3 years. Myranda is working on a minor in Art at the University of Denver. She enjoys drawing and painting, and has recently begun exploring woodworking and sculpting.”
Chacon is a beautiful work with some wonderful flowing melodic lines in the violas. This composition also seemed to be in ABA form where, in the B section, the oboe carried much of the melodic work. I must say, that for my ear, the oboe seemed a little harsh after the wonderfully mellifluous viola sections. I guess my question is this: “What? Is she the only female composer on the program?” There is no question that this young lady has a real talent for composition, and it would be my hope that she continue her efforts in this direction. She is gifted.
The next to the last work on this remarkable program was the third movement of a Trumpet Concerto by composer Chip Michael. This Concerto was dedicated to Mr. Joseph Docksey who, as almost everyone knows by now, is retiring from a long and illustrious Directorship at the Lamont School of Music. I will quote from the program notes:
“Clarity of melody with intense rhythms is a key element in the music of Chip Michael. He feels it is important that the listener have something to grasp in terms of melody while providing interesting, intricate rhythms, odd meter and complex counterpoint. The unique blend of rhythms and melody are what make Chip’s music appealing to audiences of all types from around the world.”
“The Boulder Symphony Orchestra announced Chip Michael as Composer in Residence for their 2010- 2011 season. Conductor Devin Hughes created the appointment along with commissioning a new work for the BSO, Exchanging Glances.”
This is truly a fine composition. This is another work where I would like to examine the score, because it seemed to me that intentionally or unintentionally, Mr. Michael made use of what theory students have learned to tag as “white key diatonicism.” This is the style of composition personified by the American composer Aaron Copland, and as I have said before in very oversimplified terms, white key diatonicism is where key signatures and enharmonic equivalence are taken as points of departure for a study of the diatonic-chromatic relationship. In other words, key relationships do not follow established rules of traditional harmony. But I must tell you that as I listened to this composition, I was totally astonished not just by the work itself, but by the amazing trumpet performance by Traci Nelson. Ms. Nelson has her own website which I encourage all of you to visit. I quote from it here:
“Traci received a Bachelor’s Degree in Trumpet Performance from DePaul University of Chicago, IL, in June 2009, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Her primary teachers at DePaul were Chicago Symphony Orchestra members John Hagstrom, Tage Larsen, and Matthew Lee. During her time in Chicago Traci performed with countless ensembles in and outside of the school, including DePaul’s Symphony Orchestra, Opera Orchestras, Wind Ensemble, the Classical Orchestra of Chicago, various brass ensembles including quintets, trios, trumpet ensembles, and more.”
“Traci currently resides in Denver, Colorado where she is trumpeting her way toward a Master’s Degree in Trumpet Performance at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, studying with Al Hood and serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. Traci also freelances and teaches throughout the Denver metro area.”
This young lady is a remarkable performer, and it is wonderful to see a young woman be such a skilled brass player. She reminded me instantly of Alison Balsom, the remarkable English performer who has taken the trumpet world by such a storm. Does that remark sound prejudiced? Both Alison Balsom and Traci Nelson have the appearance of supermodels. Is that necessary to say? Probably not, but when I was in my high school band as a percussionist, many, many years ago, young ladies simply did not play brass instruments. Those who did smoked and drove pickup trucks. But it is also necessary to understand that in the 1800s it was considered very unladylike to play the cello. However, here, at this concert, was a very sophisticated, young woman who is a fantastic performer. No burbles, incredibly reliable with an orchestra, and capable of wonderful technical feats. What a joy to listen to! All of you who know her must get her autograph now.
Closing the program was, in many ways, the biggest surprise of all. It was an orchestral arrangement – and remember, a world premiere – of a very famous work by Charlie Daniels, who, most of you are aware, is one of the pillars of country music and southern rock. The work’s title is The Devil Went Down to Georgia. This work was arranged, played (violin), and sung (!) by the multifaceted conductor of the Lamont Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Lawrence Golan. And what an accent! Who knew? But, typical of Dr. Golan, this was a very sophisticated work and performance. The Devil Went Down to Georgia could almost be considered a very short version of Stravinsky’s The Soldiers Tale. The hero, rather than the Devil, as in Stravinsky, beats the Devil at a violin competition. Maestro Golan proved that he can play the violin (which everyone has been aware of), that he can make skillful arrangements (maybe some of us have been aware of), and that he is a very good singer/narrator (few of us have been aware of), and that he was capable of an incredible hillbilly accent (who knew that!)!
What a delightful program this was! There was not an inferior piece in the entire concert, and, as I said above, it is very gratifying to hear new works composed with such confidence and artistic skill. In addition, I cannot say enough about the skill and musicianship of Maestro Jürgens. He is a very dynamic conductor who, without a doubt, knows the music before him, and who has no difficulty whatsoever, in communicating that skill and joy to the orchestra. Remember that these were new compositions. The Lamont Symphony Orchestra, under Jürgens direction, performed them as if they were concert standards. It will be a long time before this performance is forgotten.
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: Charles H. Spurgeon, Chip Michael, Chip Michael Clark, Devin Hughes, K.318, Kenneth Dempster, Stephne Davismoon, William Hill, You Can't Catch Rabbits With Drums, Zaide
Saturday evening, October 2, the Boulder Symphony Orchestra presented a fine program in their new venue, the First Presbyterian Church in Boulder. Their next performance will be Saturday, November 13, when they will collaborate with the Cantabile Singers at the Mountain View United Methodist Church in Boulder.
You will recall that the Boulder Symphony is the newly renamed Niwot Timberline Orchestra. It is quite possible that a name change can produce all kinds of magic in an organization, and that magic seems to be continuing for the Boulder Symphony. Under the direction of Maestro Devin Hughes, they are rapidly creating a new reputation to go along with their name, and it is a good one.
Saturday evening’s concert was also a collaboration, this time with the Longmont Youth Symphony regularly conducted by Keynes Chen. The program opened with both orchestras intermingled, playing Mozart’s Symphony Number 32 in G. Major, K. 318. This is an unusual symphony for Mozart because it was written in one movement. And, in addition, it is written in an Italian style – there are three distinct sections (as a miniature Symphony might contain) but the fast first movement has no recapitulation. And even in the slow movement which is in a rondo form, Mozart chooses not to bring the rondo theme back to complete the form, but instead, goes directly into the third movement. At the end of the work, there is another surprise because the main theme from the first movement, appears as a coda. The fact that this Symphony was written in one movement has led many to believe that it was indeed an overture to an opera, and even Alfred Einstein, the musicologist, goes so far as to say that it was written for the Singspiel à la française, Zaide. (Singspiel is a German musical play wherein there is spoken and sung dialogue). Einstein, no doubt, was influenced by the comments of Ludwig Ritter von Köchel who cataloged Mozart’s creative output in 1862. Köchel also called this work an overture because of its appearance, and he also said that it was for Zaide. Neither scholar stopped to think that an overture for an opera would be the last piece written because one has to have all of the themes used in the opera available. (Plus the fact that the dates simply don’t add up. They do not correspond with the autograph). It is also interesting to note that this was the first symphony of Mozart’s to be published in total. The work was written in 1779 after Mozart returned from an unproductive trip to Paris where he was able to write only one symphony (Number 31) most likely because he was totally preoccupied with the death of his mother.
The combined orchestras gave this work a remarkable sparkle, and Maestro Hughes had no trouble in keeping it light and airy. Occasionally one could tell that there were some very young musicians playing because a few of the entrances were a little ragged and sometimes they were out of tune. However, it was still a great piece to open the program simply because it is not heard all that often in live performance.
The next work on the program was the American premiere of the last movement of a symphony written by Chip Michael (b. 1962). Mr. Michael [he does not use his last name which is Clark] has named this work, “You Can’t Catch Rabbits With Drums.” This enigmatic title was taken from a 19th century Baptist preacher, Charles H. Spurgeon, and to quote from the program notes:
“… Spurgeon once claimed, ‘You can’t catch rabbits with drums, or pigeons with plums. A thing is not good out of its place.’ Haydn, Beethoven and Mozart were three of perhaps thousands of classical composers vying for their compositions to be performed in Vienna, the contemporaneous musical capitol of the western world. What keeps us talking about them today is their ability to take all the abundant raw materials of their day – melodies, harmony, rhythms, instruments – and put them in their ‘place’ by weaving into magical creations works that to this day continue to transport the listener on a tremendously thrilling journey as they awaken the spirit within us.”
“For the American Premiere of Chip Michael’s You Can’t Catch Rabbits with Drums, from his First Symphony, the composer employs the raw materials of a whisking musical motive tossing itself around the orchestra against the percussion section. These two elements give chase to each other throughout the work, representing the universal concept of the hunter and the hunted, the dreamer and the dream, the explorer and the discovery.”
The performance of this piece was really quite exciting, and the opening reminded me very much of Stravinsky’s use of orchestra and percussion. However, after awhile, the continuous percussion began to wear on the ear. I am going to assume (always a dangerous thing to do) that the percussion section was following the dynamics written in the score, but they did not seem to vary the dynamics at all. They played loudly, or to be more genteel, forte, throughout the entire work. At times it was difficult to tell what the rest of the orchestra was playing. Also, some of the rhythmic ideas seemed to be repeated again and again. Concerning the volume level of the percussion section, I could not see Maestro Hughes’face as he was conducting, but I would rather imagine that he was giving some emphatic glares in their direction. It very well could have been a very different piece, had the percussion section sometimes played softly. As to the constant use of the percussion section, well, that is up to the composer, but I hasten to point out that composers of percussion works, such as John Cage and William Hill, vary the instrumentation and the dynamics. I would also like to point out that there was a geat deal of craft in the work.
I quote from his blog: “Chip Michael [Clark] is Composer-in-Residence for the Boulder Symphony Orchestra. Conductor Devin Hughes created the appointment for the BSO 2010-2011 season. The BSO will be performing You Can’t Catch Rabbits With Drums and Exchanging Glances (commissioned by the BSO) this season. Mr. Clark returned from the UK in 2009 after studying composition with Kenneth Dempster and Stephen Davismoon in Edinburgh. Currently, Chip is studying with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Percussionist, William Hill, while working in the Marketing Department for the Colorado Symphony on implementing their new website. With the assistance of the Napier Development Fund, the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra premiered Chip’s Symphony No. 1, Figuratively Speaking, in June 2008. A grant from Lloyds TSB Arts Foundation funded The Edinburgh Quartet premiere of Skimming Rock & Skipping Stones. The quartet has performed numerous other works by Chip over the past five years. The OneMile Programme funded the film Under Assured featuring Chip’s music as well as sound design.”
Before the intermission, the BSO performed Haydn’s well-known Symphony Number 90, in C Major. I say well-known, because it is in the last movement of this symphony that Haydn brings the movement to an end, then has a four measure period of silence, then begins again, softly, and truly brings the symphony to a close in the remote key of D Flat Major. In the performance of this work there was some really fine flute and oboe playing. From where I sat, I could not see those sections well, but it was no doubt the principal flutist, Kristin Stordahl, and principal oboist, Alexis Junker. Andrew Briggs, who is the principal cellist, was also excellent. There were times however when the violins as a whole seemed to be out of tune with the violas and cellos. Even though this symphony is very well known and often performed, do not doubt its difficulty. Overall, the BSO did quite well.
The final work on the evening’s concert was Beethoven’s Symphony Number 1 in C Major. It is remarkable to hear this work immediately after Haydn’s Symphony Number 90. One can clearly hear the giant steps that separate Beethoven from Haydn. I am certainly going to sit down and listen to Haydn’s Symphony 104, and then Beethoven’s 1st to see if the separation is as great as it seemed Saturday evening. Remember that Haydn was Beethoven’s teacher, but he also studied counterpoint with Albrechtberger, and sketches for this symphony date from 1795 when he was still studying counterpoint.
The BSO did quite well with this symphony, but there were some places, notably the opening of the second movement, where the violins were out of tune. Up until this point, the orchestra seemed to be playing pretty much in tune – there were a few notes here and there that could have been better. But the opening of the second movement was quite noticeable, and for two measures it just seemed as if they had not practiced. Of course this is a community orchestra, and that means the members do not have time to practice four to six hours a day. And I sincerely meant it when, above, I stated that they were rapidly becoming known as one of the better community orchestras in the state. I also admit that violin sections have been somewhat of a sore point with me. But it does seem that the first step in learning to play the violin is to play in tune. But, nonetheless… practice!
Maestro Hughes and the Boulder Symphony Orchestra deserve a lot of credit for hard work and genuine enthusiasm. The work is paying off because the level of playing in this orchestra has increased dramatically. The BSO truly is challenging other community orchestras for the title of Best Community Orchestra in the state. If you doubt me, come hear their performance on November 13.