New season for local orchestras

By Sarah Hunton

This fall season, is primed with new offerings from local orchestra groups around the area.

The Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra is beginning the season with an opening gala at the Pine Lake Country Club on Saturday Sept. 17. Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the concert will begin at 8:30 p.m.

The Orchestra will be playing popular pieces such as “Memory” from the musical Cats, “Girl from Ipanema” and “Moon River.”

Tickets for the gala, including both dinner and concert, are $60.

On Sept. 30, the Rochester Symphony Orchestra will begin it’s 51st season at Stoney Creek High School with a program entitled “Symphonic Romance.” The concert begins at 8 p.m.

Guest artist, and Ann Arbor native, Gabriel Bolkosky will be performing Beethoven’s Violin Converto in D Major alongside the orchestra. The ensemble will conclude with Hanson’s Romantic Symphony No. 2, Opus 30.

Rita May, a member of the Board of Directors for the orchestra believes that those who attend the concert will be pleased with their experience.

“(The audience) will be thoroughly enchanted,” May said. “Not just by the orchestra, but in hearing Gabriel. He is such a wonderful performer.”

Tickets are $5 for students and $25 for all others.

The resident symphony orchestra of Oakland University, the Oakland Symphony, is kicking-off their season on Oct. 10 with Leoš Janácek’s Sinfonietta in Varner Hall.

A small wind ensemble, featuring violinist Scott Conklin will be performing Joey Puckett’s Southern Comforts. The piece was written for and dedicated to Conklin in 2008.

Dr. Gregory Cunningham, Associate Professor of Music at OU, is the music director of the orchestra. He believes that the most interesting tale behind the compositions has to do with the Puckett piece.

“The opportunity to have a piece specially written for someone and have that person come and help us bring a voice to that is probably the most interesting story (behind the pieces),” Cunningham said.

The concert will conclude with Sergi Rachmanioff’s Symphonic Dances, op. 45.

Tickets are $10 for students and $20 for all others.

Every year, the Macomb Symphony Orchestra opens their season with an ethnic concert. The ensemble will begin the season with “Delightfully Danish,” a collection of pieces by Danish composers. The concert will take place Oct. 14, 8 p.m. at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts.

The group will be performing KnudågeRiissager’s Tolv med Posten, Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 2 The Four Temperaments and Niels Gade’s Remembrance of Ossian.

“The Danish composers are not really terribly well known,” Thom Cook, music director of the MSO said. “They’re kind of off the beaten track and that’s kind of exciting, being able to explore some music that we haven’t done before.”

Tickets are $15 for students and seniors and $18 for all others.

Finally, a “Fantastic Fantasies” program will initiate Warren Symphony’s 2011-12 season

The orchestra will be performing Joaquin Turina’s Danzas Fantasticas, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis and Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique.

Cunningham is also the music director of the Warren symphony; he believes the orchestra adds a rich artistic factor to the community in which it sits.

“The Warren Symphony is a cultural asset of that community,” he explained. “It’s great orchestral music performed by an ensemble from that region.”