Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Team VSO" tour hits a homerun

The VSO recently toured the state with one of its orchestral youth concert programs, "Team VSO." We visited five magnet locations across the state in Newport, Swanton, Barre, Rutland, and Manchester, delighting and inspiring schoolchildren in grades K-8. Watch the video below of Champ in action, shot by the Rutland Herald.

And a testimonial:

As a 6th grade teacher from Barre Town, I would like to express my thinks to those who arranged and came to give a presentation last week to our students at the Barre Opera House. As you can see by the following student comments, they were most impressed by the bassoon player:

"Dear VSO, I really liked all the music. You guys are very talented! I have never seen a bassoon before, and it was very interesting. Champ was very funny and cool. Thanks for coming to the Barre Opera House."

"Thank you very much. The VSO was fun. The bassoon ROCKED! GO CHAMP!"

"I enjoyed the part when the guy played the bassoon. I had never heard nor seen that instrument before. It was a great and exciting experience."

"I liked the song about Champ in Lake Champlain. I also like the Bethoven song."

"Thank you so much for everything. The bassoon was awesome and the songs were amazing."

"I liked when the 16 year old boy was playing the bassoon because it look really cool. I liked the violins, too. Thanks, Mr. White (Barre Town Music Instructor)."

"My favorite part was when Champ came out. I was so close to getting a T-shirt, but it hit the wall as I went forward. Thanks tons for the music."

"I really liked the music you did for us. I especially enjoyed the solos some people did. The Bethoven piece and Champ were cool!"

Thank you again,
Ms. Cassie Major, 6th grade teacher Barre Town Middle and Elementary School"

Keep reading!

Friday, May 8, 2009

2009 TD Banknorth Summer Festival Tour

I call it the "most wonderful time of the year," those two weeks that envelop the Fourth of July each summer. Usually you won't read too much personal commentary from me, though I am the keeper of this blog, but the VSO's Summer Festival Tour (SFT) holds a very special place in my heart. It's my baby. This will be my seventh year on the tour, sixth as Technical Director. My affiliation with the VSO began with SFT. That first year, I was Volunteer Coordinator. The next year (and the three after that), I took on the dual roles of Volunteer Cordinator and Technical Director. Now, through the power of seniority and the mercy of the powers that be, I am simply the Technical Director (simply?).

What's not to love? This tour swirls together like some heavenly flavor of Ben and Jerry's the three things I love most: (1) music, (2) the beauty of Vermont (when is the last time you toured the entire state at its most verdant over 11 days), and (3) food. Yes, food. Anyone who knows me is chuckling right now. Whether you are the orchestra/crew meal coordinator, a caterer showing up on site, or the venue coordinator, you can be sure of me quizzing you on the evening's menu. Sometimes, I even troll the crowd of picnickers, drooling at their elaborate spreads. These three aspects of SFT are yours, too. We bring the music, Vermont brings her beauty in nine picturesque locations, and you bring the food!! Hey, we'll even throw in a pretty nifty light show. Every concert concludes with a spectacular fireworks display accompanied by Tchaikovsky's 1812 Oveture -- a piece I now know every note of!

Tickets just went on sale at the Flynn Regional Box Office. Don't fret if you are wanting to purchase tickets for the Upper Valley concert at the Quechee Polo Grounds and can't as we are firming up our rain site details before we start selling. Oh, and all concerts start at 7:30 p.m.

"The Lake Effect" (A celebration of Lake Champlain's Quadricentennial)
Anthony Princiotti, conductor

Roman Carnival Overture
Water Music Suite
Waves of the Danube March
An American in Paris
Russian Sailors' Dance
Selections from Les Misérables
Symphonic Scenario from South Pacific
1812 Overture
Hands Across the Sea March

All concerts at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 25
Middlebury College
Gates at 5:30 p.m.

Friday, June 26
Jackson Gore at Okemo Mountain Resort
Gates at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 27
Three Stallion Inn
Gates at 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, June 28
Mountain Top Inn
Gates at 5:00 p.m.

Monday, June 29
Quechee Polo Grounds
Quechee (Upper Valley)
Gates at 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 2
Hildene Meadowlands
Gates at 5:00 p.m.

Friday, July 3
Grafton Ponds
Gates at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 4
Shelburne Farms
Gates at 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, July 5
Trapp Family Lodge Concert Meadow
Gates at 5:30 p.m.
Keep reading!

Vermont Music Now Episode 7: Troy Peters

VSO New Music Advisor David Ludwig (who just barely completed his two-year stint as our Composer-in-Residence) interviews Troy Peters, a long-time friend and fellow composer. Troy is also Music Director for the Vermont Youth Orchestra (for a little while longer, anyway).

Keep reading!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Audience reaction and critical acclaim for Masterworks finale

The VSO ended its 2008/2009 Masterworks Series, "Music of OUR Time," with a fiery performance at the Flynn Center on Saturday, May 2, 2009. Click the link below to read a review of the concert by Jim Lowe for the Times Argus. Watch the short video for reactions from audience members, musicians, and Jaime Laredo, to the season as a whole.

Jim Lowe's review in the Times Argus.

Keep reading!