Sunday, November 13, 2016

Lincoln's Symphony Orchestra: family, fun, and the future of music

This afternoon was a busy one in the area's Classical music scene with a variety of concerts in Lincoln and Omaha from orchestras and flute choirs to pianists and operas. One crowded event was Lincoln's Symphony Orchestra's "Three Little Pigs" Family Concert. What a sight to see as families with children of all ages, from babies on up, crowded into Wesleyan's O'Donnell Auditorium for the afternoon's entertainment.

LSO is doing a tremendous service to the community by holding these family concerts: encouraging children to come, listen, and experience orchestral music while also keeping it short, entertaining, and engaging. Maestro Edward Polochick, although forced to remain seated throughout the concert due to a broken foot, was warm and welcoming to the children as actor Tim Marrone came along in the character of Mother Goose, then Mr. Pig, and finally, the Big Bad Wolf.

Not only is clapping and noise allowed and encouraged (as laughter or boos resounded throughout the auditorium depending on the antics and character of Marrone), but children also had the opportunity beforehand to play various instruments, have their faces painted, do crafts, then color on their programs and help conduct on stage. Although some of the music is lost behind the laughter, it is heard, and the next time children hear Beethoven's 5th or the music of Ravel, they'll have a happy memory associated with it and want to learn more!

A wonderful way to inspire a love of orchestra and perhaps the next generation of musicians!

Friday, November 11, 2016

UNL Opera's 'Little Women:' brilliant and emotional

Tonight, the audience seated in Kimball Recital Hall laughed, cried, and grew up with Jo March. The Glenn Korff School of Music put on Mark Adamo's Little Women opera--a brilliant opera written in 1998, featuring the some of the best that modern music can be, beautifully performed.
Tickets for Sunday's performance
can be purchased here.

The story of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott should be familiar to many, but the opera, while staying true to the story, brings out the themes of Jo's struggles and her loves.

In the first half, the audience laughed and rejoiced as the sisters played together, Meg was wooed by her "knight," and Jo wrote her "potboiler."

The music thrilled and made the emotions strike the hearts of everyone in the audience as the telegram arrived for Jo telling her that Beth was ill...and at the death scene, the instruments dropped out and the singing carried on--beautiful, but a little lonely, as Jo was feeling.

The themes presented of family, love, change, and, eventually, growth were perfectly brought together in the music, libretto, staging, set, costumes, and performance by the talented students at UNL.

With one more performance remaining on Sunday, Nov. 13th at 3:00pm, this is a chance that can't be missed--you will be able to relate to it on some level. Who has not longed for things to stay the same, but found that change comes upon them? Who has not had to learn that "now is all we have."

Monday, November 7, 2016

Lincoln's Flute Choir: Discover the variety of flutes

In 2013, a trio of flute playing friends decided to form a Lincoln flute choir, now known as Coro di Flauti. Perhaps you’ve never seen a flute besides the flute and piccolo: so how is it that there can be 17 members in the group and upcoming concert?

Coro di Flauti will perform
3:00pm, on Sun, Nov. 13th, 2016
Holy Savior Lutheran Church
Coro di Flauti will perform on Sunday, November 13th at 3:00pm at Holy Savior Lutheran Church. If you attend, you will discover and delight in the sounds of Lincoln’s flute choir consisting of “piccolo, which sounds an octave above the standard flute, C flute, alto flute, which sounds a fourth below the concert C flute and bass flute, an octave below the C flute. Professional flute choirs often add a contrabass flute, two octaves below the C flute.” 

"we would love...a contrabass
...about eight feet tall..."
Rebecca Grote, Librarian and Administrator for Coro di Flauti, shared with LincolnCMN that “one of the comments we hear the most is that most were not aware of any kind of flutes besides the flute and piccolo. The flute choir sound is new to the community and not heard in Lincoln outside of the UNL flute studio of Dr. John Bailey.” Despite the variety of flutes already in Lincoln’s flute choir, they are hoping for more: “we would love to acquire a contrabass flute to add to our instrumentation, which sounds two octaves below the C flute.  It is about eight feet tall and is played standing up.” 

Already enjoy the sound of the flute? Then be sure to attend this concert; experience the variety and range of the flute family! Enjoy a program of classical and sacred music including 'Remembrances' by Kelly Via, which is “much loved by Coro. It is a gorgeous flute choir arrangement of Claude Debussy's 'Clair de Lune'.  Kelly Via has midwest connections by the way, as he received his Bachelor of Music from Drake University in Des Moines, IA.”

Besides the sacred and classical works that will be performed on the concert on Sunday, Lincoln’s flute choir enjoys playing “for the St. Paul Friday concert series [which] has allowed us to explore flute choir music other than sacred. Early next year we have been invited to perform for the opening of an exhibition of Japanese quilts at the International Quilt Museum, so Coro is performing Japanese-themed music. It has been an interesting experience to program for a variety of types of performances.”

Flute choirs, becoming more and more popular since the 1970s, have been a wonderful way for flute players to perform together and more frequently since flute parts are often limited in orchestras and bands. In fact, “there is a vast amount of quality flute choir music to select from” although Coro di Flauti “would love” a world premiere composed for them by a local composer sometime in the future. 

Sunday’s performance is just one way that the flute choir not only enjoys the opportunity to make music together as flutists but also to “culturally and musically enrich the community”—their audience: you.

Enjoyed this article? Follow LincolnCMN on Facebook and twitter for more!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Lincoln's Choral Scene: bright and beautiful

Lincoln Choral Artists came together to celebrate choral music in the Capitol city today with Lincoln Lutheran Choir and the Sacred Arts Homeschool Choirs. On a beautiful November afternoon with sunlight shining through the stained glass windows of College View Church, the audience was treated  to an hour-and-a-half concert with a lovely blend of styles and selections of music.

The setting of the Capitol City Choirs Concert:
College View Church
Perhaps best of all, in a concert featuring local choirs, local composers were featured as well. Jean Henderson, Garrett Hope, David von Kampen, and Kurt Knecht had pieces sung, to name just a few. Music was sung praising God, celebrating Nebraska, and some just for fun.

A crowd pleaser was "I'll Tell My Ma" with clapping and stomping along with the music, although Salmo 150, also sung by the Lincoln Choral Artists, was also attention grabbing in an entirely different way. The children's "Scales and Arpeggios" was delightful and fun, while the combined pieces with all three choirs to end the concert were excellent selections allowing moments where the children's voices rang out clear and then were joined in full chorus.

The homeschool choirs' presence lent a hopeful quality to the concert. The sight--and sound--of the children singing alongside the adult choirs could give no clearer a vision of the future of choral arts in the community: it is a bright one.