Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Nutcracker and Other Good News

The Nutcracker is back! The Appalachian Ballet Company’s annual production runs this coming weekend on Saturday at 8:00 and Sunday at 2:00 at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium. The following weekend, on Saturday the 9th, there will be two performances, at 2 and 8, at the Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College.

There’s always something new to glean from the Nutcracker, even without seeing the dancing. The score is a Coney Island of orchestration technique. At every performance I marvel at the percussionist remembering to always hit the chime 12 times, at the bassoons who hold an insanely long note just before the battle scene, at Cindy Hicks’ consistently flawless renditions of the harp solo that ushers in the Waltz of the Flowers, at the desolate beauty of the Waltz of the Snowflakes. This year a new dancer will be from the KSO family; trumpeter Marc Simpson’s daughter Julianne will be a soldier! She’ll be the one with the new contact lenses. Also, Picardy Penguin’s charming sidekick, Katy Wolfe Zahn has a son who is onstage as a page.

Violist Jen Bloch and cellist Ildar Khuziakhmetov are not playing the Nutcracker, for they have just welcomed their second daughter into the world! Maia Alina was born Monday morning, Nov. 26th, joining big sister Alexandra Rose in the household.

Knoxville investment firm The Trust Company, with the help of an online poll, will be selecting one of three non-profit organizations to be awarded a $5,000 donation! The KSO is competing with The Helen Ross McNabb Center and Ijams Nature Center for this award, although a minimum $1,000 gift awaits the two organizations which do not get the highest vote count. Show your support for the KSO and log on here to view contest rules and to cast your vote! The contest is open until December 9th and you can vote once a day until then.

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