With Black Friday behind us, (wait, black for whom!?) we can now turn our attention to the more spiritual aspects of the Holiday season. I trust that none of you “took chips” in line at Best Buy or Kohl's, or rammed the car that took the last parking spot at Walmart. Having survived this commemoration of consumerism, you owe it to yourself to have your ears filled with the joyous sounds of the season, brought to you by the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra and the Webb School's Madrigal Singers. I hope you acted in a timely fashion, though, because it appears that this concert, today at 2:30 at the Bijou, is SOLD OUT.
If you WERE lucky enough to be an early bird and score tickets to this concert, here's what you have to look forward to. The Webb Madrigal Singers, under the direction of LeAnne Johnson, are in high demand this time of year for performances of sacred and secular music. Their share of the concert is substantial; they will partake in the final nine selections. Highlights of this involvement are the Hallelujah Chorus and Glory to God from Handel's Messiah, the “Shepherds' Farewell” from Berlioz' oratorio L'enfance du Christ, and a wacky a capella arrangement of The Twelve Days of Christmas. This arrangement, credited to the a capella group Straight No Chaser, reweaves the traditional Twelve Days text into a crazy choral quilt by incorporating quotes from five or six other carols, the Dreidel Song, and even Toto's 1982 hit Africa. Instrumental numbers include Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on 'Greensleeves,' Tchaikovsky's Christmas Waltz and the Farandole from Bizet's L'Arlesienne Suite. I never knew the Bizet had lyrics! You learn something every day.
Let's take a look back at a couple fun November KSO events…
The Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestras presented their Fall concerts on Monday the 13th.
Red scarves and neckties lent an extra touch of class to Kathy Hart's Sinfonia ensemble. The Philharmonia orchestra, directed by Nina Mikos, had teal accents. (photo courtesy of Sarah Gimbel).
James Fellenbaum's Youth Symphony did a tremendous job with Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio espagnol. I especially relished the performance because I played the work in my youth orchestra. (photo courtesy of Hahn Choo).
Sean Claire (far right) performed Mendelssohn's "other" Violin Concerto (in D) with the Youth Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Wesley Baldwin (far left). Center three (left to right) are Kathy Hart, Preludium orchestra director Erin Archer, and Jim Fellenbaum.
The KSO UnStaged event on the previous Thursday was an unqualified success, with its diverse intimate performance stations across The Standard's wonderful facility.
Beer was the overture to this concert, with Knox Brew Tours meister Zack Roskop speaking on the brewer's art...
… and photo-bombing some musicians celebrating the triumph…
A new work by composer Annika Socolovsky (standing at left two photos up) was commissioned for the event. Here percussionist Bob Adamcik hones his bowed vibraphone technique prior to the performance.
Violinists Ruth Bacon Edewards, Robyn Quinette, violist Jennifer Bloch and cellist Ildar Khuziakhmetov perform The Eurhythmics' Sweet Dreams Are Made of This.