Bassoonist Felicia Foland was eating a vegan lunch with bass trombonist Gerry Pagano and the director of orchestra personnel, Beth Paine, in Costa Mesa, California, when I reached her by phone on Wednesday afternoon. A cloudy day in Costa Mesa, sunny in St. Louis. Go figure.
“It takes less time to find vegan food here than in Missouri,” Felicia confirmed, especially one in a “groovy strip mall.” Travels went smoothly and the musicians bided their time before an afternoon rehearsal at the Soka Performing Arts Center–John Adams’ Saxophone Concerto and Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 opens the tour. It’s a hall the orchestra has not played before, which is just one reason why it’s good to have a pre-show rehearsal.
Meanwhile, the most recent news around the hall is the announcement of the Tribute to David Bowie concert, with tickets going on sale to the general public Thursday at 10am, STL Symphony social-media subscribers can buy now. Brent Havens, known for his Music of… concerts (Music of Led Zeppelin, Music of Michael Jackson, etc.) will bring a hot band and a cool vocalist to play our Bowie favorites. My blog post after his passing “reached” nearly 23,000 Facebook friends. I had mentioned that the St. Louis Symphony had not yet played Bowie music–emphasis on “not yet”–so it’s appropriate to say that this concert comes by popular demand. (And in-house demand, our Marketing department was on this like a lightning bolt across the face.) Put on your red shows and dance the blues June 17.