The finale to the St. Louis Symphony’s subscription season included a number of thunderous ovations, which were fitting for the conclusion to a stellar season of music. The Planets brought down the house, which is just what the piece was made for.
One of the most poignant ovations was for second violinist Deborah Bloom, who retires at the end of this season. After intermission David Robertson gave a warm testimonial of Debbie’s decades of service to the orchestra, with a special mention of the work she has done in Education and Community Programs. I’ve had the great good fortune to observe Debbie in the classroom, presenting her “Mole Music” program, which is something of a music-in-the-schools classic. In that tale, Mole takes up the violin and changes his life and the lives of others. I’ve seen students rapt by Debbie’s playing and her storytelling. And I’ve seen her just as attentive to the students’ questions and ideas.
Debbie received a generous standing ovation from an SRO Powell Hall, for the great music made and shared, and the lives that have been changed through the playing, the teaching and the listening.
I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with a few chorus members over the years. Members of the chorus always seem to be wickedly fun. They also combine passion, dedication and awesome talent to every concert.
The St. Louis Symphony Chorus is holding auditions Wednesday, August 26 from 5-9pm, for the 2015-16 season. The auditions are open to all voice types. The repertoire this season includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Berlioz’s Romeo et Juliette, Holst’s The Planets, and the Music of John Williams in December.
Chorus Director Amy Kaiser offered the following rhetorical question, “What could be better than Beethoven, Berlioz and John Williams?” If you cannot come up with a good answer to that, the St. Louis Symphony Chorus may be for you.
Gotta sing? Give it a try. Click for info. Contact Chorus Manager Susan Patterson to schedule an audition appointment: email@example.com.
Associate Principal Trumpet Tom Drake, in answer to a request for his “hot picks” for 1516, informed me that this a very “trumpet interesting” season coming up at Powell Hall. He suggested I poll the trumpet section. So I did.
1) Mahler 5. Unanimous. (Principal Karin Bliznik, Associate Tom Drake, Jeffrey Strong, who joins the section in 1516, and Mike Walk). The Symphony opens with Bliznik playing a transcendent solo.
2-Tie) Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote. Flutter-tonguing may enter your vocabulary.
2-Tie) The Planets. Jupiter the Bringer of Jollity. Sweet trumpet dreams were made of these.
Other top picks among the section: Selections from Prokofiev’s Cinderella & Romeo & Juliet, and his Symphony No. 3; Selections from Wagner’s Parsifal; Gershwin’s An American in Paris; Messiaen’s From the Canyons to the Stars; Mahler 4; and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, orchestrated by Ravel.