Oh, the Places We Go

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Since I was working on the next Family Concert program, The Zany World of Dr. Seuss, (Sunday, March 13, 3:00pm), a Dr. Seuss title easily came to mind. The places the St. Louis Symphony Education and Community programs went this weekend included:

St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra rehearsal, Steven Jarvi conductor, Aidan Ip, soloist, at Powell Hall
St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra rehearsal, Steven Jarvi conductor, Aidan Ip, soloist, at Powell Hall

St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra rehearsal on the Powell Hall stage. Aidan Ip is a YO Concerto Competition Co-Winner rehearsing Conus’s Violin Concerto in E minor with the orchestra on Saturday afternoon. Leah Piepert, the other Co-Winner, will be performing Hüe’s Fantaisie for Flute and Orchestra in the same YO concert, Friday, March 18, 8:00pm. Free!

Salem United Methodist Church
Salem United Methodist Church

On Sunday evening, February 28, the entire congregation at Salem United Methodist Church rose to its feet to sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus, under the leadership of Kevin McBeth, was also joined by Associate Principal Clarinet Diana Haskell for “Amazing Grace” in this Symphony Where You Worship concert.

Kristin Ahlstrom and Eva Kozma at the SLU Cancer Center
Kristin Ahlstrom and Eva Kozma at the SLU Cancer Center

Monday morning, February 29, Symphony violinists Kristin Ahlstrom and Eva Kozma performed in the infusion room at SLU Cancer Center, making a number of patients’ chemo treatments much less stressful. Patients actually schedule their treatments so they can take in a concert, part of the SymphonyCares program.

On and On, and On, and On

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Friday night the Black History Month Concert: Lift Every Voice featured R&B/Gospel legend Patti Austin. She shared many stories with the audience and sang up a storm–but don’t blame her for the snow.

Patti Austin and St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus grab a photo op on the grand staircase.
Patti Austin and St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus grab a photo op on the grand staircase.

At intermission of the BHM concert, following a performance of Adam Maness’ Divides That Bind, the composer and Brian Owens, who read text by Martin Luther King, Jr., during the piece, meet with IN UNISON Chorus members backstage.

Brian Owens and Adam Maness with IN UNISON Chorus
Brian Owens and Adam Maness with IN UNISON Chorus

Saturday night I experienced one of the most surreal moments I’ve ever had at Powell Hall: a sold-out audience on its feet singing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” with a tribute band and the St. Louis Symphony. Nobody even asked them to, word for word from beginning to end: “Just a small-town girl/ Livin’ in a lonely world….”

Sunday the Heart Quartet, which is performing throughout February advocating for Women’s Heart Health, played at IN UNISON Church partner St. Philip’s Evangelical Lutheran.

Heart Quartet, aka "The Hearties": Anne Fagerburg, Shannon Farrell Williams, Dr. Dawn Hui, and Helen Kim
Heart Quartet, aka “The Hearties”: Anne Fagerburg, Shannon Farrell Williams, Dr. Dawn Hui, and Helen Kim

Also on Sunday, Symphony musicians played Dvorak’s Serenade for Winds, Cello, and Double Bass at Peace Lutheran Church.

Dvorak's Serenade at Peace Lutheran
Dvorak’s Serenade at Peace Lutheran

Monday morning, Angie Smart and Claire “The Clown” Wedemeyer entertained girls and boys at Mercy Children’s Hospital. All the kids they entertained were in isolation, so Angie and Claire made in-room performances.

Symphony first violinist Angie Smart and Claire "The Clown" Wedemeyer making their rounds at Mercy Children's Hospital.
Symphony first violinist Angie Smart and Claire “The Clown” Wedemeyer making their rounds at Mercy Children’s Hospital.

And on and on, and on, and on…throughout the St. Louis region…anywhere.

Fire on Stage

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Oleta Adams joined the St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON Chorus and St. Louis Symphony for Gospel Christmas rehearsal on stage at Powell Hall Wednesday night. There were reports of an underground fire in Grand Center sometime during the night. I haven’t heard of a cause, but Adams was smoldering.

 

Oleta Adams
Oleta Adams