Signing a brand new five year contract as LaGrange Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director & Conductor, Dr. Richard Prior is shown with Gail Daniel Browne, LSO president, and Mary Lynn Faress, board secretary. This contract will begin with the 2018/2019 season and continue through the 2022/2023 season. The LSO is very pleased to be able to secure the artistic direction in which our symphony is working. Endorsed by record attendance, community support, record enrollment in youth educational programming, and new local collaborative opportunities, this contract is a direct result of the community-mindedness of this organization. Congratulations to all involved. Thank you, everyone, for supporting the Arts and especially for supporting the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra.
Applications are now being taken.
(Note: Students entering the Strings Attached program for the first time DO NOT GO to this camp. They have a different application that was sent through the schools.)
Campers: This camp is open for students between the ages of 6-18 at all levels of advancement who are interested in violin, viola, or cello.
Camp Dates: July 23 – 27, 2018
Camp Location: LaGrange College – Westside Music Department
Panther Way – LaGrange GA, which is on the Callaway campus of Lagrange College and is across the street from Price Theatre.
8:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m., Monday – Thursday
8:45 a.m – noon, Friday
Camp Cost: $125
Application and non-refundable deposit of $50 should be received in LSO office by May 25.
Total Fee of $125 is due by June 20.
An “Early Bird” rate of $100 is available to anyone who pays the full $100 by the May 25 deposit date.
By May 25, please complete the forms provided in the link and return them, along with deposit or full payment, to:
LaGrange Symphony Orchestra
P.O. Box 2321
LaGrange, GA 30241
Forms may also be brought to our office on the 2nd floor of SunTrust Bank at 301 Church Street.
Click HERE (or click image) to view a pdf version of the form, which you can download and print out. Forms may be mailed to LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, P.O. Box 2321, LaGrange, GA 30241 – or brought to our office on the 2nd floor of Sun Trust Bank at 301 Church Street, LaGrange, GA.
Remember that the application and non-refundable deposit of $50 should be received in LSO office by May 25, and the Total Fee of $125 is due by June 20.
April 24, 2018 – Listening Large
The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra set a new record during Tuesday’s season finale. This concert had the greatest number of adult musicians ever for a regular instrumental LSO concert! This concert, titled The World’s Embrace, which included both Mendelssohn and Mahler works, required seventy-seven (77) musicians. How special and fitting for a grand finale, which closes a truly remarkable season with this record-breaking ensemble.
First on the program was guest artist, Richard Cho, winner of the Dorothy Allen Turner Award for first place in the 2017 Young Artists Competition. Performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Mr. Cho’s first notes were divine and immediately caught everyone’s attention from that point onward. At sixteen years old, he has exquisite vibrato and tonal quality. It was commented, that memorizing all three movements in itself was impressive and for him to deliver this music so effortlessly was really inspiring.
Mendelssohn wrote this piece for one particular violinist, who was a friend and also concertmaster of the orchestra that Mendelssohn conducted. Written over the span of about six years, this music was finally finished in 1844. The music may have existed for more than a century, but this recent rendition was vibrant and fresh. In 2018, it is still a favorite among violinists and concert-goers alike. The combination of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra and violinist, Richard Cho was beautiful throughout the entire piece. Although Mr. Cho is probably at a much younger age than Mendelssohn’s friend who inspired the piece, I think both he and the composer would be pleased at its remarkably mature delivery Tuesday night. Shown is a photo, at the completion of the concerto, of Conductor Dr. Richard Prior shaking hands with guest artist, Richard Cho.
Next on the program was Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, in D Major (Titan). The composer’s musical intention was that the first movement sound like a “voice of nature”. It was undeniably delicate, like waking up gently and being in no hurry for anything except the experience. It sounded very much alive and soothingly aware. Music has been proven to improve our health and well-being – as to which, researchers are finding ways to incorporate it into healthcare routines. In this same fashion this Symphony had rejuvenating life affirmation. Beautiful musical images began to be revealed throughout the first movement. The second movement, while rhythmically different and the third, turning to a minor key, were both travelling through various encounters, yet still, with no haste. The most dramatic was the fourth movement, in which the concert notes say Mahler’s instructions request “stormy motion.” With thunderous percussion, and refreshing theme, again this music had a restorative nature to it. The positive energy, from hearing this music in a live venue, along with a brilliantly happy ending, felt rewarding and gave a feeling of optimism. It’s no wonder this music is so popular among listeners and musicians. Audience members are uplifted and the musicians are given a wonderful sense of accomplishment – the LSO musicians and conductor Dr. Richard Prior, in particular. Tuesday’s Mahler performance was top-level. Well done, and thank you.
If you have not heard the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra lately don’t delay any longer as you are missing out. The performance standard has always been high with the LSO, but in recent years it has increased even more. How wonderful to have a Maestro and musicians who are willing to keep improving their own individual capacity, and to push their limits. This is a sign of a healthy relationship within the LSO community. You, as a patron and supporter are a major factor in this performance standard. Your support is the catalyst in creating effective and interesting programming. We each want to improve our own individual soundness and what better way than with music that is good for the body and soul.
It was announced at the concert that the 2018-2019 season will mark the beginning of a new five-year contract for Conductor and Artistic Director Richard Prior. This is wonderful news! Under his direction, the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra has grown in stature and acclaim with programming that is innovative and collaborative. We are all looking forward to what he has in store for us next season.
Here are a few photos from the concert. (CLICK HERE to see review and photos full screen)
Experience a sense of wonder as the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra performs Gustav Mahler’s impressive Symphony No. 1, on Tuesday, April 24th at 7:30 PM, Callaway Auditorium. Also known as his Titan Symphony, this music is powerful and influential, yet ethereal and ultra-dimensional. The Austrian composer’s famous quote, “A symphony is like the world; it must embrace everything.” has shaped the entire season, and it is fitting that the finale concert include his outstanding Symphony No. 1.
The Titan Symphony actually began its life around the year 1889 as a Symphonic Poem, but had gone through many revisions before Mahler finally published, in 1898, the version we will hear. This work has also gone through several title changes, and one of them was Symphony in D for large orchestra. Large indeed! While that title seems rather generic, it is descriptive. The stage at Callaway Auditorium will be filled as this concert will have about 70 musicians!
Furthering the tradition of high standards, the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra also welcomes guest artist, Richard Cho. Richard is the first place winner of the 2017 Young Artists Competition (YAC) for Strings. He will be performing Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor. This piece, consisting of three movements, is one of the most captivating and popular violin concertos.
What a great night this will be, and what a full program! The 2017/2018 season has been remarkable and you do not want to miss this grand event. It is recommended that you get your tickets early, as the past two concerts have sold out.
The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra is proud to welcome guest artist Richard Cho to the stage April 24th, 2018. Richard is the first place winner of the 2017 Young Artists Competition (YAC) for Strings. He will be performing Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor. This piece, consisting of three movements, was written in 1844 and is known as one of the most captivating and popular of the violin concertos.
Concert goers will hear both the Mendelssohn with Richard Cho, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, also known as his Titan Symphony. What a treat! This is an incredibly strong concert program scheduled for the season finale in Callaway Auditorium. Tickets are currently available online HERE, by phone: 706-882-0662, and by email: firstname.lastname@example.org . It is highly recommended to get your tickets for “The World’s Embrace” concert early.
Mr. Cho’s performance is part of the YAC Dorothy Allen Turner Award for first place in which the winner appears with the LSO during the following formal season.
Born in the United States and making his solo debut with the Orchestra of Omaha at age 11, violinist Richard J. Cho, age 16, has since had numerous other musical achievements to recognize his passion for music. Recently, Richard was selected as the 2nd place winner of the 2018 Blount Slawson Competition and the 3rd place winner of 2018 Hilton Head Young Artists Competition. Also, as a two-time winner of both the Ruth Kern Concerto Competition in 2013 and 2017 and the Samuel Fordis Young Artists Concerto Competition in 2014 and 2017, Richard has played solos with both the Atlanta Community Orchestra and the Georgia Philharmonic Orchestra. He was the winner of the Dorothy Allen Turner first place award in the 2017 Lagrange Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artists Competition. Moreover, Richard was the 1st place winner in the strings category of the Ronald Sachs International Competition in April 2017. Aside from competitions, Richard participated in the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra for two years, and has attended Bowdoin International Music Festival in 2015, 2016, 2017 and Pyeongchang International Music Festival (Great Mountains Music Festival) in 2017.
Richard’s current teacher is Professor Sergiu Schwartz in the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University. His former teachers include Sonja Foster in Atlanta, GA and William Wolcott in Omaha, NE. Currently, Richard is a Junior at Alpharetta High School in Alpharetta, GA.
Embrace LIFE March 20, 2018
A Splendid Sell out!
Performing for a sold-out Callaway Auditorium, under the direction of LSO music director and conductor Dr. Richard Prior, the stage at the Embrace LIFE concert was full of youthful enthusiasm. It was the first day of Spring and this concert, just like the weather, came in like a lion! Beginning with the annual side-by-side, the LaGrange Symphony and the LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra, filled the space with music that was high-spirited and dramatic. The LSYO studies under the direction of Celeste Myall and these students were very well prepared to perform Antonin Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance in G minor. Although in a minor key, this music has an enormous amount of positive energy. From the first phrase, the great variation in intensity and feeling made it alive and vibrant. Just as dancers need to stay on their toes through this piece’s twists and turns, so do the musicians. If you haven’t experienced the annual side-by-side in LaGrange, you are missing out. As these young artists gain experience and mentoring, the audience is rewarded with excellent musical entertainment. This Slavonic Dance by Dvorak will be hard to top next year, it was that good!
If you would like to hear more, the LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra will perform their Spring concert on Tuesday March 27th, 7:00 p.m. at Callaway Auditorium.
Next was Mozart. The program notes were definitive, demystifying the lore surrounding the Mozart Requiem in D minor. In a nutshell, it comes down to talent and money – and the problem of having one or the other, but not both. In summary, Count Walsegg commissioned this work from Mozart, which he, the Count, probably intended to pass off as his own as there were contractual stipulations that Mozart could neither copy the score nor reveal his authorship. Mozart, who was low on funds, accepted the agreement, but happened to die the same night that several friends witnessed the Requiem was not finished. Without a finished work, Mozart’s widow would have to repay the front money. Hoping none of the friends would talk, she quickly found a student (with compositional promise and similar handwriting) to anonymously finish the Requiem, which she then submitted for final payment. There is quite a bit more to the long-version of this story, but even so, the timeframe is a little unbelievable.
Regardless of what happened in 1791 Vienna, 2018 brings a renewal of this masterful piece to LaGrange. Sung in Latin, a Requiem is a corroboration of symphony, choir and soloists all blending together, and is intended to be a musical gathering or service performed as a remembrance or memorial. It’s meant to soothe the living soul with quiet beauty, ask for eternal rest for the deceased, and bring about personal renewal.
The choir chosen for this monumental task was the LaGrange High School Chorus. While the symphony is the glue, the choir is the workhorse of a Requiem. You may think this high school chorus would not be seasoned enough for such a task, but you would be wrong. The LaGrange High School Chorus performed with power and grace, and made it look easy. The Mozart Requiem is certainly not easy, but with the musical training and direction of Katie Westbrook Trent, they captured the sacred essences and gave an inspired performance. I learned later that the weather had permitted only one rehearsal with the orchestra! This is remarkable. Surely this level of preparedness is the result of diligent work, direction with careful attention to detail, talent, and great conducting.
The solos were also intricately balanced with the choir and with each other. Four guest vocalists, shown left to right in this photo, included Paul Houghtaling, bass-baritone; Bradley Howard, tenor; Beth Everett, alto; and Maryann Kyle, soprano. Singing with conviction and gusto, they effectively conveyed the spirit of the mass. They each met the dramatic intensity that this piece required. Individually they stood out notably putting their personal imprint on the music. Collectively their harmony blended seamlessly.
The LSO held all of this together, mindfully putting the highlight on the vocalists. From “Introit” to “Communio”, this mass was a great performance by all involved. The overall impact was thought-provoking with notes of repentance, commemoration, selflessness and optimism. Spring is a time of renewal, and a Requiem reminds us not to waste any time in hibernation. Life is short, embrace it.
Below are a few photos from the evening:
The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra is proud to announce the vocal soloists for their March 20th concert performance. The Embrace LIFE concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on the first day of Spring, March 20th, in Callaway Auditorium, LaGrange, GA. Under the direction of Dr. Richard Prior, the LSO continues its acclaimed 2017-18 season with this March event. Quicklink to TICKETS HERE
Included in the evening, will be a side-by-side co-performance with the LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra, who are directed by Celeste Myall. This annual event has consistently impressed as LaGrange takes great pride in the education and preparedness of its music students. Experience is key. These young artists will be performing professional level music, alongside our musicians.
The evening will also include the Mozart Requiem Mass in D minor. This is a collaborative endeavor with the engaging LaGrange High School Chorus, who study under the direction of Katie Westbrook Trent. The chosen soloists for the Mozart Requiem are:
Dr. Maryann Kyle – Soprano:
In demand as one of the finest vocal coaches of belt, legit and classical vocal technique, Maryann Kyle has dedicated her professional life to guiding singers and teachers in their pursuit not only of exceptional singing, but also captivating performance. Kyle has extensive experience teaching, coaching, and performing opera, recitals, concerts and Broadway shows. Additionally, she actively mentors over twenty teachers of voice and theatre in various universities across the United States, and her students can be found on the stages of the finest opera and musical theatre companies, conservatories and training programs across the globe.
Kyle was the vocal coach for the musical Twist, a show by composers Tena Clark and Gary Prim, and directed by Debbie Allen, which opened in Atlanta in 2010 at the Alliance Theatre, and opened at the Pasadena Playhouse in 2011.
Maryann Kyle is an active performer of opera, concert, and recital repertoire, and has shared the concert stage with some of world’s greatest artists, having sung the role of Micaela in Carmen opposite internationally known mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves; performing as a guest soloist with The Miami Festival opposite famed bass-baritone William Warfield; and singing the soprano solos in Mendelssohn’s Elijah opposite baritone Timothy Noble and mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson. Kyle has appeared as a soloist on the pop music stage with famed artists Patti Labelle, Patti Austin, Dionne Warwick, Ann Nesby and Vesta Williams. Kyle’s one-woman-show, Sondheim in the City, premiered in NYC at the Laurie Beechman Theatre/West Bank Café in October, 2011, and she performed the title role in Daniel Lincoln’s show, Calixte and Tosca with Mississippi Opera. She will sing the role of Liu in 2018 as well as numerous musical theatre cabaret shows and Mozart’s Requiem.
Specializing in belt and legit style Broadway technique, Kyle has had a tremendous success in training singers in the best and healthiest use of their voice, and in integrating the function of singing with their character and physical acting process. She maintains a studio in NYC and has worked with the NYU-Tisch, Playwrights Horizons Studio, Florida Thespian’s Conference, Southeastern Theatre Conference, National Opera Association’s National and Regional Conferences, and the musical theatre apprentice program and teaching fellowship as a part of the International Performing Arts Institute in both Germany and Thailand.
Kyle’s coaching talents are not restricted to Broadway musicals. Her students are successful in the classical realm as well, many of whom have performed leading roles with New Orleans Opera, Seattle Opera, Oper Frankfurt, English National Opera, Virginia Opera. San Francisco Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Sarasota Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Mississippi Opera, Mobile Opera Opera Cologne and the Badisches Staatsheater Karlsruhe. Her students have garnered numerous awards including top placements at state and regional Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.
Her students have earned apprenticeships with Seattle Opera, Lake George Opera Festival, Aspen Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, Ohio Light Opera, Brevard, Wolf Trap, Utah Festival Opera, Opera Saratoga, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Opera, Chatauqua Opera, Central City Opera, Crested Butte Opera, Opera Breve, Harrower Opera program, Cincinnati Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera in the Ozarks, International Performing Arts Institute and Operafestival di Roma; many continue to pursue their studies in major conservatories and schools including Juilliard, Indiana University, San Francisco Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory, Oklahoma City University, Shenandoah University, University of Texas at Austin, Florida State University, the University of Illinois and New England Conservatory of Music.
Maryann Kyle is currently professor of voice at the University of Southern Mississippi and will join the faculty of the University of Mobile in the Fall of 2018 as the Director of Graduate Music Studies. Kyle is the founder of the Pedagogy of Style Conference, which will present its next conference in September of 2018. Additionally, Kyle is the master teacher of the IPAI Teacher Fellowship Program in Germany, which focuses on the integration of performance and teaching language and practice in the 21st century voice studio.
Dr. Beth Everett – Alto:
Beth Everett is Associate Professor of Music and teaches courses in conducting and vocal music. Since the fall of 2016 she has served as the Director of the Sons of Lafayette. She has studied conducting with Ray Robinson, Jack Delaney, Paul Phillips, Constantina Tsolainou, and Gregory Fuller. Dr. Everett holds a DMA from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Masters in Choral Conducting from Southern Methodist University, and a Bachelor of Church Music from Palm Beach Atlantic University.
From 1996 until 1998, Dr. Everett was a member of the faculty of the National Music Conservatory in Amman, Jordan where she taught courses in Music Theory, Music History, and Sightsinging and Ear Training. She served concurrently as assistant conductor of the Amman YWCA Choir and trained various choruses for performances with the National Music Conservatory orchestra. Past teaching appointments also include Eastern Michigan University, Bethel University (Tennessee), and Landmark Christian School (Georgia).
Recent conducting engagements include John Rutter’s Magnificat for the University Musical Society’s Summer Sing in Ann Arbor, the Michigan Community College Choral Festival in Grand Rapids, and various high school clinics around the state of Michigan. Dr. Everett recently returned to Mississippi as musical director for HMS Pinafore at the Natchez Festival of Music and as musical director for Command Performance Broadway Live! at FestivalSouth in Hattiesburg.
Choirs under Dr. Everett’s direction have performed across the United States as well as internationally. The Bethel University Singers participated in the American International Choral Festival in St. Louis and received a Gold Diploma in adjudication. They worked with world-renowned clinicians such as Charles Bruffy, Andre de Quadros, Anders Jalkeus, and Dr. Hak-won Yoon, conductor of the Incheon City Chorale (Korea).
Dr. Everett has prepared choruses for Meadows Opera Theater and Southern Opera and Musical Theater productions including Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, and Maurice Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges. She was the assistant conductor for Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, and Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, a joint production with Mississippi Opera. She has also served as Musical Director for musical theater productions including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, and Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods.
Dr. Everett remains active as a singer. She is a member of Voices, a professional choir based out of the Eastman School of Music and has performed the mezzo soprano solos for such major choral works as Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Requiem, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Dr. Everett performed at Carnegie Hall as a soloist with the University of Southern Mississippi’s Southern Chorale. Her voice teachers include Anna Keith and Timothy Seelig.
Bradley Howard – Tenor:
Praised by the American Record Guide as being “a total hit…singing with bursting brilliance” for his performances in Emmerich Kalman’s Die Csárdásfürstin, tenor, Bradley Howard has gained recognition as a multi-faceted performer. With a career spanning classical and modern choral works, solo recitals, and opera roles, he has developed a repertoire of opera’s most classic roles. Included on this list are Mozart’s Tamino in The Magic Flute, Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, Puccini’s Rodolfo in La Boheme, Beppe in I Pagliacci, Rossini’s Count Almaviva in I Barbiere di Siviglia, and Peter Quint in Britten’s Turn of the Screw and Albert in Albert Herring.
Mr. Howard began his career under the batons of renowned conductors Seiji Ozawa, William Fred Scott, Christian Badea, Riccardo Muti, Joesph Flummerfelt, Yoel Levi, John Mauceri, and Robert Spano. He has performed at various festivals including Spoleto, Chautauqua Opera, The Ohio Light Opera, Tanglewood Music Festival, and Breckenridge Music Institute. He joined the faculty of Emory University as Director of Vocal Studies in 2011. He is also on the faculty of the Amalfi Coast Music Festival. This season he will be performing at Emory University in several concerts and recitals including Jazz Meets Classics with pianists William Ransom and Gary Motley, Emory’s Annual Bach Bowl with a host of musicians including Timothy Albrecht, Don Saliers, and the Vega String Quartet, and the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta’s Valentine’s Day Love Songs with soprano, Abigail Santos Villalobos.
Mr. Howard’s concert engagements have included a long time collaboration with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. As soloist with the ASO, Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Christmas with the ASO, and, most recently, Saint Saens’ Samson and Dalila are among these performances. Among other recent works he has performed are Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, Handel’s Messiah, and Bach’s St. John’s Passion. He brings depth and excitement of an expansive repertoire to his solo recitals, handling the florid style of Bach and the fragmented tonalities of Britten and Menotti with equal aplomb.
Mr. Howard’s Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music and voice from Baylor University and The University of Cincinnati opened the doors to America’s musical stage. At UC he earned his M.M. in voice working with Professor William McGraw, and B.M. in voice at Baylor working with Dr. Joyce Farwell. A coveted fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center brought him to the attention of famed conductor Seiji Ozawa, as he sang the role of Bob Boles in the 50th Anniversary of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes.
Recording credits include the ACA Digital production of the Atlanta Opera’s Mozart Requiem and Telarc’s La Boheme with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Howard’s students have been accepted to undergraduate and graduate programs in voice performance and musical theater at The Julliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Oberlin, University of Cincinnati (CCM), The University of Michigan, The Florida State University, Elon College, Carnegie Mellon, NYU, Roosevelt, Bard College, Indiana University, and many others. They have been accepted and participated in young artist programs such as Interlochen, CCM Opera Boot Camp, Amalfi Coast Music Festival, Houston Grand Opera’s YAVA, Castleton Festival, and many other local and international summer opera programs. His students consistently place as finalists in young artist competitions such as NATS auditions.
Mr. Howard is an active adjudicator and clinician. He has presented master classes and/or clinics at the University of Washington, Whitman College, Sam Houston State University, Emory University, Georgia State University, Valdosta State University, and The Ohio State University.
Dr. Paul Houghtaling – Bass-Baritone:
Bass-baritone PAUL HOUGHTALING has been hailed by critics for his versatility and musicality in a diverse repertoire spanning the 12th through the 21st centuries. Career highlights include European tours as Papageno with Teatro Lirico d’Europa; the release of the Philip Glass soundtrack of Reggio’s film Naqoyqatsi for SONY, on which he is a featured vocalist; national tours with Early Music New York; a debut with the Bard Music Festival and the American Symphony Orchestra as Nanni in Haydn’s L’Infedeltá Delusa; Kennedy Center appearances with the Waverly Consort; a Carnegie Hall debut in Messiah with the New England Symphonic Ensemble; Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s Magnificat with Cecilia Chorus of New York under David Randolph at Carnegie Hall; works of Bach, including more than 70 cantatas, with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s “Bach Cantatas in Context” series in New York, American Classical Orchestra, Bach Aria Festival, Boston Baroque, BachWorks at Merkin Hall, the renowned Holy Trinity Bach Foundation series in New York, Long Island Baroque Ensemble, and the Bach Societies of Miami, Worcester, and Palm Beach Atlantic, among others; and “Opera Buffa: Comedy On Stage” on Lincoln Center’s Meet the Artists series. In December 2010 he returned to Carnegie Hall with the Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra as soloist in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio for which the NY Times reported that “Paul Houghtaling supported his strong bass-baritone with an appealing interpretive sensibility.” The spring of 2011 included a debut with the Alabama Symphony as soloist in Duruflè’s Requiem and he appeared again with that ensemble in the spring of 2012 as soloist in Fauré’s Requiem. In 2015, Mr. Houghtaling made his debut with the Helena Symphony under Maestro Allan R. Scott in a semi-staged production of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. In 2017, Mr Houghtaling
Mr. Houghtaling has appeared as soloist with the Boston Early Music Festival, Clarion Music, Ensemble for Early Music (U.S. tours), and the Mark Morris Dance Company production of Dido & Aeneas. Additional engagements include concerts throughout the U.S. with My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort, appearances with the Folger Consort in Washington, D.C., the Billings Symphony in Messiah, and the New York Chamber Symphony under Martin Turnovsky. Earning considerable attention for his work in contemporary music, especially for his performances of Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King, Mr. Houghtaling has performed with Gunther Schuller, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, and ALEA III, both in the U.S. and on the Kalamata and Iraklion Festivals in Greece in new theater works for Greek National Television. In 1994, he appeared with the American Composers Orchestra on its Sonidos de las Americas Festival, and in 1996 with the Brooklyn Philharmonic on its Virgil Thomson Centenary. Other notable projects include John Cage’s Apartment House 1776 during the composer’s 1988 Norton Lectures at Harvard, George Crumb’s Songs, Drones & Refrains of Death with ALEA III, and Davies’ Le Jongleur de Notre Dame with Boston’s Dinosaur Annex Ensemble. Mr. Houghtaling has created roles in Philip Glass’s The Witches of Venice, recorded for Euphorbia, Lee Hoiby’s The Tempest with Des Moines Metro Opera and the title role in William Harper’s El Greco for the Off-Broadway Intar Theater. He can also be heard as soloist on two recordings for New World Records’ Recorded Anthology of American Music series: cantatas of Robert Beaser on Divine Grandeur, and Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s “Romancero Gitano” on The Mask, both with NY Concert Singers.
Mr. Houghtaling’s many opera engagements include appearances with the Abilene, Boston Lyric, Baltimore, Central City, Des Moines, Knoxville, Long Beach Civic Light, Mobile, Nashville, Natchez, Santa Fe, Saratoga, and Tacoma Operas, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and L’Opera Francais de New York, among others. He holds degrees from the College of the Holy Cross, New England Conservatory, Hunter College, and the City University of New York. Dr. Houghtaling is currently Associate Professor of Voice and Director of Opera at the University of Alabama.
Performing the Mozart Requiem, a mass in D minor, the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra’s Embrace LIFE concert will resonate through Callaway Auditorium on the first day of Spring, March 20th, 2018. If you are not familiar with it, this is a mighty and powerful composition that demands your attention. Mozart is said to suspect he was writing it for his own funeral mass. However, he died before the composition was complete. But in death, there is new life. Obviously, this important work did not die with Mozart, but was reborn, through somewhat mysterious circumstances. Experience this terrific Requiem with soloists Paul Houghtaling, Bradley Howard, Maryann Kyle, and Beth Everett along with the engaging performance of the LaGrange High School Chorus. Click here for tickets.
To open the morning session of the Azalea Storytelling Festival on Saturday, our own “Strings Attached” youth performed. We are so proud of our young musicians and also proud that our youth programs are consistently growing. As you can see from this photo there are a lot of kids in this section and “Strings Attached” is only one, of several, music education groups that the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra provides.
This youth section was joined on stage by some of their teachers as well as friends of the Strings Attached program. Thank you, to everyone who helped make opening the festival session fun and entertaining.
The Azalea Storytelling Festival has now celebrated its 22nd anniversary. It is a wonderful, family-friendly weekend-long event that features nationally recognized storytellers. The Strings Attached kids are thrilled to be a part of this great festival.
That’s when the LSO will perform their “Embrace LIFE” Concert. March 20, 2018 at 7:30 PM at Callaway Auditorium in LaGrange, Georgia.
The LSYO will share the stage during their annual side-by-side piece with the LSO, special appearance of the LaGrange High School Chorus, and the Mozart Requiem make this concert quite substantial! Celebrate Spring and renewed beginnings as the LSO performs their first concert of the 2018 year on the official First Day of Spring.
Click here to purchase tickets online or call 706-882-0662 or email email@example.com.
“Music I grew up with”, “This was truly a fun evening”
The Embrace the Spirit of the Season concert – vibrant!
Holiday spirit was plentiful as friends and families gathered for this colorful LSO concert with guest artists Jason Coleman, grandson of Floyd Cramer, Meagan Taylor, great-niece of Chet Atkins, and the Young Singers of West Georgia. Everyone in the audience seemed to know each other as multiple groups used this opportunity to have a holiday outing together with the people they enjoy. Many were dressed in red, green, silver, and gold holiday colors, and I saw at least one Santa hat in the audience. The LSO were dressed in their formal tuxedos but, from where I was sitting, I could see some fun red and green socks that made me smile.
With Jason in his brilliant red jacket and Meagan in her red shoes, the concert began with bright and lively instrumental medleys, beautifully enriched with the LSO. They did many holiday favorites interspersed with several more recent seasonal ballads, and even East Tennessee Christmas, which was written by Chet Atkins. This concert was centered on the idea of family and friends. Both Meagan and Jason brought their families with them from Tennessee, including Jason’s grandmother, wife of the late Floyd Cramer. It was a real treat to have her in the audience and to meet her afterward.
Here is a photo of Jason with his grandmother.
Joining the Nashville legacy entertainers onstage were their friends Don Dunham on bass and Kyle Covington on drums. All four guests sang harmony together. Meagan nailed several tender songs that were perfect for this season of reflection. Her very young daughter impressively sang Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors.
After a short intermission, The Young Singers of West Georgia, donning festive scarves and ties, efficiently floated onto the stage as one unit and transported us on the Polar Express. Singing the signature song with a terrific high-energy train conductor was a great way to begin. From the same movie, the YSWG also did Believe, which was really beautiful. Like a train is a single entity made up of many parts, this choir also performed as a unit. YSWG is directed by Stacey Hardigree, with this performance of the Polar Express under the direction of Dane Bateman. They then led everyone in a singalong of several holiday carols.
Again Meagan and Jason performed numerous instrumentals and ballads, including Windy and Warm made famous by Chet Atkins, whom Meagan affectionately called, Uncle Chester. At one point, we saw video of Jason playing with his famous grandfather, and then the whole stage joined in playing as the performance played on the video. This was not the first time that the LSO has performed in Callaway Auditorium with Floyd Cramer! How wonderful of Jason, to also share this special Christmas performance, of he and his grandfather, with the LSO.
Jason has mastered his grandfather’s slip-note style of playing. Beyond that, he played some pieces that were his own arrangements for full orchestra and piano, that were terrific. Even he commented on the rich sound that the LSO achieved with his pieces.
What a great night. Fittingly, they played, Last Date written by Floyd Cramer to sign off. This was a multi-colored performance from the program cover to the many photos taken in the lobby. This concert reminded everyone to honor the past and enjoy the present. Merry Christmas everyone, and keep that holiday spirit in your hearts throughout 2018. Happy New Year! The LSO will be back in March.
It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas! The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra Christmas Special with Jason Coleman, Meagan Taylor and the Young Singers of West Georgia is completely sold out. Now that’s Holiday Spirit! We look forward to seeing everyone at this terrific night of great holiday entertainment.
The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra welcomes Jason Coleman (grandson of Floyd Cramer), Meagan Taylor (great-niece of Chet Atkins), on their Tennessee Christmas Tour, joined with the Young Singers of West Georgia for a special holiday family musical event. Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 7:30 PM in Callaway Auditorium, LaGrange, GA. This concert is jam-packed with the Spirit of the Season and celebrates the family. Holiday traditions, and musical talents are handed down from generation to generation. What better way to gather with friends and family for an evening of terrific entertainment and holiday cheer! Don’t miss this opportunity to embrace the Spirit of the Season! Tickets available at http://www.lagrangesymphony.org/performance/tickets-2/ or by calling 706-882-0662 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Get your tickets now, they are going fast! Read more about the Nashville Legacy Tour HERE.
Embrace the Classics Nov. 7, 2017, an audible feast!
The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra served up a heart-warming “CLASSICS” concert with two works by Beethoven and the wonderfully famous Piano Concerto by Edvard Grieg. This was a rare opportunity to hear Beethoven’s Overture to the Creatures of Prometheus and Symphony No. 1, which are both great pieces that are often undervalued for live performances.
First on the menu was the Prometheus Overture that was both full and delicately flavored. This is not a very long piece, but it has great variance and juxtaposed passages that amazingly translate into a strong, confident, melodious work. There was nothing timid about it, and the LSO excelled at its vigorous changes in energy.
Miss Yannie Tan was guest pianist, performing with the LSO, for Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor. Grieg was only 26 years old when he composed it. Yannie performed it at 16 years old, and did it brilliantly, blending well with the orchestra. The Allegro is the most famous section and the audience loved it so much they forgot to check the program to see there was more to come. In their defense, this happens all the time with this Grieg Concerto since the ending of the first movement is so dramatic, it sounds quite final.
Although young, Yannie is already a well-seasoned musician. In fact, watching her play, it was obvious that she felt every note, not only in her delicate hands, but in her heart. The second movement of the piece was dreamy and moved into the powerful third with its fantastic ending and its terrific last bite – a real treat.
After the intermission, Dr. Prior spoke about Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 and described it as a sort of bridge between Haydn and Mozart, two of Beethoven’s influential predecessors. It was written in 1801 the same year as the Prometheus Overture. Beethoven was 29. What a way to begin the new century.
Performing all four movements, the LSO brought excellence to the table in this piece. Beginning like the dawn of a new era, the first two movements emerge and build into the third and fourth. Perhaps because of the autumn season the third and fourth movements were personal favorites as the rhythms and runs gave the imagery of Fall. The Menuetto had wonderful twists and turns like leaves fluttering in the wind and the Adagio included cascading scales, perfect for this Fall feast of music.
This was a wonderful evening of classics. Miss Tan is an artist to watch as we hope to hear more great things from this fine young musician, especially with the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra. Taking this opportunity for appreciation of Dr. Prior and the LSO musicians – for you, we are expressly thankful!
Here is a slideshow of an impromptu photo-op to which Miss Tan graciously obliged: (note: Yannie is also pictured in this slideshow with her Father and Mother)
Yannie Tan, national winner of the Emory Piano Competition is guest artist at November 7th LSO Concert, Embrace the Classics. Hear this and other wonderful classics that are best experienced LIVE.
Enjoy Beethoven’s Prometheus Overture and Symphony No. 1 in C Major in this same concert. A full night of Classic entertainment.
Embrace the Classics, is the second concert in the 2017/18 series. Touted as being one of the best season’s yet, this concert series is packed full of wonderfully diverse works. See the entire season line-up on our home page HERE or our concert calendar HERE.
Tickets available online HERE, by phone: 706-882-0662, by email email@example.com, and possibly at the door.
Embrace the Silver Screen Sept. 26, 2017
It’s no wonder that the LSO’s “Embrace the Silver Screen” concert has been the talk of the town. This uplifting and exciting concert, under the direction of Richard Prior, had power and punch that just made you say, “Oh, Wow!” Composer, John Williams has scored well over 100 films and this concert was a celebration of his work. The lobby was buzzing with a diverse crowd of all ages. How terrific to see this level of enthusiasm spanning generations. For many it was truly a family affair and a great introduction to live orchestral music.
Opening the season with a packed house and the traditional National Anthem was a rousing way to begin the series and a great way for the audience to connect and participate. The evening’s entertainment burst into the air directly, with the March from Raiders of the Lost Ark. I could see joy and excitement in the audience. With its infectious rhythm, it made you want to keep time. Even the strings had percussive sections. It was obvious we were going to be taken on a terrific adventure.
Next was the beautiful theme from Jurassic Park. Lead brightly by woodwind and brass instruments, these tones were followed by string phrases with lovely, flowing long bows. The piece had a monumental feel, and the composition was like a deep breath upon arriving at a mountain top view. The LSO has always excelled in dynamic ability and here too, they did a top-notch performance.
The Jaws movie provided two selections in this concert. Of course, the shark theme with its recurring anticipatory rhythm sequences with grabbing bass notes was larger than life. Out to Sea/ The Shark Cage Fugue had a totally different sound, to offset the dark violence in the main theme. The counterpoint melodies within it were very fitting.
I don’t think Maestro Prior got his wand at Ollivander’s shop, but the performance throughout a suite of four Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone themes was magical. Approval was apparent from the audience with smiles and nods as the music began. Without a doubt, there is so much more that can be heard in music when performed live. A good example is in Hedwig’s Theme, where the underlying wind phrases in the strings subliminally register as just wind, but are actually crazy runs of notes that are unbelievable to watch. Nimbus 2000 featured the woodwinds, which was a great treat and really gave the piece character. Music can really transport you, especially with a Nimbus 2000!
The theme from Schindler’s List was first after intermission and featured Concertmaster Lorna Wood, on violin. This was a very hauntingly emotional melody from an important movie and was played beautifully. Like each of these themes, it really captures the essence of the moment it describes.
Rounding out the evening were five selections from Star Wars. Dr. Prior had commented at one point in his introductions that all of this music was quite demanding for every single section of the orchestra. He also reminisced that it was with Star Wars that we met him for the first time three years ago when he was guest conductor. The Star Wars Suite for Orchestra was a great culmination to the evening. With great power, “wow” moments, ethereal sections and gripping percussion, Star Wars was out of this world good. The standing ovation and whoops from the audience confirmed a super season opener. Bravo, to the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra. Well done.
Here are a few photos during the standing ovation, recognizing some of the soloists.
You can read about past concerts in our REVIEW section under the PERFORMANCE menu.
Here is an impromptu slideshow from the concert.
What a season this will be! – Starting September 26 – 7:30PM
The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra will perform a tribute to the Oscar-winner John Williams, one of the greatest movie composers of all time. This concert is sure to please September 26th in Callaway Auditorium, LaGrange, GA. Concert starts at 7:30PM. Orchestra Section is already SOLD OUT, so don’t delay getting your tickets.
This concerts marks the opening night for the 2017-18 LSO concert series. Season tickets are a tremendous value, but are only available until September 26th. Limited Time to Buy – so hurry! Some sections are sold out for this concert, but there are still great seats available.
This music played LIVE is unbelievable. You won’t want to miss these iconic compositions that have become part of our lives. Masterfully written, John Williams’ music defines a vast array of settings depicted in these movies. If you are a fan of his music or a fan of these movies you will want to experience this concert.
- March from Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Suite from Star Wars
- Suite from Jaws
- Theme from Jurassic Park
- Schindler’s List
- Suite from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Read more about this upcoming season at: http://www.lagrangesymphony.org/performance/concerts-and-events/
TICKETS? Order online HERE, or call 706-882-0662, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra will perform a tribute to the Oscar-winner John Williams. This concert is sure to please September 26th in Callaway Auditorium, LaGrange, GA. Concert starts at 7:30PM. Orchestra Section is already SOLD OUT, so don’t delay getting your tickets.
Perhaps one of the most recognizable compositional voices of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the music of John Williams has become inextricably bound with the most beloved characters and stories of our time. As an art form film readily defines a generation, giving us memories and images that transport us not just to distant worlds but to places and times in our own lives. The extraordinary success and variety of musical drama and imagery in these film scores is truly legendary and iconic. While they may originate from the genius of a revered American composer, they belong to and infuse our world.
- March from Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Suite from Star Wars
- Suite from Jaws
- Theme from Jurassic Park
- Schindler’s List
- Suite from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Order online HERE, or call 706-882-0662, or email email@example.com
What a season this will be!
We are happy to announce this full concert line-up for the 2017/18 season. “A symphony is like the world: it must embrace everything” – Mahler. A five concert series that is sure to please. Beginning with a tribute to John Williams, the first concert of the season is filled with great works from iconic films. Williams is one of the most recognizable compositional voices of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. These magnificent scores are forever entwined with some of the world’s most beloved characters and stories. The “Embrace the Silver Screen” concert is Tuesday, September 26th – only a short time away. Read more about all five concerts HERE. Tickets sales have just been opened and are already strong, so get yours as soon as possible!
That first concert date also marks the last day you can purchase season ticket sets, since they are a pre-season offer. Without a doubt, season tickets are a great value. You may purchase them online HERE, by phone at: 706-882-0662, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. When you purchase online, someone will contact you either by email or phone to make sure you get the best seats in the area that you choose.
If you are a previous season ticket holder, expect your brochure in the mail this week! It is fresh off the press and sent directly to your mailbox. You will quickly see what fun we’ve had in our 2016-17 season and read about the great things in store for this season. If you are not a previous season ticket holder and would like to view this wonderful brochure before you purchase tickets, you may view an online version HERE. There is an order form on page four that you may print and mail to the address listed on the form. We are a very community-minded organization and we hope you will also consider giving to our Annual Fund. Your donation here has a tremendous impact on lives directly in our corner of the world.
The LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra will also perform their own concerts in the Fall of 2017 and in the Spring of 2018. Watch for future announcements about these events.
Stay tuned to hear more about the upcoming season.