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The Center prepares for sold-out performance crowd for National Symphony Orchestra

By February 23, 2011No Comments

Direct from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the National Symphony Orchestra—in Kentucky on tour for its 2011 American Residencies—will bring its music to Somerset Thursday at a sold-out concert performance at The Center for Rural Development.

Tickets to Thursday’s concert performance, set to begin at 7:30 p.m. in The Center’s theatre, have been sold out for nearly two weeks.

“We are looking forward to a great night of music by the world-renowned National Symphony Orchestra,” Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center. “The Center is honored to have been invited by the Kentucky Arts Council to serve as a host site for this concert performance and be a part of the orchestra’s Kentucky tour.”

The concert performance at The Center is the last scheduled performance by the National Symphony Orchestra in Kentucky and will close out its six-city tour, which began on Feb. 17. The 2011 American Residencies are proudly presented by Kentucky Arts Council in partnership with the orchestra.

The Center’s online technology will also allow students who cannot attend the National Symphony Orchestra’s full concert performance at The Center to still experience a portion of the day’s activities through an educational performance workshop broadcast on the Web.

The Center will offer the workshop—featuring a trio of National Symphony Orchestra musicians—to a potential audience of more than 50,000 middle school, high school, and college students across Southern and Eastern Kentucky on-demand over the Internet using the Mediasite webcasting and knowledge management platform.

National Symphony Orchestra musicians Yvonne Caruthers on cello, Natasha Bogachek on violin and Stephen Dumaine on tuba will present a multi-media workshop presentation, "Connections: More Science and Music," at The Center.

National Symphony Orchestra musicians Yvonne Caruthers, Natasha Bogachek, and Stephen Dumaine will present a multi-media performance workshop, “Connections: More Science and Music,” that will be filmed live on the day of the concert performance before an audience of Southern Middle School students in The Center’s video production studio and streamed on-demand over the Internet to school districts, colleges, and universities across Southern and Eastern Kentucky.

“This is truly a one-of-a-kind learning experience to be joined by the National Symphony Orchestra in class over the Internet and learn from three of the orchestra’s top musicians,” Dianna Winstead, associate director of arts, culture, and event for The Center, said. “The workshop performance will give middle and high school students a chance to apply what they have learned in class and see how music and science are connected in a fun and exciting way.”

While the National Symphony Orchestra is in Kentucky to make great music, executive director Rita Shapiro said musicians have an equally important mission to reach and teach students of all ages about music education.

“Our musicians are great teachers as well as great performers,” Shapiro said. “A program like ‘Connections,’ which combines music and science, is a great way to show how music is weaved into many parts of the teaching curriculum.”

Other National Symphony Orchestra educational presentations are planned on Feb. 24 at the Pulaski County Public Library in downtown Somerset, starting at 11 a.m. with a “Teddy Bear Concert” for pre-school students, and special appearance by violinist Glenn Donnellan at 1:30 p.m. at Northern Middle School in Pulaski County School District. Donnellan will play his one-of-a-kind “Batolin,” a violin constructed from a Louisville Slugger baseball bat, in a solo performance for middle school students.

The full 100-member orchestra is not expected to arrive in Somerset until shortly before the concert performance at The Center.

World-acclaimed conductor Hugh Wolff, who started his professional career with the National Symphony Orchestra 32 years ago, is sharing the stage once again with the orchestra as its 2011 American Residency conductor.

The concert performance will feature a mix of classical and contemporary music. Among the arrangements include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major, American composer Michael Daugherty’s contemporary piece, Route 66, a musical reflection on America as seen from his rear view mirror, and Aaron Copland’s crowning work of Americana, Appalachian Spring, which earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 1945.

“We are very excited to be in Kentucky,” Shapiro said, “and are delighted to be coming to Somerset.”

Commonwealth Journal and Clear Channel Lake Cumberland are proud media sponsors of the National Symphony Orchestra’s concert performance.

American Residencies are sponsored in part by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, as it has been since 1994. Duke Energy is the Supporting Sponsor of the 2011 NSO Kentucky Residency. The NSO American Residency concert in Lexington is supported in part by Windstream Communications. Since 2006, the chamber music and outreach performances have been supported by the Kennedy Center Abe Fortas Memorial Fund for chamber music and by a major gift to the fund from the late Carolyn E. Agger, widow of Abe Fortas.