A New Key for an Old Anthem

No public Fourth of July celebration is complete without a rousing rendition of Francis Scott Key’s The Star-Spangled Banner. And, while nothing is nearer and dearer to the American ear than our national anthem, it is just a STINKER to sing!  Why?  Because John Stafford Smith composed this tune in the key of B flat major with a very wide vocal range.  Played in its original key, the work is pitched a titch too high for altos and basses and a tad too low for sopranos and tenors to sing comfortably in tune. During this year’s free Fourth of July…
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Maestro’s South Korean Adventures – Part 5

Monday, June 18 It is Monday which marks the first day of rehearsals with the Changwon Philharmonic. Choi has been very upbeat about the orchestra as an ensemble saying several times, "You're going to love this orchestra Maestro!" We meet Choi around 9:30 and walk over to the hall. The Changwon Arts center is a huge complex with several theaters at street level and offices and rehearsal space below. After we cross the street, Inho Kim, the orchestra's Associate conductor, meets us outside with the orchestra manager and walks us down a long hallway lined with photographs of the various…
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Maestro’s South Korean Adventures – Part 1

Prologue. For almost two years Useon Choi--up until recently the principal clarinetist of the Fort Collins Symphony--and I have been working on an artist exchange that would bring Inho Kim and Jeune Lee to Fort Collins and send me to the Busan area in South Korea. Last November Inho, the assistant conductor of the Changwon Philharmonic, and Jeune Lee, a prominent Korean pianist, came to Colorado. Inho conducted the Mendelssohn Symphony No. 3, the "Scottish", and Jeune played the Beethoven “Emperor” Concerto. The evening was concluded with Inho conducting a beautiful Korean folk song that captured the hearts of the…
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Fort Collins Symphony Announces 2018-19 Season

The Fort Collins Symphony Association’s board president, Rhett Strom, announces the Symphony’s 2018-19 season: Odyssey: Sound Travels. The Fort Collins Symphony begins its 69th season on October 6, 2018.  Under the leadership of award-winning conductor Maestro Wes Kenney, northern Colorado’s premier professional orchestra will perform a rich range of symphonic and popular music. The Fort Collins Symphony invites audiences to embark on an odyssey of musical explorations that span more than 225 years. This journey includes a wealth of eras, styles, subjects, and composers that range from the silver screens of Hollywood, the gritty docks of New Jersey’s waterfront, and…
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