Gala Celebration Planned for Wooster Symphony Orchestra’s Centennial
Performance to be held on Sept. 18 at the Wooster Country Club
Because a centennial anniversary only comes around once every 100 years, Jeffrey Lindberg and the Wooster Symphony Orchestra are planning to celebrate in style with a robust concert series, beginning with a Gala Benefit on Friday, Sept. 18, at The Wooster Country Club.
The season-opening event, titled “From Vienna to Broadway,” will feature four guest singers who are well known to Ohio Light Opera fans: soprano Natalie Ballenger and mezzo-soprano Sarah Best, along with tenor Clark Sturdevant and baritone Ted Christopher. The program will include works by Gilbert and Sullivan as well as music from Viennese and German Volksoper, Italian opera and operetta, and legendary songs from Broadway. Tickets are $65 (or two for $120) and include an appetizer buffet. Concert-only tickets will be available as well for $25.
The first subscription series concert will be held on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 4 p.m. in McGaw Chapel (340 E. University St.). Pianist Weiwen Ma will join the orchestra for a program that features Nicolai’s Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor, Ravel’s Concerto in G. Major of Piano and Orchestra, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor Op. 64.
The orchestra will gather for its next concert on Friday, Dec. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in McGaw Chapel, where it will present “Josh Krajcik and Jake Briggs are Home for the Holidays!” with area musicians Josh Krajcik, runner up on the X Factor in 2011, and pianist Jake Briggs, a graduate of Northwestern High School and The College of Wooster. The program consists of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for Piano and Orchestra, as well as some of Krajcik’s best-known works. Tickets for this performance will go on sale Nov. 1.
The fourth performance — and the second in the subscription series — will feature the return of several Wooster Symphony conductors, including Marshall Haddock (1967-1975), Manuel Prestamo (1975-1977), Nancy Garlick (1977-1983), and Jack Gallagher (1985-1986). The performance is scheduled for Saturday, February 20, at 7:30 pm in McGaw Chapel.
The annual children’s concert will be held on Thursday, Feb. 25, in McGaw Chapel, followed by a road trip to New York City for a concert in the Big Apple at Symphony Space on Saturday, April 2, at 7:30 p.m. The performance will showcase the talents of soprano Susan Wallin, pianist and composer Jungyoon Wie, and the world-renowned Cuban clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera. The program includes Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165, Wie’s Jindo Arirang Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Nelson Riddle’s Cross Country Suite for Clarinet and Studio Orchestra, and the world premiere of Peter Mowrey’s work, dedicated to the symphony’s 100th season.
The centennial season culminates with the Gala 100th Anniversary Concert, dedicated to founder Daniel Parmelee, in McGaw Chapel on Friday, May 6 — two days shy of the date of the inaugural concert, which took place on May 8, 1916. The program will feature works performed by the orchestra at its inaugural 1916 concert: Song of The Volga Boatmen, Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite, Gillet’s Loin Du Bal, Schubert’s “The Erl King,” Sibelius Valse Trieste, Edgar’s Pomp and Circumstance, and Mendelssohn’s Concerto in E minor for Violin and Orchestra. Contributions by Wooster faculty members include Thomas Wood as soloist on the Mendelssohn Concerto and Mowrey’s new tribute to the orchestra.
The November, February, and May concerts are part of the Wooster Symphony Orchestra’s annual subscription series. Ticket information for the series is available by phone (330-263-2419) or e-mail.