This post is about now. Now, I lead one of these concerts – one of these performances that is part tradition, part beauty, part fun, and all community. The office knows how much I struggle over putting the show together. I’m sure they roll their eyes when I change the order of the second set “just one more time.” I know it’s difficult to see me vacillate over the right mix of tradition and innovation throughout the greater part of the year. (Yes – I start in June, and I just made another change yesterday!) Here are just a few of the questions over which I struggle for months.
I tell you, it’s agonizing.
Recently, I went to the Shaw Library, and was pleased find evidence that he struggled, too. He had the programming down to a science, for sure, but seemed to continuously fine tune things from year to year. Here’s the second page of a worksheet from 1976. Pieces scratched out. Timings meticulously summed up.
This year, the Richmond Symphony’s family holiday concert (called “Let it Snow”) includes more variety than ever:
But, the anxiety, the questions, the circus, and listening to Christmas music during the heat of July are all worth it! If this concert makes just one person connect to music in a way that offers her the same kind of artistic fulfillment I’ve been fortunate to have, then my goal will have been accomplished.
And, it won’t hurt if everyone has a good time, too!
Recorded live in performance in May 2012, Hampton Roads Classic Label recording of Mahler’s Symphony no. 8 was released on November 2. Prepared by Erin Freeman, the Richmond Symphony Chorus was part of this monumental occasion conducted by JoAnn Falletta. Read the full press release.
On October 25 and 27, Erin conducted two different sets of education and community engagement concerts to rave reviews from teachers, students, families, and bloggers alike.
The Discovery concerts on October 25 were written, programmed, and delivered by Erin to coincide with the Virginia Standards of Learning in Music and Visual Arts. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ education department (a partner in the performance) wrote:
I anticipated that the Discovery Concert would be excellent and enjoyable—but I did not anticipate that it would also be electrifying. I was truly blown away by the entire experience. The connections between art and music were well thought out and presented with great panache.
And, Richmond’s Cultureworks Blog wrote in a review with the great title of “Eating Children at the Symphony”:
"Bravo to Erin Freeman and the Richmond Symphony for energizing the educational and transformative powers of Dvorak et al."
Read the entire review here.