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North State Symphony’s “Experience” Season Begins With “Experience The Beat,”
Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” Sept. 22 in Redding and Sept. 23 in Chico
According to Music Director/Conductor Kyle Wiley Pickett, “hearing live music in a concert hall is a deeper way of experiencing than we are used to. It opens doorways into other times, and other places. That’s why we are calling on folks this year to ‘Experience the North State Symphony!’”
Tickets for four major concerts and two smaller chamber music concert — all following the “experience” theme – are now on sale at the University Box Office in Chico and The Cascade Theatre in Redding. The concerts include selections from the lightly entertaining to the mysterious and powerful, all conducted by Pickett. Tickets can be purchased for either the four-concert season package or individual concerts.
The season opens on September 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Redding’s Cascade Theatre and September 23 at 2 p.m. in Chico’s Laxson Auditorium with a rousing concert entitled “Experience the Beat!” The concert includes two works which blend jazz and classical styles, including the very popular “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin. The concert also includes the beloved classic “New World” Symphony by Dvorak and Shostakovich’s charming “Jazz Suite.”
“Rhythm is the part of music that brings people together,” said Pickett. “When you have a theatre full of folks all responding to the catchy beat and tunes of ‘Rhapsody in Blue,’ it feels like the whole world is smiling. This is music from the Jazz Age, when Americans were exploring the world with confidence and sophistication…and having a great time. “
Soloist in “Rhapsody in Blue” is Spencer Myer, an outstanding pianist whose career has spanned the globe and who’s comfortable in repertoire from the most serious to the most entertaining.
“Sharing that concert are some cool little moments of Russian jazz,” noted Pickett. “ A great (and serious) composer named Shostakovich had a secret love for American jazz, and he wrote several suites in imitation of what was going on musically in the New World. They’re a hoot.”
The NSS will conclude the September concerts “with music you may have grown up hearing,” said Pickett — the “New World Symphony” by Dvorak.
“Here we are back in the classical — actually Romantic — mainstream, with beautifully flowing melodies and nostalgic sound pictures. There’s a ‘beat’ here too, of course, not the same kind of jazz beat. It’s really a heartbeat of sincere emotion as a European composer honors the beauty of America’s land and people.”
Just a few days after the “Experience the Beat!” concert, Pickett and his orchestra offer a whole different kind of experience, especially to young people. Doctor Noize, a nationally renowned performer of children’s music has written a new work with Pickett as a collaborator. “Phineas McBoof Crashes the Symphony” introduces kids to classical music with a lot of fun, a lot of fooling around, and a lot of music from the orchestra and guitar, bass and drums.
“It’s a crazy mix and everyone who hears it will come out appreciating ALL the many music styles in the world.”
At the other end of the season, next May, the Symphony will perform the overwhelming “Symphony No. 9” by Beethoven, including the choral section, “Ode to Joy.” Choruses from CSU, Chico and Shasta College as well as four outstanding vocal soloists will join the North State Symphony. The concert is called, of course, “Experience Joy!”
In November and February, the heart of the Symphony season will include works by Mozart, Barber, Berg and two composers named Strauss (Johann, Jr. and Richard).
Independent of the four-concert subscription series, the Symphony also offers two chamber concerts, a Holiday Concert and several non-concert events including a pre-concert reception in Redding, the Mozart Mile in Chico and others. (Information on the Symphony’s season is available at www.northstatesymphony.org, and a detailed multi-page brochure is available by calling the NSS Office, 898-5984.)
Advance tickets for “Experience the Beat” range from $32 for premium seats to $6 for children/students. Purchase tickets for the Redding performance at the Cascade Theatre Box Office, 243-8877. Chico tickets are available at the University Box Office, 898-6333; add $2 for tickets purchased at the door. Season ticket packages for NSS concerts are also available at both box offices.
Major sponsors of the September concerts include Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding, and the North Valley Community Foundation in Chico. Pianist Myer is sponsored by Dr. Rush and Mrs. Hollie Lenroot in Redding , and Dr. Joseph and Mrs. Judy Chiapella in Chico. North State Symphony is a project of CSU, Chico and gets support from the School of the Arts and University Foundation; additional support comes from many individuals and businesses in Chico and Redding.