This week starts local performances with Lackland Air Force Base's Band of the West, led by Captain Michael Hoerber. The concerts are free and open to the public, but tickets are recommended for early seating. (For the San Antonio concerts at Sea World, admission is required to the park, but the concert is free inside.)
The patriotic program includes music of all branches of the military, and span from the Revolutionary War to today. Ensembles include their Concert Band, Dimensions in Blue, Warhawk, and soloists Ainsley Davis and Jennifer Daffinee.
Harpist Yolanda Kondonassis grew up in Oklahoma. She made her debut (at age 18!) with the New York Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, and has since toured worldwide, with every major orchestra. On top of her busy schedule, Yolanda heads the harp department at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Oberlin College Conservatory, and has even written a children's book about conservation (see the related story below).
The St. Mark's Choir and Youth Choir are going to Exeter Cathedral to be choir in residence from July 22-July 28. They will be responsible for singing daily services, with one day off! In total, they will perform 7 services (two on Sunday).
This weekend, Sunday at 4pm, the choirs are presenting a concert entitled, "Exeter in Texas" were they offer a preview of some of the music:
As arts seasons draw to a close in May and June, musicians and audiences look forward to summer festivals. Locally we'll enjoy the Cactus Pear Music Festival, and Mozart Festival Texas, this July and August, along with the new "Q" chamber music series.
The Youth Orchestras of San Antonio are receiving the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming today in St. Louis at the League of American Orchestras Conference.
The award rewards programs that challenge the audience, build the repertoire, and increase interest in contemporary music.
Troy Peters is the music director of YOSA and said new music is a vital element in their effort to give students and audiences exciting musical experiences. Next month YOSA leads their annual summer camp.
Seven years ago (2006), and with a 27 million budget, Kenneth Branagh made a film version of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Magic Flute (read the film synopsis here.) The Peter Moores Foundation, who do amazing work translating opera into English, commissioned Stephen Fry to make this adaptation, and it remains witty, sexy, funny, passionate, and silly as the original libretto!
The violin and viola that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played himself are in the United States for the first time ever. The instruments come out of storage only about once a year at the Salzburg Mozarteum in Austria. The rest of the time, they're kept under serious lockup.
Composer Mark Adamo has made beautiful music out of classic books. His Little Women is among the most produced American operas today. He also wrote the words and music for his operatic adaptation of Aristophanes' Greek drama Lysistrata.
His latest work, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, has proved more controversial. The opera, which premieres June 19 at the San Francisco Opera, tells the story of Mary, Jesus and his disciples.