Meadows Benefit Concert Celebrates Music of Leonard Bernstein

April 19, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Praveen Sathianathan

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present its “The 2011 Meadows at the Meyerson” tonight at 8 p.m. at the renown symphony center.

The concert, the 18th annual benefit, brings together the Meadows Symphony Orchestra, Meadows Wind Ensemble, Meadows Opera Theatre, and the Meadows Chorale and Meadows Concert Choir in revere of the music of Leonard Bernstein.

The program will begin with the Meadows Wind Ensemble playing “Prelude, Fugue and Riffs.” The ensemble will then perform “Symphonic Dances” from “West Side Story.” The Meadows Symphony Orchestra will start the second half of the program with “Three Dance Variations” from “Fancy Free.” The Meadows Opera Theatre and the Meadows Chorale and Meadows Concert Choir will then join the symphony to play pieces from “Candide.”

“For the first time ever, this concert will feature all four of the Meadows School’s primary ensembles – the symphony, the wind ensemble, the chorale and the opera theatre,” said José Bowen, dean of the Meadows School. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our different music groups to work together and gives more of our talented students a chance to perform on the world-class stage of the Meyerson.”

The benefit concert also honors a community leader and this year will honor Edith O’Donnell, a noted arts patron and community leader. Edith and her husband Peter founded the O’Donnell Foundation with the goal of improving arts education.

In 1994, she started the AP Arts Incentive Program to support high school students. Since the programs founding more than 9,000 students have received assistance, including last year when $14.8 million in scholarships was awarded to graduating seniors.

Proceeds from the concert will provide student scholarships for the Meadows Scholars program, which since its founding in 2008, has aimed to bring the most talented arts students to SMU.

Tickets to the concert are $20-25 for adults, $15-20 for students, and $10-15 for students, SMU faculty and staff and can be purchased at the Meadows Box Office.

VIDEO: Meadows Symphony Orchestra Concert Features Concerto Winning Performances

January 31, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Bridget Bennett

VIDEO: Meadows Symphony Orchestra from on Vimeo.

The Meadow’s Symphony Orchestra held 2011’s first performance Friday evening in the Caruth Auditorium. The concert was he was well attended by members of the community, SMU students, and friends and family members of the performers.

Michelle Merrill, a Meadows graduate student, began the concert conducting Beethoven’s First Symphony alongside Dr. Paul Phillips.

The next piece featured freshman violinist Abigail Potts performing Maurice Ravel’s “Tzigane.” Potts is Meadow’s Violin Concerto champion, which won her a solo in the weekend’s performances. Potts started playing the violin at age ten; she has already won several competitions and solos, including a solo performance at the Meyerson Symphony Center with The Philharmonic Orchestra in 2008.

Potts passion for her instrument was evident during the performance. In an interview following the concert, Potts said her passion comes from God.

“I like to think that I’m giving back to God what he gave me: a gift,” she said.

Jay Moore, a regular audience member at Meadow’s Orchestra concerts, was particularly impressed with Potts performance.

“She should have a fabulous career if she pursues it; she’s great already,” Moore said.

Following an intermission, Meadow’s graduate student Douglas Stone conducted an opera overture by Giuseppe Verdi. The next Verdi piece featured a solo by senior vocalist Katrina Galka. Galka is Meadow’s Vocalist Concerto champion; she has performed in several Meadows Opera events, all over Dallas, and in Italy.

Galka also performed a work by Andre Previn entitled, “I Want Magic” from “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Her impressive vocals beautifully combined with the orchestra’s instrumentals.

“Les Preludes” by Franz Liszt brought the concert to a close with a booming standing
ovation from the audience.

The Meadow Symphony Orchestra performed this concert again on Sunday afternoon. Their next appearance is in partnership with the Meadow’s Opera Theatre’s performance of “Orpheus” in the Underworld by Jacques Offenbach.

The opera’s opening night is Thursday, Feb. 3 at 8:00 p.m. in the Bob Hope Lobby of the Owen Fine Arts Center.

SMU Orchestra Plays First 2009 Concert

February 16, 2009 by · Comments Off 

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