Barely did we get back from winter break before Civic launched into its next concert cycle. The program consisted of Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, Debussy’s La Mer, and Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. Our conductor for this cycle was Rossen Milanov, who brought the music to life with his clear technique and beautiful musicianship. The woodwinds were able to receive a coaching with CSO clarinetist John Yeh while the rest of the CSO was on tour. This concert was different from others so far this season. We performed the program twice, once on January 22 at the South Shore Cultural Center, and again the following evening at Symphony Center.
During the week preparing for the orchestra concert, the Civic Fellows were also rehearsing their CSO-Connect presentation of Cliff Colnot’s arrangement of Suppé’s Light Cavalry Overture and Strauss’ Don Quixote. We were fortunate enough to get a coaching this week with Colnot.
The week of January 23rd kick-started our long-awaited CSO-Connect performances. We began on Monday performing at Edwards Elementary School, Tuesday at the Swift Elementary Specialty School, Wednesday at the Walt Disney Magnet School, Thursday at Agassiz Elementary, and Friday we went to Clinton Elementary. Each audience was slightly different, and we had to learn to adapt our presentation accordingly each time. The kids were very appreciative of us, and we had a blast.
Over the weekend the Fellows attended an inspiring and thought-provoking professional development seminar held by the People’s Music School while also beginning rehearsals with Francesco Lecce-Chong for our Chinese New Year’s Celebration. This concert was on Sunday the 29th, with the first half of the performance by the Shaanxi Province Song and Dance Theatre National Orchestra, who played on traditional Chinese instruments. The Civic Orchestra played on the second half of the concert, performing Chen & He’s The Butterfly Lovers with CSO’s Robert Chen on solo violin, a Chinese folk tune called Jasmine Flower, and finally the Yangko Dance alongside percussionists from the Shaanxi ensemble. This turned out to be the most well attended concert Civic has performed so far this season!
These two weeks were very busy and diverse, with seven performances within eight days. The CSO-connect performances have not yet concluded, and more follow-ups on these will be coming with the next Fellow’s reflection!