Civic Orchestra begins 2017/18 season with DePauw University residency

The Civic Orchestra of Chicago and Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma are traveling to Greencastle, Indiana, for a three-day residency at DePauw University. The residency (September 29 – October 1) includes an open rehearsal for DePauw undergraduate students, a side by side rehearsal with DePauw Symphony and Civic musicians, a pop-up performance with the Civic Fellows and Ma, as well as chamber performances featuring Civic members and DePauw University musicians at community locations across Greencastle.

The main event of the residency is a performance by the Civic Orchestra with Yo-Yo Ma and featured soloists on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Kresge Auditorium at the Judson and Joyce Green Center for the Performing Arts on DePauw’s campus. The concert will be conducted by Edwin Outwater.

The first half of Saturday’s concert will feature Debussy’s Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun and Stravinsky’s Suite from The Firebird. The concert will conclude with Osvaldo Golijov’s Azul. Golijov was the Mead composer-in-residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 2007 until 2010, during which Azul was composed and premiered. The work features the usual woodwinds, brass, and strings, as well as Ma on solo cello with Michael Ward-Bergeman on hyper-accordion and Jamey Haddad and Cyro Baptista on world percussion instruments – including some unusual percussion instruments, such as caxixi, dumbek, goat’s nail, seed rattles, waterphone and wind whistle. Ma, Ward-Bergeman, Haddad, and Baptista are the same soloists who premiered the piece in Tanglewood.

The Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s prestigious training ensemble for emerging professional musicians and the only one of its kind affiliated with a major American orchestra, is currently celebrating its 99th season. The Orchestra is a signature program of the Negaunee Music Institute at the CSO.

Yo-Yo Ma is possibly the most famous Classical musician of our time. Ma’s fruitful career, as both a soloist with orchestras around the world and recording artist, has granted him numerous awards, including 18 Grammys, the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Besides being an outstanding musician, Ma is also passionate about service and community. As the CSO’s Creative Consultant (appointed in 2010), Ma, along with Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti, have been the catalysts behind many of the Negaunee Music Institute’s Initiative for a More Peaceful Chicago.

DePauw University’s School of Music is one of the oldest private institutions for post-secondary music instruction in the United States. Judson and Joyce Green, DePauw alumni, have a strong connection to the University and a passion for advancing music education. Through substantial donations, the Greens afford DePauw students incredible facilities and innovative learning opportunities. In connection with the CSO, Judson and Joyce Green generously donate funds to maintain the Creative Consultant position that is so crucial to the CSO’s Negaunee Music Institute and the Chicago area. Through the Civic Orchestra and Yo-Yo Ma’s three-day residency at DePauw University, Judson and Joyce Green’s areas of passion are meeting.

The residency at DePauw University will be full of incredible experiences, kicking off on September 29 at 1:30 p.m. with the open rehearsal, showcasing the Civic Orchestra’s and Yo-Yo Ma’s talents with the performance on September 30 at 8 p.m. and wrapping up with chamber performances by Civic members and DePauw students around the community on October 1. This action-packed three-day residency is one for the books!

By Benjamin C. Wise, programs assistant for the Negaunee Music Institute.