How do you finish a milestone 40th season? If you’re the Central Ohio Symphony, you do it in spectacular fashion, with a finale concert featuring five artists with Delaware connections. “Local Focus Presented by PNC Arts Alive,” the final performance of the Symphony’s 40th subscription season, will feature a piano soloist, a world renown photographer, and three composers, all with Delaware ties, all under the direction of conductor Jaime Morales-Matos.
The concert will take place at 7:30 PM on Saturday, April 27 at Gray Chapel on the Ohio Wesleyan campus. It is made possible by a PNC Foundation grant through thePNC Arts Alive initiative.
“This is our fourth PNC Arts Alive grant,” said Executive Director Warren W. Hyer. “PNC’s generous support underscores its commitment to supporting a strong local arts community. We are grateful for their recognition of what the Symphony brings to this area.”
PNC Arts Alive is a multi-year initiative of the PNC Foundation that challenges visual and performing arts organizations to put forth their best, most original thinking to expand audience participation and engagement.
“A thriving arts community bolsters our economy and provides personal value to all of us who live, work and play in central Ohio,” said Michael Gonsiorowski, PNC regional president for Columbus. “Programs like the Central Ohio Symphony’s ‘Local Focus’ introduce theatre to new audiences and future theatre talent.”
The Symphony also received a Challenge America grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for this program and community events in conjunction with this event.
The concert is unique in that it features two world premieres of compositions, a world premiere of an orchestral version of a third composition, the professional debut of the concert pianist, and a world premiere film featuring America’s national parks. Hyer explained that while the Symphony has premiered numerous works over its 40 years, this will the first time where almost every work and artist, from photographer to composers to soloist, are experiencing firsts.
As has been the case for every subscription concert this season, the concert will open with a 40 second fanfare commissioned by the Symphony, this one by composer Danny Clay, who grew up in Delaware County and graduated from Buckeye Valley High School. Clay’s work,Four Seconds, was composed in collaboration with the 4th graders of Buckeye Valley West Elementary. The first half of the program will feature Delaware native Jacob Miller, a doctoral student at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, making his professional debut as soloist on George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, and the world premiere of the filmExpedition by Frank Ruggles, the first ever Artist Ambassador to the National Parks Trust and a graduate of Delaware Hayes High School. The film will play to the music of two original compositions, Blue Glacier Decoy by former Ohio Wesleyan composition professor Jennifer Jolley, and Kéyah, by composer and OWU graduate Lauren Spavelko. After the intermission, the orchestra will perform Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World.”
Hyer commented on the ambitious and Delaware-oriented program. “‘Local Focus’ shows the amazing amount of talent that is available even in smaller communities, and how different artists—composers, photographers, musicians—can come together to create amazing art. This concert is an event to celebrate Delaware and those who contribute to it in so many ways.”
Asked what the audience could expect, Hyer summed it up expansively. “Concertgoers will hear two major works of the classical repertoire. Gershwin remains one of the most popular American composers some 80 years after his death and we are excited to have Jacob Miller perform this demanding work. With his New World Symphony, Dvořák captured the unique flavor and sounds of American music as he interpreted it from his European viewpoint.” It is one of the most popular symphonies, performed the world over.
“As for the film and the two compositions, this is a visual and musical painting of our land, of the grandeur and beauty of America. Frank Ruggles through his unique talent captures dramatic and stunning imagery that few of us ever have the opportunity to see. The compositions complement the film and the film was created to complement the music in return, giving the audience a unique exposure to America’s natural beauty.”
Community activities will take place in Delaware County during the concert week at the Symphony’s website, www.centralohiosymphony.org
Tickets for this concert may be purchased at the Symphony Source office, 24 E. Winter Street in downtown Delaware or online at www.centralohiosymphony.org, or at the box office the night of the concert. Ticket prices are $25.00 for adults, $20.00 for seniors, $6.00 for students of all ages, and $4.00 for children.
More information about the concert and ticket availability is available on the Symphony website, www.centralohiosymphony.org, at the Symphony office at 24 E. Winter Street, or by calling the Symphony at 740-362-1799.
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (www.pnc.com), actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.