Carolina Philharmonic Pleased With Response to Palustris Festival Concerts
“I didn’t know this was possible!” said one of the Carolina Philharmonic’s patrons after the recent “Ode to Joy” concert, one of three programs presented by the Philharmonic during the Palustris Festival.
The large audience at Robert E. Lee Auditorium listened spellbound on Friday night as a youth orchestra and chorus made up of some of Moore County’s most aspiring middle and high school instrumentalists and singers performed side by side with the Carolina Philharmonic in repertoire ranging from the “Harry Potter Symphonic Suite” to the finale of Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony.”
The first half of the concert saw Maestro David Wolff conducting a Bach piano concerto from the keyboard and Barber’s searing “Adagio for Strings,” which the Philharmonic had just performed at Carnegie Hall in early March. Chopin’s “Heroic Polonaise,” concluding the first half, saw the crowd leap to its feet in wild applause.
“With ‘Ode to Joy,’ Conservatory International and Carolina Philharmonic launched an ambitious joint venture to redefine the paradigm of music education throughout the region, in partnership with public, private and charter schools, as well as home-schooling networks,” said Wolff. “What the kids accomplished in seven short weeks was nothing less than miraculous, and the sheer excitement in their eyes when it was over (the audience again on its feet) made all the months of planning and work well worth it.”
Wolff was aided by Nicole Peragine, orchestra teacher at Pinecrest High School, and Susan Grzesnikowski, renowned regional music educator.
The Philharmonic’s mini-series opened with the Joshua Wolff Jazz Trio, featuring sultry songstress Laura Didier singing familiar Broadway tunes to a delighted crowd at Founders Hall. And closing out the series was another tour de force, with Wolff at the keyboard leading the CP Chorus and a cast of soloists — tenor Melvin Ezzell, soprano-coloratura Marina De Ratmiroff and soprano Young Mee Jun — on an excursion into the realm of opera at SCC’s Owens Auditorium.
“I didn’t know I loved opera so much!” said one of the choristers.
Upcoming concerts include the Holy Week Concerts on April 13 (Sacred Heart) and April 15 (Owens Auditorium), both at 7 p.m., and the Mother’s Day Concert, on Sunday, May 8, at 4 p.m. in the main sanctuary at Sacred Heart. Call (910) 687-4746 or (910) 687-0287 for tickets or visit their website at www.carolinaphil.org for more information.
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