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Calm Reflections Photography shares beautiful photographs that can be placed on mugs, mouse pads, canvas, puzzles, T-shirts, coasters and prints. Joanna Macaulay makes souvenirs of St. Mary’s County for tourists and local residents. Information about St. Mary’s County attractions, travel, events and photography can be found at her site. She now does pet photography as well.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An Evening at the Summer Palace: A River Concert that Wowed the Audience

The Baroque themed second River Concert of the 2011 Season was held at St. Mary’s College of Maryland on Friday June 24, 2011. Music Director, Jeffrey Silberschlag joked that the Chesapeake Orchestra called it “Sweating to the Oldies”. Entirely performed by a smaller chamber orchestra complete with harpsichord and friends, the evening was delightful.

Wow, what a concert! Each new solo performer brought the audience to their feet. It was probably one of the longest concerts, and definitely one of the best. The evening began with J.S. Bach’s “Orchestral Suite No. 3”, which included the well known “Air” movement, commonly referred to as the Air on the G string and often used in weddings. The movement is one of the most widely recognized Baroque pieces ever written.

Giuseppe Nova, co-director of the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Alba Campus expertly played solo flute in the “Orchestral Suite in B Minor”, again by Bach. This mostly light and cheerful piece included a triple solo with harpsichord, Mr. Nova, and Suzanne Orban on Cello. Mr. Nova received the first standing ovation and an extra bow.

Fatma Daglar, principle Oboist for the Chesapeake Orchestra for many years, played “Concerto for Oboe” by B. Marcello with much feeling, using her whole body including her foot and even her eyebrows. Cellist Suzanne Orban, heard many times with the Chesapeake Orchestra, played “Concerto for Cello in G Major”. This very difficult piece included many fast paced sections that required intense concentration by Ms. Orban.

The lovely young Nina DeCesare (pictured), 2010 winner of the Young Artist Competition, wowed the audience with some very impressive high notes on the double Bass in “Concerto for Double Bass in D Major” by J.B. Vanhal. Viewers spontaneously clapped after a particularly difficult section and also gave her a standing ovation.

Trombonist, Bryan Bourne, played the half sized alto trombone in “Concerto for Trombone” written by Michael Hayden, the brother of well known Joseph Hayden. This piece began very slowly and was very smoothly played by Mr. Bourne, and later included a light hearted section and a short solo by violinist Jose Cueto.

The concert ended spectacularly with flautists Giuseppe Nova and Karen Johnson, and violinist Jose Cueto (pictured) in Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No 4”, and the well known and personal favorite, “Water Music” by G. F. Handel.

Jeffrey Silberschlag reminded the audience that next week’s concert features fireworks, a flyover to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation, and that famous piece written about the French Russian war that we Americans have somehow claimed for the Fourth of July, Tchaikovsky’s ”1812 Overture”. The concert will be “BYOAPI” or “bring your own apple pie”. Be sure to get there early!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

“Wintry Mix” Opens the River Concert Series for 2011

The first River Concert of the season on June 17 2011, held on the green at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, was a success in spite of the threat of thunderstorms in early weather reports. A light rain cooled off the evening during the orchestra tune up, and then remained dry and comfortable.

The”Symphony 7 opus 105” of Jean Sibelius, played by the Chesapeake Orchestra, started with a scale and included a rich sleepy melody, some lighthearted plucking, followed by a speedy section. The symphony also included a portion that sounded like churning water or a storm, which resolved into a frolicking tune that was more lighthearted. At the end of the piece, music director Jeffrey Silberschlag asked the audience, “How many times did someone start the Harley (motorcycle)? I counted 15!” Ahhh, there are risks in an outdoor concert.

The “Piano Concerto No. 3” by Bela Bartok, written while he was dying and worried about his wife’s finances, featured pianist Eliza Garth (pictured). The piece included many different moods from crawling to bouncy and fast, then later included solo drum beats.

After intermission, the orchestra played a short piece, “Mirage”, composed by a 2011 graduate of the college, Mary Coy. The brief piece was fascinating and moody. It will be interesting to see if we hear more of her music in the future.

After asking the audience to “Come back again, but leave your Harley at home”, Jeffrey Silberschlag ended the concert with Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Symphony No. 1. Opus 10”. The symphony included many soloists on flute, timpani, etc. including a very high crying solo by violinist José Cueto.

Blogging again!

After a long delay, I hope to have more time once again to blog again.