Pops In The Park brought the whole community together to enjoy the Prince George Symphony Orchestra outside for free.
Now that the city's orchestra has kicked off its new season with the annual show, they are getting intimate and interactive with their core fans. Anyone can buy a season's pass, and anyone who holds one as of tonight can get into their special Subscribers Only event at the Prince George Playhouse.
The title of tonight's concert is Mozart, Harp & Flute and brings out the key traditions of classical music for the PGSO audience.
Soloists Joy Yeh and Toby Moisey are featured.
"It's a way to encourage people to get a season subscription right from the start," said PGSO acting administrator Teresa Saunders.
"It's a special show, and shows what this orchestra is all about. It's not a time of year when going out to music events is on the front of the community's mind, so this brings it forward for people, and gives our subscribers and their friends that reward for getting to the front of the line. Because it is at the Playhouse we are able to have wine, special appetizers and really make it a special event for our season's pass-holders."
In addition to Mozart, the audience also gets their first introduction to those vying for the job of permanent artistic director. That vacant position has a shortlist of candidates, each one gets an audition event as conductor, and tonight's show belongs to Jonathan Govias. He is currently an assistant professor and the director of orchestra for the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. He has been a PGSO guest conductor in the past and is now aiming to be the full-time resident artistic leader of the organization.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m.
For those who cannot attend tonight, there is another October concert on the PGSO agenda. On Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, a small ensemble comprised of Prince George Symphony Orchestra members will present a chamber music show entitled Waning Crescent. It is the first of three concerts this season utilizing a small-sized version of the big band.
Counterpoint to that is the set of four mainstage shows at Vanier Hall with expanded orchestra sizes (Nov. 19, Dec. 17-18, Jan. 21 and Feb. 11).
Tickets to see Waning Crescent are available now at Central Interior Tickets (3540 Opie Cres. or online). Admission is $20 regular, $18 seniors, $15 students.
Symphony has a guest boss
When the PGSO's general manager Jeremy Stewart took parental leave, it left a six-month question mark for the city's orchestra. Who would fill the vacancy? It is a unique position, the busy season is underway, and it provides only a half-year of employment.
The PGSO board of directors settled on a face already sitting at their table. Longtime leader of the PGSO's society, Teresa Saunders, was able and agreeable to go from the boardroom to the front office for that interim.
"It's exciting to step into this role," said Saunders, a veteran teacher and school administrator, now retired. "Having been a board member for six years, being the past-president and finishing my last term, considering we are hosting guest conductors who are auditioning to be our permanent artist director, and because we always walk a very fine financial line, it didn't seem feasible to appoint someone from outside the organization. It was felt that I had an administration background and a familiarity already with the operation. I thought it was a brilliant solution. I look forward to working with our sponsors, donors and potential donors, but the musicians in particular."
As Saunders was discussing the move she kept an eye on the clock. She noted that, as of Friday afternoon, Stewart would be at the ready in aid of his wife who was expecting the birth of their latest child at virtually any time. She said it would be a wonderful way to launch the main stretch of the PGSO season by announcing on stage that a new member of Prince George's musical family had just been born.