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Hold my beer… no really, I have to play a set

Soda City orchestra's ensembles to pop up in watering holes

[caption id="attachment_49073" align="aligncenter" width="950"]A string quartet plays music in a rustic indoor setting in front of a small seated group. An SC Philharmonic string ensemble.[/caption]

There's an old joke in the orchestra world that attempts to juxtapose baseball and things orchestral by referring to the basses being "loaded."

The Hub wants on the record as hoping that won't be the case. Depending on the makeup of the ensemble, you can't rule it out though. Yep, we're using the Bad Puns tag today. The South Carolina Philharmonic (a general operating support grantee, among others, of the SCAC) announced its intention to begin presenting a Chamber Crawl Series this month around the Midlands, with the first taking place Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. at Craft and Draft Irmo (7583 St. Andrews Rd.). A string quartet comprised of two violins, a viola, and a cello gets the first call: Concertmaster Mary Lee Taylor Kinosian (violin), Principal Violin 2 Damir Horvat, Principal Viola Audrey Harris, and Tzu-Ying Liao (cello) might or might not open up a tab. For patrons (orchestra and drinking establishment alike...) beer and wine will be available at a cash bar. General admission tickets are $15, and concert-goers may add a charcuterie board for $10. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at www.scphilharmonic.com.
The idea for the SC Philharmonic’s Chamber Crawl Series sprang from successful community outreach events that brought classical music to non-traditional performance spaces during the orchestra’s last performing season season. Venues like The Hunter Gatherer Hangar and Historic Columbia properties provided the symphony the opportunity to steal take classical music from the Koger Center stage (it's home plate, if you will) and take it to other communities in the Columbia area. The Chamber Crawl Series, being led by Education and Community Engagement Director Susan Cafferty, aims to broaden the service area of the organization by bringing chamber ensembles to neighborhood watering holes around the region. The SC Philharmonic says it is excited to partner with Craft and Draft (Irmo) for the series’ inaugural performance, citing the restaurant’s connection to the Irmo area and an event space that lends itself to an excellent listening experience for patrons. Providing a cash bar with expert-chosen beers and wines for the event also serves the "The Phil’s" ongoing goal to make classical musical accessible and, "unbutton the perception that the experience may be buttoned-up," according to a release. “Music is universal in the way it connects with people. This series is a great opportunity to make more connections with the music by bringing it to Midlands bars and restaurants that are craving new experiences for their community and customers,” Cafferty said.
The South Carolina Philharmonic is committed to performing live symphonic music and providing dynamic educational opportunities in the Midlands. We carry forward a legacy of passion for the music and embrace our responsibility to be a vibrant part of the cultural fabric of our diverse community. For more information about the South Carolina Philharmonic, please visit SCPhilharmonic.com or follow on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Jason Rapp

SCAC grant makes chamber orchestra performance possible

On Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022 the Charleston County School of the Arts Sinfonietta will perform with virtuoso violinist Francisco Fullana at the College of Charleston Sottile Theatre.

The performance is the culmination of a three-day residency between Fullana and the SOA Sinfonietta, a part of Chamber Music Charleston’s Youth Chamber Music Initiative. A South Carolina Arts Commission Arts Education Project Grant helped make this performance possible. Fullana will lead the ensemble in a performances of the Elgar Serenade for String Orchestra the J.S. Bach Violin Concerto in D minor. Fullana will also perform alongside soloists from the SOA Sinfonietta: Elaina Gable (violin), Yosef Chang (viola) and Devon O’Brien (bass) for Mozart’s Serenade in D Major, “Serenata notturna.” In addition to the SOA residency, Chamber Music Charleston’s Youth Chamber Music Initiative includes:
  • Classical Kids Concerts in elementary schools,
  • masterclasses with visiting guest artists,
  • and the CMC TWO High School string chamber music program.
The residency between violinist Francisco Fullana and the Charleston County School of the Arts was inspired by Fullana’s work with youth orchestras and music schools throughout the world. “Each year we attract world-renowned guest artists to perform alongside our professional musicians of Chamber Music Charleston for our Ovation Concerts, and we are excited to expand this opportunity for guest artist to work with the accomplished string students at SOA,”  President and Artistic Director of Chamber Music Charleston Sandra Nikolajevs said. “Providing the students with the change to not only hear an artist of the caliber of Francisco Fullana, but to work with him closely in exploring the music of Mozart, Bach and Elgar over the course of three days, will create an incredible experience for the students and audience alike.”
Spanish-born violinist Francisco Fullana, winner of the 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant, is making a name for himself as both a performer and a leader of innovative educational institutions. As a soloist, he has performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Bayerische Philharmonie led by the late Sir Colin Davis, the Sibelius Concerto with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, and the Brahms Violin Concerto with Venezuela’s Teresa Carreño Orchestra under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. In March he will perform as soloist for Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in New York City’s Carnegie Hall with the Grammy-Award winning ensemble Apollo’s Fire. “Through my formative years at Juilliard and beyond, I realized that experiences centered on active learning and collaborations with world class musicians exponentially accelerated my learning process and were life-changing,” he said. “By working with students as equal collaborators, one can lead the creative process through a collective effort that has transformative long-term effects in students’ artistic development.”
The Charleston County School of the Arts is a public middle and high school that offers students rich and intensive instruction in eight art majors in middle school and nine art majors in high school. Students may apply and audition for two areas, and once accepted into a major, spend one-fourth of their day with dynamic teachers in that art area. Art majors include instrumental band, creative writing, dance, piano, string orchestra, theater, visual art and vocal music. SOA’s students excel at the local, state and national level, earning awards, scholarships, and the respect of audience members, peers, and patrons of the arts. Students also participate in an appropriately challenging academic curriculum that includes college preparatory, honors, and Advanced Placement courses. Clubs, community service, and unique school events tailored to meet the interests of young artists, provide additional opportunities for expression and involvement. We want our students to maximize their potential and then find out how their art can impact the world around them. This program is funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the performances

Thursday, February 10, 2022 at 7 p.m.  College of Charleston Sottile Theatre, 44 George St. Tickets: Free with advance reservation required.

Jason Rapp

Greenville Symphony streams education concert

Pssst. Looking for something to do?

The Greenville Symphony recently made its 2021 education concert available to all online. Support by the SCAC and Metropolitan Arts Council made it all possible! “Due to the pandemic, public school students were not able to attend our annual education concerts in person this year,” Music Director and Conductor Edvard Tchivzhel said. “Thanks to the generosity of the Metropolitan Arts Council and the South Carolina Arts Commission we were able to bring the concert experience to them. We couldn’t have done it without our dedicated musicians and education sponsors.”

Jason Rapp

S.C. Philharmonic’s Nakahara receives honor

Stephen G. Morrison Visionary Award goes to conductor

[caption id="attachment_47491" align="aligncenter" width="949"]Nakahara, wearing a neon yellow Columbia Fireflies jersey, conducts the orchestra at the Fireflies' ballpark at dusk. Nakahara and South Carolina Philharmonic musicians perform to a sold-out concert at the Columbia Fireflies' Segra Park July 3, 2021. Provided photo.[/caption]

One Columbia for Arts and Culture announced Morihiko Nakahara, music director and conductor of the South Carolina Philharmonic, as the recipient of the 2021 Stephen G. Morrison Visionary Award.

The Stephen G. Morrison Visionary Award is an annual recognition of a Columbian who reflects many of the values and qualities of those generously given by One Columbia’s former leader in support of the growth and vitality of his City of Columbia. Morrison, who passed away in 2013, co-chaired the One Columbia Arts and Culture Board of Directors for three years.. A native of Kagoshima, Japan, Nakahara holds degrees from Andrews University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Known for his charismatic presence on and off the podium, innovative and audience-friendly programming skills, and thoughtful interpretations of both standard and contemporary repertoire, Nakahara was featured in the League of American Orchestra’s prestigious Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview in March 2005. Equally at home in a wide variety of musical styles and concert formats, Nakahara has collaborated with Chris Botti, Béla Fleck & the Flecktones, Edgar Meyer, Brandi Carlile, Pink Martini and Sergio Mendes to name a few. The 2021-2022 season marks Morihiko Nakahara’s 14th season as Music Director of the South Carolina Philharmonic, and he also serves as Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and recently concluded a 17 year tenure as the Resident Conductor with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. “I am incredibly honored and humbled to receive this award, on behalf of the entire team of musicians, administrative staff, board members, tech crew, and our loyal audience members near and far,” said Morihiko Nakahara. “The Covid-19 pandemic taught us to be patient and nimble, but the level of trust that our orchestra's stakeholders and constituents have for each other and the passion with which they embody their roles have allowed us to be bold and ambitious during this time. This honor is especially meaningful for me on a personal level, because in the few years I knew and interacted with Steve Morrison, I was always inspired and energized by his tireless advocacy for the arts in Columbia and for equal access to arts education and enrichment in every community. Steve's vision is our mission, and I am blessed to continue working in Columbia's vibrant arts community for all people.” The recipient of the Steve Morrison Visionary Award honors the best combination of vision and leadership, applied to arts and history and the entire cultural foundation of the City, and the value they bring to Columbia. “Over the 14 years that Morihiko Nakahara has shared his pioneering vision as music director and conductor for the South Carolina Philharmonic, he has served as an ambassador for culture and music, as well as advocate for the growth of our city’s fine arts and humanities environment,” said Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. “Morihiko truly embodies the traits recognized by The Stephen G. Morrison Visionary Award, through his commitment to furthering the artistic vitality of Columbia.” An event is being organized to present Mr. Nakahara with the award and is expected to be held in mid-January 2022.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Phil to party like it’s 2009

Saturday concert to feature pair of 2009 SCAC fellows


A pair of 2009 South Carolina Arts Commission music fellows will have prominent roles in the South Carolina Philharmonic's next concert this Saturday night in Columbia. The orchestra is continuing its year-long celebration of 250 years of Beethoven with his first piano concerto. Out front on the Steinway will be Phillip Bush: music professor at the University of South Carolina, frequent presenter at the Southeastern Piano Festival, well-traveled and highly regarded concert pianist, recording artist and—oh by the way—the S.C. Arts Commission's 2009 music performance fellowship recipient. The Peabody alum has taken the stage across the U.S. and Japan, where he performed some 25 concerts over a 10-year period. His repertoire includes works from the 16th century to the 21st, as he is a devoted advocate for contemporary music. And that is where John Fitz Rogers comes in. He also received an S.C. Arts Commission fellowship in 2009, his for music composition. To start the concert, the orchestra will reprise his The Passing Sun, a work commissioned by the Phil to celebrate its 50th season in 2014/2015. It is an orchestral piece, but Fitz Rogers has composed for works featuring bassoon, guitar, piano, saxophone, and vocal soloists (with orchestras, including chamber ensembles). He holds degrees from Cornell, Yale, and Oberlin and is currently professor of composition at the UofSC, where he founded and, for a time, directed the widely acclaimed Southern Exposure New Music Series. His works have been recorded and released by multiple labels. The concert is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center for the Arts (1051 Greene St., Columbia). $16-$50. Click here to learn more.
Learn more about South Carolina Arts Commission fellowship recipients here.  

Jason Rapp

Rock Hill Symphony expands hometown as ‘cultural asset’

A new story from WFAE 90.7 FM gave a great look yesterday at the role "South Carolina's newest orchestra" is playing in expanding the cultural offerings of Rock Hill (which boasts one of the charter South Carolina Cultural Districts).  According to the story: "as the city carves a more distinct identity – i.e., as something other than a suburb of Charlotte – the push to expand Rock Hill’s musical culture scene is a major component." The orchestra started in 2018 after its founders realized Rock Hill was the largest South Carolina city without an orchestra. The story goes on to detail the orchestra's quick growth to a larger concert space and its hopes for a home of its own. Click here to read more on the station's website.

A great big music update

Grab your coffee or tea for this one


Though its temperatures got cold in the past 24 hours, South Carolina's music scene is indisputably hot right now. How hot? Oxford American knows. The quarterly literary magazine focusing on Southern literature publishes an annual music issue, and this year's focus is on South Carolina's musical culture. The 21st Annual Southern Music Issue "features unforgettable songs and stories from South Carolina, the issue includes voices ranging from the Upstate to the Lowcountry, highlighting icons like Dizzy Gillespie and Eartha Kitt, as well as contemporary artists such as Shovels & Rope and Ranky Tanky." Pre-order your copy at the link above. Each issues comes with a CD compilation and digital download. But the Oxford American issue is far from being the only highlight. Sip away and enjoy some briefs.

FatRat Da Czar double album out today

You might remember reading about this a month ago. South Carolina’s godfather of hip-hop FatRat Da Czar released his double album TRIBE yesterday, with 25 tracks and nearly 40 collaborators, including 30 features and nine of the state’s most respected producers. Czar’s highly anticipated ninth studio album is now available at all digital music retailers and streaming services. As part of the album release, Czar will perform this Friday, Nov. 15 at Arts & Draughts at Columbia Museum of Art in Columbi, and Saturday, Nov. 16 at The Purple Buffalo in Charleston, bringing on stage some of South Carolina’s most elite past, present, and future hip-hop artists.

S.C. Phil re-imagines Vivaldi

Seasonal changes are top-of-mind in the Palmetto State today, and no music captures the spirit of those better than the iconic The Four Seasons, completed in 1725 by Antonio Vivaldi. In 2012, composer Max Richter (right), claiming to be one of a long list of composers who reworked pre-existing music, notably Franz Liszt, Igor Stravinsky and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, took on Vivaldi’s ubiquitous masterpiece. The result is a minimalist transformation that leaves only fragments of the original music. Each of the twelve movements contains at least one recognizable quotation from the original, but they vary in length and nature from the famous virtuosic riffs for the solo violin to mere ostinato accompaniments. The fragments also include new, dissonant harmonies, distorted meters, loops and repetitive phrases. The S.C. Phil presents the work this Saturday evening in Columbia. Tickets and information here.
 

World's No. 1 jazz pianist coming to Columbia

Kenny Barron playing pianoJapan. France. Spain. Italy. France again. South Carolina. That is the travel itinerary for Kenny Barron, recently ranked as the world's premier jazz pianist by the 67th Annual DownBeat International Critics Poll. (That puts Barron ahead of names like Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea.) On Nov. 23, Barron's travels bring him to South Carolina for an engagement with the SC Jazz Masterworks Ensemble. He is also an NEA Jazz Master, and Jazz Weekly says he's "the most lyrical piano player of our time" and he's said to captivate with elegant playing, sensitive melodies, and infectious rhythms. The SC Jazz Masterworks Ensemble is comprised of 18 of the finest jazz musicians, soloists, and bandleaders from across the Carolinas with a mission to present jazz concerts at the highest artistic level. The ensemble performs big band classics, music from the Great American Songbook and modern originals by the group's members.

Local groups highlight 2020 Charleston Jazz Festival

[caption id="attachment_42702" align="alignright" width="250"] Click to enlarge.[/caption] Announced this morning! On Jan. 23, 2020, the 6th Annual Charleston Jazz Festival will open with some of Charleston’s most exciting jazz groups: Offramp The Music of Pat Metheny, Cameron & the Saltwater Brass Shake Everything You Got! and Lee Barbour’s Polyverse Art of the Modern Organ Trio featuring Justin Stanton of Snarky Puppy. Tickets are on sale now at www.charlestonjazz.com. Charleston Jazz presents the Charleston Jazz Festival every year, offering a world-class celebration of jazz by presenting timeless and creative productions that entertain audiences, stimulate arts education, foster economic growth and unite artists and audiences in Charleston. Each year, the festival line-up includes internationally acclaimed headliners, the best local jazz bands, and top youth artists performing a wide range of styles including swing, salsa, blues, Brazilian, and the American Songbook.

Tuning Up: Art is for everyone, Part Infinity

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


No, really, art is for everyone. Good luck making it through this story (video) from CBS Sunday Morning without a huge smile. Maybe a tissue. (You've been warned.) Bonus content. We are sharing this story because it happened in our state, it is arts-related, and is newsworthy, but we are definitely not commenting. NOPE.    

Tuning Up: Literally (spoiler: it’s about orchestras)

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


This morning we offer some news and notes from South Carolina orchestras. ICYMI: Three Mor-ihiko Years. The South Carolina Philharmonic announced a three-year contract extension for Music Director Morihiko Nakahara this week, keeping him in Columbia into (at least) 2022 for a total of (at least) 14 seasons. The Free Times caught up with the well-traveled maestro, who begins his 11th season, and the orchestra's 55th, Saturday, Sept. 29. Rock Hill Symphony debuts tomorrow night. Literally. As in, first-ever concert, not just new season. Pianist Marina Lomazov (an SCAC music performance fellowship recipient) is the featured soloist for the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto on Music Director David Rudge's premiere program, which also offers works by Berlioz, Rimsky-Korsakov, Smetana, and more. It is sold out (and has been), but check out the first season's offerings here. Season's greetings! Rock Hill joins 10 other professional orchestras in South Carolina. September and October are typically when orchestra season gets going. Here are start dates for others from around the Palmetto State: Did you have any idea South Carolina has so many orchestras? This doesn't even count the college and community orchestras. All 10 listed above will receive operating support (or more) from the S.C. Arts Commission in FY19.

Open arts jobs in Richland, Horry counties

Town Theatre, set to begin its centennial season in Columbia next month, is looking for help in the technical side of the house. The theatre is seeking a part-time assistant technical director. The ideal candidate will have a working knowledge of all aspects of technical theatre including set design, construction, lighting and sound. Town Theatre is embarking on its 100th season of operation with a heavy emphasis on musicals. Generally, the theatre produces five main stage shows during the season (September to May), a large summer main stage musical, two to three youth theatre productions as well as various special event shows. The theatre itself is a proscenium stage theatre with a fly system. Sets are built onsite in a workshop and on the stage. Town Theatre values the ability of all staff to work in and promote a harmonious work environment. Preferred skills include, but are not limited to carpentry, overhead rigging, stage electrics, scenic painting and sound/audio tech experience. Application deadline: Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. For additional duties and other pertinent information, go here. (Ed. note: The Hub will have more on the theatre's exciting centennial season closer to its first production, which coincides with the application deadline for this posting.)


And Long Bay Symphony in Myrtle Beach is looking for an audience engagement manager. The part time administrative position is responsible for marketing that will create awareness of and promote the Long Bay Symphony and its programs within the Grand Strand community. As a part of community engagement, the position would manage the "Musicians in the Schools" program within the public school districts of Horry and Georgetown Counties. A bachelor's degree is required. At least 1-3 years work related experience and a music and/or education background preferred. An application deadline was not listed. Please go here to find duties and requirements.