All posts by Jared DeWitt

Season 66 Brochure: Subscribe Now!

Download the FSO 2015-16 season brochure and subscribe today for the best seats at the best discount! Subscribers save up 20% off single ticket prices!

Subscribe by phone at 928.523.5661 or by mail via the order form.
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Flagstaff Symphony season brochure
FSO Season 66 brochure; original artwork by Linda Shearer-Whiting

The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra enters its 66th season with a renewed mission: to enrich, engage, and inspire our community through the performance of orchestral music. In her eighth season as Artistic Director and Conductor, Elizabeth Schulze leads the Orchestra in unforgettable concerts in 2015-2016.

Like the Mother Road that made Flagstaff famous, Season 66 offers audiences a journey full of adventure and ambition. Through this music we feel the significance of history and drive forward into an exciting future. Experience the thrill of live orchestral music in northern Arizona with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra!

Elizabeth Schulze will pass the baton in 2017 after nine seasons

Maestra Elizabeth Schulze, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, has announced that she will conclude her tenure with the FSO at the end of her current contract in the 2016-2017 season. At the time she passes the baton to her successor, Maestra Schulze will have been at the helm of the FSO for nine seasons.

“I am so grateful for and proud of the time I have spent with this wonderful orchestra and its supportive community” Schulze said. “Together, we have expanded and diversified our repertoire and created new audiences for the great music that we play. I am looking forward to returning to an active guest conducting schedule along with my ongoing duties as Music Director of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra.”

During her tenure, Schulze has led the orchestra through a period of artistic growth, increased community engagement, and national acclaim. In 2013 she was honored for her work with the FSO with the Medallion in Conducting awarded by the Sorel Charitable Organization, a non-profit that advances the role of women in music. A champion of music in education, Schulze is also responsible for bringing educational concerts back to the annual offering of the FSO through an ongoing partnership with the Carnegie Hall “Link Up” program.

“It has been my honor and pleasure to work with Elizabeth for the past two seasons,” said FSO Executive Director Christopher Barton. “She is a remarkable artist who brings unmatched passion and generosity to her work. Though I will truly miss our partnership, I know I can look forward to celebrating her future accomplishments.”

“Maestra Schulze has a fantastic upcoming season planned for our audience,” said FSO Board President Carl Taylor. “We are grateful for the tremendous growth of our organization under her leadership over the past seven years and for the continuity her presence through the 2016-2017 season provides.” The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra 2015-2016 season, its 66th, opens on September 25th with guest soloist Rachel Barton Pine performing the Brahms Violin Concerto.

The FSO Board of Directors is moving forward immediately to form a committee to search for Schulze’s successor.

Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra is Full Circle Trade & Thrift May Grantee

Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra is a proud and grateful partner organization of Full Circle Trade & Thrift and will be the beneficiary of a grant award from the store during May.

Throughout May, when you donate gently used items, shop and volunteer at Full Circle Trade & Thrift at 122 Route 66 in Flagstaff, you help support the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra.

Bring clothing, furniture, household items, and that jewelry you no longer wear, and donate to this circle of giving. Full Circle Trade & Thrift is non-profit store that grants its revenues back to other nonprofits in arts, education and social services.

Each Saturday in May, the symphony will arrange for live music to make your Full Circle experience even more rewarding.


The month kicks off with a Red Door Auction at the store at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 2. Come early for a 9 a.m. preview of the high-quality items Full Circle is known to auction. Cars, recreational vehicles, Native American items and more, often make the auction a lively event.

Another great deal is that your valuable items can be consigned in the auction and you can receive 65 percent of the finale sale value. This consignment opportunity is a fantastic way to quickly get a higher sales value and show your support. And if you have large items for donation or auction requiring pick up, contact Full Circle at 928.214.1094 or FSO at 928.774.5107. Thank you!

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Flagstaff Symphony performs Carmina Burana April 17

The awe-inspiring music of Carmina Burana comes to life with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, the Master Chorale of Flagstaff, NAU’s Shrine of the Ages Choir, Flagstaff Youth Chorale, and guest singers, 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 17, at NAU Ardrey Memorial Auditorium.

“Carmina Burana is a choral-orchestral masterpiece, one of the most iconic works of the 20th Century, and a powerful sensory experience beyond comparison,” FSO Executive Director Christopher Barton said. “A massive work like this, performed with our partner choruses from the community is an exciting way to conclude this 65th season.”

carmina image

Carmina Burana is the name given to more than 200 poems discovered from medieval times reflecting the human condition with themes of fate, love, lust, and the power of fortune. Composer Carl Orff also is remembered for his influence in the field of music education — a fitting season finale for FSO in a year that included the growing success of its Link Up music education program.

Link Up, in collaboration with the Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute, brings music curriculum and a live concert experience to third through fifth graders in northern Arizona.

The first half of the program is a performance of The Accursed Hunstman by 19th Century composer Cesar Auguste Franck. Audiences will enjoy this adventure about a hunter who dares to go into the woods rather than worship on a Sunday morning. Deep among the trees, the hunter is cursed by a terrible voice condemning him to be pursued by demons for eternity.

In its 65th season, the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra is the largest and most active performing arts organization in northern Arizona. Artistic Director and Conductor Elizabeth Schulze, now in her seventh season, leads performances with superb musical sense and attention to excellence. The orchestra is comprised of musicians from diverse backgrounds who form an ensemble capable of performing a variety of musical styles and repertoire. The FSO mission is to enrich, engage, and inspire our community through the performance of orchestral music.

For tickets, go to, or call 928.523.5661. Tickets range in price and include discounts for students, seniors, educators and the military.



Edith Copley, director

Erica Kragness, director



FSO to Make Music, Magic & Memories at March 28 GALA

Music, Magic and Memories await Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra supporters who will dine and dance at the organization’s March 28 Gala celebrating 65 years of live symphonic music in Flagstaff.

A sapphire anniversary-themed evening begins with a champagne reception followed by a gourmet meal, silent and live auctions, a sapphire jewelry raffle and dancing to the Big Band Connection.

The FSO Gala Committee has been creating a night that sparkles, keeping in tune with FSO Visionary Sounds 2014-15 programming featuring imaginative, powerful, and revolutionary music, performed by the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra and world renowned guest artists.

Visionary local citizens who believed that an orchestra is an essential part of a vibrant community founded FSO in 1950.  Generous donors, supporters and symphony attendees continue to sustain the non-profit organization and enable it to enrich, engage and inspire Arizona communities with great concerts and education programs. Artistic Director and Conductor Elizabeth Schulze, now in her seventh season, leads performances with superb musical sense and attention to excellence. The symphony employs about 60 local musicians from diverse backgrounds.

FSO also is continuing its partnership with Link Up, a music education program of the Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute. The program links local students in grades 3-5 with orchestral music through a hands-on curriculum, culminating in year-end concert performed by the Flagstaff Symphony.

The Sapphire Sponsor for the Gala is Thrivent Financial. Gala sponsors also include Hufford, Horstman Mongini, Parnell & Tucker, PC; Findlay Toyota; National Bank of Arizona; Northern Arizona Healthcare; NAU Office of the President; Pioneer Title Agency and Smart Document Solutions. Tickets are $125 each, $1,000 for a table of eight and $2,500 to sponsor a table. To reserve tickets or sponsor a table, contact the NAU Central Ticket Office at 928.523.5661 or go to



Jeans ‘n Classics band to perform The Beatles music with Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra

The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra is guaranteed to raise a smile at its March 6 concert.

It’s a British Invasion: The Music of The Beatles, with Jeans ‘n Classics, a band specializing in arranging rock music to roll with symphonies. The eight-piece ensemble and FSO will perform the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album in its entirety.

“Jeans ‘n Classics fun and engaging orchestral arrangements will heighten our audience’s experience of some of the greatest popular music ever written,” FSO Executive Director Christopher Barton said. “To borrow from a lyric: We hope you will enjoy the show.”

Jeans ‘n Classics is a group of musicians who understand both popular and classical music and are committed to developing diverse, loyal audiences for symphony orchestras across America. Peter Brennan, who founded the Canadian rock band Jeans ‘n Classics 20 years ago, is looking forward to share Fab Four music with Flagstaff. In 2014, Jeans ‘n Classics performed the music of Earth, Wind & Fire, Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago with the FSO.


Northern Arizona University’s Jazz Vocal Ensembles also will perform with Jeans ‘n Classics and the FSO. “Put it all together and it is pure musical magic,” Brennan said.

Performing The Beatles music is “an amazing rush on so many levels,” Brennan said. “In addition to the brilliance of the song writing, and the obvious heartfelt nostalgia, there is the unparalleled experience of realizing this material with a symphony orchestra.”

British Invasion: The Music of The Beatles featuring Jeans ‘n Classics is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 6, 2015, at Ardrey Memorial Auditorium on the NAU campus. For tickets, go to, or call 928.523.5661. Tickets range in price and include discounts for students, seniors, educators and the military. For information, go to, or call 928.774.5107.


Interactive learning concert with FSO and Link Up

UPDATE: Due to the winter storm in northern Arizona, all Link Up concerts have been rescheduled to Thursday, March 5 at Ardrey Auditorium. Thank you to Flagstaff United School District, Northern Arizona University, private and charter schools, our partner teachers, volunteers, and the musicians and staff of the Flagstaff Symphony for making this change happen!

ORIGINAL STORY: More than 3,600 local children will make music with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra on March 3.

The third through fifth graders are students participating in Link Up, a collaborative music education program of the Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute, presented in partnership with the Flagstaff Unified School District and the Coconino County School System.

Students have fun interacting at the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra Link Up Concert in 2014.
Students have fun interacting at the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra Link Up Concert in 2014.

Link Up is connecting FSO with students at 15 Flagstaff and Coconino County schools by using an engaging hands-on curriculum.

Kids have fun while learning core musical concepts through listening, singing, playing the recorder and composing. Link Up started with the school year and is culminating with three interactive The Orchestra Moves concerts to accommodate its numerous participants. This year’s concerts show students different ways movement is incorporated in music.

Link Up Audience
The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra helps excite an audience of young musicians at the 2014 Link Up concert in Flagstaff.

“Teachers and schools are adapting Link Up to their unique needs, and some are integrating art and poetry with the program,” said Mary Nebel, chair of the FSO Education Committee. “Students love being a part of Link Up and the performance with the orchestra. Some students get so excited – they count the days until the concert.”

An enthusiastic master of ceremonies, symphony musicians, and large screens engage the student audiences with orchestra–oriented games, songs, and musician/instrument introductions. They also will join in with performances by the orchestra, singers, Can-Can dancers from Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, drumming with Sambatuque, a Flagstaff Brazilian Samba band, and more.

“Link Up brought the Flagstaff Symphony back into the lives of our students,” said Diane Immethun, who teaches third grade at Sturgeon Cromer Elementary School.

The Orchestra Moves concerts will take place on March 3 at Ardrey Memorial Auditorium on the Northern Arizona University campus. For information, go to, or call 928.774.5107.

About Link Up and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute

Link Up is a highly participatory program that pairs orchestras across the country with schools in their local communities, inviting students to learn about orchestral repertoire through a yearlong, hands-on music curriculum. Each year focuses on specific concepts, including rhythm, melody, tempo, orchestration and composition. Utilizing materials provided free of charge by WMI, teachers guide students in exploring music through a composer’s lens, with students participating in active music making in the classroom; performing repertoire on recorder, violin, voice, or body percussion; and taking part in creative work such as composing their own pieces inspired by the orchestral music they have studied.

The Weill Music Institute creates visionary programs that embody Carnegie Hall’s commitment to music education. With unparalleled access to the world’s greatest artists, the Weill Music Institute inspires audiences of all ages, nurtures tomorrow’s musical talent, and harnesses the power of music to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. An integral part of Carnegie Hall’s concert season, these programs facilitate creative expression, develop musical skills and capacities at all levels, and encourage participants to make lifelong personal connections to music. The Weill Music Institute generates new knowledge through original research and shares a wide range of free online resources with educators and music lovers around the globe.

“Breaking Boundaries” with a World Premiere

The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra will present its fourth concert of the 2014-2015 season with an appealing program featuring the world premiere of Bruce Reiprich’s Flowing Waters Caress Fallen Petal. Reiprich is a Flagstaff-based composer and professor of music theory and composition at Northern Arizona University.

Dr. Reiprich composed Flowing Waters Caress Fallen Petal for orchestra and piano on a request from Elizabeth Schulze, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Flagstaff Symphony. The piece is based on a piano solo of the same name composed for pianist Vicki Ray in 2010. Ray will also be the featured soloist with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra. Reiprich states that his composition is written “with a 21st century language that is tonal, and sometimes atonal with lots of color, texture, and experimental sounds.”

“Premiering a new piece of music is the most exciting and vital work an orchestra can be involved with,” said Christopher Barton, Executive Director of the Flagstaff Symphony. “Our audience will be the first to hear Bruce’s music realized and the first people who can carry it with them into the future.” Speaking about his hopes for the concert experience, Reiprich said “I encourage the audience to listen in a creative way and to find worthwhile adventure in listening and being open to new sounds.”

The opening piece on program is William Grant Still’s Festive Overture, a patriotic and uplifting work composed in 1944. Still is considered “The Dean” of African-American composers and his library and archives are housed in Flagstaff.

Completing the program will be Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, the Pastorale Symphony.  Composed and premiered in tandem with his iconic Fifth Symphony, Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony has been described as “radical” and a work the pushed through the contemporary boundaries of symphonic form and performance. Beethoven wrote the Pastorale with explicit programmatic notes that describe a sentimental and joyful day in the Viennese countryside.

The concert, titled Breaking Boundaries, will take place at Ardrey Memorial Auditorium on Friday, January 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available online through the NAU Central Ticket Office or by calling 928-523-5661. This program is the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra’s annual Percival Lowell Concert and is sponsored by Michael and Karen Kitt.

Kitt Family Endows Oboe Chair

When the Flagstaff Symphony opens its 65th season on Friday, September 26th, it will be with a newly named position within the Orchestra. Thanks to a generous endowment gift from Michael and Karen Kitt, the Principal Oboe chair has been named The Karen Kitt Endowed Oboe Chair.

“The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra is a truly remarkable organization” said Michael Kitt. “Karen and I decided to endow a chair because this provides a permanent source of income for the Symphony. Ultimately, if enough chairs were endowed, the continued existence of the Flagstaff Symphony would be assured for future generations. In addition, the orchestra is blessed with many extraordinarily talented musicians, and principal oboist Rebecca Kemper Scarnati is certainly one of them.”

L to R: Christopher Barton (FSO Executive Director), Michael Kitt, Karen Kitt, and Elizabeth Schulze (FSO Artistic Director and Conductor)
L to R: Christopher Barton (Executive Director), Michael Kitt, Karen Kitt, Elizabeth Schulze (FSO Artistic Director and Conductor)

The Karen Kitt Endowed Oboe Chair joins the Nadene Bean Endowed Cello Chair as a named position in the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra created by major gifts made to the FSO Endowment.

Please contact the Flagstaff Symphony Office at 928-774-5107 for more information about endowment and planned giving opportunities.