Category Archives: FSO News

Charles Latshaw Named As New Music Director

Photo Credit: Dave Irvine

Link to Arizona Daily Sun Article

FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA (March 30th, 2017) – The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra has announced the appointment of Charles Latshaw as the new Music Director, beginning July 1. Latshaw will fill the vacancy left by Elizabeth Schulze, who is leaving after nine years of conducting the orchestra. Her final performance at the podium will be the April 21 concert at Ardrey Memorial Auditorium on the NAU campus.

Latshaw will be introduced to Flagstaff at the “Dancing For Our Stars” symphony gala dinner, dance and auction to be held Saturday, April 8, at High Country Conference Center. Five celebrity couples, including Mayor Coral Evans, will perform in a dance competition based on the popular TV dance show. Tickets for the event are still available by calling the NAU Central Ticket Office at 928-523-5661.

“I couldn’t possibly be happier about coming to Flagstaff,” Latshaw said. “When I was here for my audition week in October, every rehearsal, every meeting, every experience felt like the orchestra and I fit together perfectly. The FSO is a shining jewel in Northern Arizona, and I am so happy to be invited to be a part of its great legacy.” His first performance with the orchestra will be on September 29.

“We’re going to do so many amazing things together!” Latshaw said. “This orchestra is so strong, so vigorous, and such a vital part of the Flagstaff community.”

Currently the Music Director of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra (Colorado), until 2016 Latshaw was the director of the Kent/Blossom Music Festival (Ohio)and the Kent State University Orchestra. He previously served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra in Indiana. Latshaw has also held conducting positions with the Indianapolis Symphony, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Washington Sinfonietta, and Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra. He was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic as their Herbert von Karajan conducting fellow in 2007. He holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in instrumental conducting from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Latshaw is firmly dedicated to bringing orchestral music to new audiences, especially young people. Growing up in Ohio, he started playing trumpet in fifth grade. He has taught band, choir, general music, and musical theater to students of all ages. He has served as faculty for summer music programs, including the Rocky Ridge Music Center, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Strings Camp, and Palace Theatre summer programs. He has led “Side by Side” concerts for high school students with the Indianapolis Symphony, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra. He is also an enthusiastic advocate of accessible and exciting contemporary works.

Latshaw has held the position of principal trumpet in orchestras in Ohio, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. He has performed with jazz bands as a trumpet player, vocalist, and band leader. In addition, he has appeared in acting and singing roles with the Palace Professional Theater of Manchester and the New Hampshire State Opera. Performance tours have taken him to Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic, as well as across the United States.

Latshaw is an enthusiast of building and operating camera-equipped unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs), better known as drones. Along with his wife Kelley, an accountant and flutist, and their dog, Henry, he enjoys spending time in the woods, camping, hiking, and skiing.
FSO Board president Stan Sutherland chaired the Search Committee, which was composed of FSO musicians, board members, and leaders from the community. He said, “The committee started with a pool of over 100 applicants, and we gradually narrowed the field to 4 outstanding finalists.  During their audition weeks, they all performed at a very high level, and the final selection was difficult.  But one candidate stood out as being the best fit for our town, our orchestra, and our plans to expand the reach and impact of the FSO.  The Board is very pleased with the committee’s choice, and we are excited to welcome Charles to our Flagstaff family.”

Financial support for the search process was provided by the sponsorship of Flagstaff law firm Aspey, Watkins & Diesel, Northern Arizona’s Law Firm.

What is an “Audition Season”?

If you haven’t heard, the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra is in the process of hiring a new conductor!

After 9 fantastic years with us, Elizabeth Schulze, our current Artistic Director and Conductor, will be leaving our organization which begs the question: “who could possibly replace her?” Well, an “Audition Season” is how we find her replacement!

125 applicants were narrowed down to just 4 candidates. In order for us to truly understand the skills these candidates bring to the table we must interview them!  As you can imagine, this has to be much more than the standard interview process so what we’re doing is requiring each candidate to put on an entire concert.  We will have 6 concerts this season (not counting the Nutcracker) and 4 of these concerts will be a candidate auditioning for the job!

This is not something you get to see very often so attending these concerts will give you insight into the process as well as give you the opportunity to be a part of it.

 

What to Look For

The four audition concerts this season provide an unequalled opportunity to enjoy, evaluate and compare our four finalists. Everyone in the audience is essentially taking part in the process to choose our next conductor.  While this is not a popularity contest, with the audience having final say, the search committee will be interested in audience comments and will ask for feedback through questionnaires distributed at each performance.

So what should you look for in an audition concert?  How can you tell the strengths and weaknesses of a conductor? The League of American Orchestras has some suggestions.

First of all, the conductor’s gestures and baton technique will give you some pretty basic information about how effectively the conductor is communicating with the orchestra.  Is the conductor able to motivate and elicit the best efforts of the musicians?

Does his or her podium presence enhance the quality of music-making?  Don’t be too concerned about conducting style, if you are seeing and hearing a fine performance. Some highly effective conductors throughout history have been known for their eccentric styles.

The most important thing is to trust your instincts about what you are hearing.  How does the music affect you? Is it alive with character, emotion, and feeling? Listen for orchestral intonation, timing, balance and color. Can you distinguish the soloists? Are you fully engaged with the performance?

Of course, a concert performance tells only part of the story of how effective a conductor will be. It shows you the results of the rehearsal process, but doesn’t show you how those results were obtained during rehearsals. During those sessions the conductor focuses on technical details, coaxes perfection from each player, and communicates his or her interpretation of the emotional content of a wide range of music. The conductor is responsible for the total effect of the musical piece, from the quietest solo to the grandest finale.

The Music Director search, however, is more than a conducting competition. The search committee is looking at many criteria besides the candidate’s proven ability to provide a top-notch performance experience.  Does the candidate possess a thorough knowledge of the orchestral repertoire and performance traditions?  Has he or she developed the musical and personal leadership needed to audition and select orchestral players, assign seating, and select solo players? Does the candidate exhibit understanding of and sensitivity to the musicians’ points of view?

All these questions and more are considered by the search committee, which receives as much input as possible from the players, board members, audience, donors and administrative staff. In the end, a momentous decision must be made, one which will affect the excellence and direction of our orchestra for years to come.

Enjoy this unique opportunity to see and hear four individual conductors and experience their unique skills and talents. It’s a Symphonic Fan-Fare!

Subscribe today for the best seats at the best discount!

Call 928.523.5661

Subscribe to Season 67

Experience five conductors in one unforgettable season of Symphonic Fan-Fare!

If you were already planning to attend 3 or more concerts this season why not buy those tickets in advance at a discount? Subscribers save 20% off single ticket prices.

Buying a season subscription is a great way to save. Subscription seats are discounted and guarantee you a seat during this highly anticipated “Audition Season.”

If you wish to place a subscription to the upcoming 2016-2017 season, please call the box office at 928-523-5661. Online ordering will be available soon!

(Click the image below to download a PDF of this season’s brochure)

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Symphonic Fan-Fare, the 67th season of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, promises to be enticing, energizing and interactive!

Join us to fondly bid adieu to Maestra Elizabeth Schulze after nine years of her outstanding artistic direction, as she conducts the first and closing concerts of the 2016/17 season.

Whose pacesetting vision will next shape the orchestra for the seasons to come? Engage in the exciting process of “auditioning” the four final candidates for our next Music Director by attending a momentous line-up of the remaining concerts. Orchestra fans will love the fare as each candidate conducts a well-loved symphony from the classical repertoire. Audience members will also have occasions to meet these fine musicians as they share their individual talents with northern Arizona’s premier orchestra.

 

Subscribe today for the best seats at the best discount!

 

FSO Job Opportunity: Executive Director

The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra is accepting applications for the position of Executive Director.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Reporting to the Board of Directors through the Executive Committee, the Executive Director is responsible for managing the human and financial resources of the Flagstaff Symphony Association (FSA) in order to achieve the organization’s mission “to enrich, engage, and inspire our community through the performance of orchestral music.” The Executive Director implements policy as set by the Board and is responsible and accountable for all aspects of the organization.

  • Planning. Participate in development and implementation of a strategic plan that supports the FSA artistic, financial, and community engagement objectives and current and long-range plan for personnel and structure.
  • Board of Directors. Advise Board on matters within Executive Director’s scope of responsibilities. Attend all Board committee meetings, providing administrative support and facilitating communication and coordination. Help identify, recruit, and orient qualified candidates for Board membership. Regularly meet with President and provide written report for Board of Directors’ meetings.
  • Fundraising and Development. Ensure effective communication with FSA constituencies to achieve the public service objectives of the organization. Assist Board of Directors in all fund-raising activities. Supervise the preparation of grants and cultivate relationships with granting agencies. Ensure all donations are acknowledged and accurate and complete records kept; oversee patron database. Direct advocacy activities, monitor legislative activity that affects orchestra, and advise Board.
  • Artistic Administration. In collaboration with the Music Director/Conductor and Artistic Advisory Committee, develop, implement, and monitor FSA’s artistic objectives, the selection of guest artists and conductors, and programs. Negotiate contracts for guest artists, supervise their travel, hospitality needs, and attend rehearsals and concerts.
  • Concert Production. Develop and implement annual master plan for orchestra operations. Ensure that equipment, instruments, licenses, and permits are obtained and that rehearsals and concerts are properly staffed. With Board and Music Director/Conductor, seek new opportunities for performances.
  • Marketing and Promotion. With Marketing Committee and Staff, develop and implement annual marketing plan to maximize attendance and revenue. Build and maintain good relationships with local media.
  • Finance. With Finance Committee, prepare annual budget, monitor expenditures, and prepare projections on income and expense and cash flow. Monitor monthly preparation of Financial Statements and accounts payable and receivable. Supervise bookkeeper, grant expenditures, and reports and cooperate with auditors. Ensure IRS filings made as required.
  • Administrative. Recruit, select, supervise, evaluate, discipline, and terminate administrative staff. Responsible for correspondence, record retention, insurance, benefits program, payroll records, and office maintenance.
  • Musicians. With Music Director/Conductor, oversee the musician hiring process, ensure implementation of the Orchestra Policy, and maintain a positive working relationship with musicians.
  • Education. With Music Director/Conductor and Education Committee, recommend and oversee planning and implementation of education/engagement programs and maintain positive relationships with schools.
  • Flagstaff Symphony Guild. Maintain a high level of communication, trust, and involvement to enhance and support their programs.

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Proven leadership ability and measurable experience in fund-raising and resource development, marketing, public relations, and audience development.
  • Excellent financial management and budgeting skills, as well as knowledge of particular reporting requirements for nonprofit organizations.
  • Experience working in a management position with a professional orchestra or comparable nonprofit organization.
  • Working knowledge of orchestral music, production, and operations.
  • Superb interpersonal skills and an ability to communicate persuasively the importance of orchestral music in the community.
  • Thorough understanding of issues and challenges facing symphony orchestras, especially in small-to-medium sized communities.
  • A management style that emphasizes consensus-building and the importance of teamwork.

COMPENSATION:

Full-time salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.

BENEFITS:

Benefit package includes health insurance and paid holidays and vacation.

ORGANIZATION/ORCHESTRA DESCRIPTION:

In 1950, the Northern Arizona Orchestra played its first concert in the gymnasium at Northern Arizona University. On May 29, 1961, articles of incorporation were filed with the state of Arizona declaring the Flagstaff Symphony Association a nonprofit corporation. About to begin its 67th season, the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra continues a long and fruitful relationship with NAU and the Flagstaff community. It has also grown dramatically since that first concert in the gym into a fully professional orchestra, comprised of musicians who come together from diverse backgrounds to form an impressive and exciting ensemble capable of performing a variety of musical styles and repertoire.

Music Director/Conductor Elizabeth Schulze begins her ninth and final season in 2016-2017, leading performances with superb musical sense and attention to excellence. The search for a new Music Director/Conductor is in its final phase with four candidates guest conducting during the upcoming season. Behind the scenes, the staff and Board of Directors work to ensure the stability and ongoing development of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra and meet its mission to enrich, engage, and inspire our community through the performance of orchestral music. Last year more than 3,900 students in northern Arizona participated with the FSO in Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program, a year-long curriculum culminating in three interactive concerts with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.

Flagstaff and the surrounding region offer an inspirational combination of natural wonders, cultural traditions, and rich artistic life. This four-season community of 68,000 residents is situated at 7,000 feet on the Colorado Plateau at the base of the majestic San Francisco Peaks in the largest contiguous Ponderosa pine forest in North America. Nearby attractions include the Grand Canyon, Sedona red rocks, Painted Desert/Petrified Forest, and the Navajo and Hopi reservations.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

Review of applications will begin on July 1, 2016, and will continue until the position is filled.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:

Submit a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications for the duties and responsibilities of the position, a résumé including names and contact information for at least five professional references, and a salary history and future requirements. All applications will be treated as confidential. Email submissions to EDsearch@flagstaffsymphony.org are preferred.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

FSO Executive Director Search Committee
Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra
PO Box 122
Flagstaff, AZ 86002
phone: 928-774-5107
fax: 928-774-5109
www.flagstaffsymphony.org

FSO Announces Resignation of Executive Director

The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra (FSO) has announced the resignation of Executive Director Christopher Barton, effective July 15. Barton will leave the FSO to become the Executive Director of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Orlando, FL.

“It is with mixed feelings that we say goodbye to Chris,” said Helen Hudgens Ferrell, President-elect of the FSO Board of Directors. “He has provided significant leadership and built strong relationships in our community during his time with the FSO. He will be missed. We see this as a great professional opportunity for him and wish him well.”

During Barton’s tenure with the FSO he worked to improve marketing and fundraising operations, to raise the organization’s profile in the community, and in partnership with Artistic Director and Conductor Elizabeth Schulze, to expand the orchestra’s programming.

“I’ve truly enjoyed my creative collaboration with Chris,” said Schulze. “He is a wonderful colleague with a brilliant future.” The 2016-2017 season will be Schulze’s ninth and final season as Artistic Director and Conductor of the FSO. The season, titled “Symphonic Fan-Fare,” will also feature four guest conductors being considered in the search for her successor.

Barton was named the Executive Director of the FSO in January, 2014. He moved to Flagstaff from his home state of North Carolina where he worked for the College of Arts and Architecture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and previously as Operations Manager and Artistic Administrator with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.

“I am incredibly proud of the FSO and grateful to this community for the many ways it supports its orchestra,” said Barton. “It has been an honor and privilege to work with Elizabeth Schulze, the FSO musicians, our Board of Directors, volunteers, and staff. Flagstaff has been wonderful to me and my family and we will miss it very much.”

The FSO Board has established an Executive Director Search Committee and will begin the process of filling the position immediately.

Barton will join the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra as it begins its 24th season and its second with Music Director Eric Jacobsen.

FSO Music Director Candidates Announced

The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra has announced four finalists in the search for its next Music Director.

The finalists, selected from more than 120 applications, are Darko Butorac of Missoula, Montana; Charles Latshaw of Kent, Ohio; Daniel O’Bryant of Flagstaff; and Lidiya Yankovskaya of New York City. Each finalist will spend a week in Flagstaff to rehearse and conduct a concert with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra (FSO) in the 2016-2017 season.

CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION.

ABOUT THE FINALISTS

Darko ButoracButorac thumbnail is the Music Director of both the Tallahassee and Missoula Symphony Orchestras. He served as the Director of Orchestras at Northern Arizona University from 2004-2008, and has performed extensively at the Aspen Music Festival and Brevard Music Center. Butorac is the Grand Prix laureate of the Fourth International Vakhtang Jordania Conducting Competition.

 

Latshaw, Charles

Charles Latshaw is the director of the Kent/Blossom Music Festival and the Kent State University Orchestra. He previously served as artistic director and conductor of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra in Indiana. Latshaw has also held conducting positions with the Indianapolis Symphony, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Washington Sinfonietta, and Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra. In 2007 he was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic as the Herbert von Karajan conducting fellow.

O'Bryant thumbnailDaniel O’Bryant currently serves as the Director of Orchestras at Northern Arizona University. His prior appointments include Music Director of the Heartland Symphony, Associate Conductor of the St. Cloud Symphony, Assistant Conductor of the Salt Lake Opera Company, and Director of Orchestras at St. Cloud State University. O’Bryant was the founding director of both the Utah County Chamber Players and the St. Cloud State University Youth Orchestra.

Yankovskaya thumbnailLidiya Yankovskaya currently serves as Artistic Director with Juventas New Music Ensemble, Music Director with Commonwealth Lyric Theater, and as a conductor with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. She served as a Conducting Fellow under Lorin Maazel, former Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, at his Castleton Festival. Yankovskaya’s performances have been awarded the American Prize and the National Opera Association Award, and she has been named part of Marin Alsop’s Taki Concordia Fellowship program.

FSO MUSIC DIRECTOR SEARCH FACT SHEET

In June 2015, Elizabeth Schulze announced she would conclude her tenure as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra in April 2017 at the end of the 2016-17 season.

Maestra Schulze began her tenure in 2008. Upon stepping down in 2017 she will have been the artistic leader of the FSO for nine seasons.

The FSO formed its Music Director search committee in August 2015. The committee consists of 12 members, including FSO musicians, board members, and community leaders.

The FSO received more than 120 applications for the Music Director position. The search committee identified four finalists through a thorough process that included review of application materials, videos of candidates conducting, and interviews.

On February 1, 2016 the FSO announced four finalist candidates who will conduct the orchestra during the 2016-17 season. The guest conductors will each be in Flagstaff for a concert week in October, January, February, and March.

Programs for the 2016-17 season will be discussed, planned, and agreed upon by the candidates and search committee.

The FSO plans to announce the 7th Music Director of the Flagstaff Symphony in spring 2017 at the conclusion of the four candidate concerts.

FSO Annual Gala

April 2nd, 2016 – Save the Date!

Please save the date for the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra Season 66 Gala! Join us for an evening of fine dining, dancing to live music, auctions and games, all to support the FSO mission: “To enrich, engage, and inspire our community through the performance of orchestral music.”

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If you got our newsletter in your email inbox but the images aren’t showing then look for the “show images” link at the top of the email.

This may be your first time getting email from our new service which means fixing that setting this first time.

See you at the “Season 66” Gala!

Purchase Tickets 

 

Flagstaff Symphony: New Music for America

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We often overlook the hard work that goes into the composition of music and the days consumed by great composers writing and being tormented by their craft. These long hours created the classics we enjoy and you have the opportunity to be a part of that process by donating to our crowdfund campaign.

Most classical music was written in an age when wealthy benefactors would comission a new piece by choosing from great composers, many of whom were alive at the same time. Today, the opportunity of patronage is available to all who enjoy the arts through crowdfunding. By taking part in our Indiegogo campaign you will be a co-commissioner in the creation of new music, in our era, by Christopher Theofanidis called “Dreamtime Ancestors”

On January 29th, 2015 the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra will perform the Arizona premiere of “Dreamtime Ancestors”, a musical piece funded by people like you and by 48 other orchestras across the United States through a program called “New Music for America.”

Please consider supporting our goal. Visit our campaign and see what perks we have to offer.

Part Four: The Concerto

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A favorite showpiece for virtuoso violinists, the Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77 by Johannes Brahms was written in collaboration with a longtime friend, the great Hungarian violinist Joseph Joachim. Both men participated in its premiere, Brahms as conductor, in Leipzig on January 1, 1879.

It is not known when Brahms began work on his only violin concerto, but we do know that he finished the first draft during the summer of 1878 in southern Austria, where he found inspiration in the sunny climate. Brahms, who was not a string player, turned to his friend Joachim for advice, writing, “You should correct it, not sparing the quality of the composition. . . I shall be satisfied if you will mark those parts which are difficult, awkward, or impossible to play.” The violinist complied, starting a lengthy correspondence concerning violin technique and virtuosic touches which continued until the concerto’s premiere.

Some listeners were skeptical of the new piece, believing its virtuosity would be beyond the abilities of most violinists. The symphonic scale of the concerto was difficult for audiences and critics to absorb readily. One observer, conductor and pianist Hans von Bülow, famously asserted that it was a concerto not for but “against the violin.” Decades later, the violinist Bronislaw Huberman would trump that line by saying that the Brahms concerto is not against the violin, but is instead a concerto for violin against orchestra — and the violin wins.

Brahms’s original orchestration was for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, strings, and solo violin. The concerto has 3 movements and is beloved for its lyrical melodies and rich orchestration.

The first movement is on an epic scale. Brahms seems to emulate Beethoven somewhat, as that composer’s violin concerto also features a first movement lasting more than twenty minutes with a broad tempo. Also like Beethoven, he did not compose a solo cadenza for the first movement, leaving that task to Joachim, after the standard chord and pause in the orchestra. By calling upon the soloist to extemporize, Brahms made it the last great concerto in history requiring the soloist to do so. Since then a number of soloists have written their own cadenzas, among them Rachel Barton Pine, who will perform hers during the FSO concert on September 25.

Surprisingly, in the second movement Adagio, Brahms introduced the main theme in the voice of the oboe, which greatly annoyed some virtuoso violinists, who had to cede the spotlight  for an extended oboe solo.  One 19th-century violinist so objected to this that he refused to play the work. Joachim, however, recognized that the oboe passage provided an appropriate contrast with the violin and did not protest. The pastoral theme begins in a setting of woodwinds led by the oboe. The violin enters later, ornamenting the theme over a string accompaniment. The calm ambiance gives way to a stormy middle section which eventually returns to the pastoral setting.

The concerto ends with a vigorous Andante finale of great lyricism and rhythmic drive.  Its unmistakable “gypsy” flavor is a nod to Joachim’s Hungarian roots. This great concerto is a tribute to Joachim, to whom the concerto is fittingly dedicated.

Familiar photographs of Brahms in grand later life portray his enormous beard, broad waist, piercing gaze and ever-present cigar.  But Brahms first began to grow his famous whiskers in 1878, so we must imagine him as beardless with long swept-back hair while he composed the violin concerto.

Rachel Barton Pine performs the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra on September 25th at the NAU Ardrey Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased by telephone at (928) 523-5661 or online at the NAU Central Ticketing Office.

Can’t wait for tomorrow’s concert? Treat yourself to a ‘Best of Brahms‘ video. See you tomorrow night at Ardrey!