Category Archives: FSO News

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.”

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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



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.


“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.

Single Tickets on Sale

Single tickets to the 2014–15 Flagstaff Symphony concert season are now on sale through the NAU Central Ticket Office. Order online  or by phone: 928.523.5661

Subscription packages offer a savings of up to 20% off single ticket prices and are available through the first concert of the season, Symphonic Synthesis, on Friday, September 26th!

Pianists Rita Borden and Janice ChenJu Cheng
Pianists Rita Borden and Janice ChenJu Chiang will perform “Carnival of the Animals” on September 26th.  Photo by Betsey Bruner