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 nau.edu/cto.



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

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

FSO Student Musician of the Month

The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra is pleased to recognize the talents of young student musicians in our community through the Student Musician of the Month (SMoM) program. Teachers who wish to nominate a student for this honor may do so with an application to the SMoM Committee.

Each student selected as an Flagstaff Symphony Student Musician of the Month receives tickets to attend a FSO concert with their family and is recognized in the Arizona Daily Sun and at a lunch meeting of the Flagstaff Exchange Club.

To download an application, click here.

News from the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra