Western Piedmont Symphony Kicks Off 2018 Spring Season

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The Western Piedmont Symphony of Hickory, NC is bringing folks together in 2018 for another year of musical enrichment and classical joy.  Whether you’re new to the North Carolina mountain communities, or whether your roots go back generations, there’s nothing better for the soul than a live musical performance.  These scenic mountains are home to a wide array of artists, and the WPS has successfully gathered some of the most talented musical performers to bring magical concerts to audiences from the very young to the very old.

If you live in one of the enticing gated communities near Asheville NC, the accomplishments of WPS are certainly known and cherished. The organization was founded back in 1964 and its very first rehearsal sounded its notes on the Lenoir-Rhyne University campus.  In time WPS took off, expanding with the Western Piedmont Youth Symphony, and of course the Western Piedmont String Quartet.  It’s no wonder so many have selected this vibrant region as the best place to retire in North Carolina.

The importance of friends, family and neighbors are the core of the North Carolina mountain communities, so it was a natural evolution for WPS to launch its Family Concert Series in 1988.  Another favorite event takes place every third year—a twelve-month Battle of the Bows to determine which quartet will secure a three-year residency.  Frye Street Quartet was the first quartet, the Degas Quartet was next, followed by La Catrina Quartet and the Kontras Quartet.  This year marks the last year of the amazing Tesla Quartet—if you have not yet experienced the auditorium filled with their music, don’t miss out on this years concerts.  This year also marks the last year of Maestro Ross’ beloved run as Music Director and Conductor.

WPS is just one of the many undeniable attractions that make this region the best place to retire in North Carolina.  Their mission is a special one—“to provide musical performances of distinction that enrich and enliven the community’s classical music experience; and to nourish new audiences through school concerts and family outreach programs.”  The gated communities near Asheville NC have benefitted from over five decades of fine classical music performed by gifted and trained guest musicians and orchestra members.  This is the place to gather, whether you are celebrating another year of your own music appreciation or introducing a young grandchild to an age-old tradition. 

Each year the WPS produces five Masterworks Concerts, four Chamber Classics Concerts, two Soup, Salad & Strings Concerts, two Youth Symphony Concerts and many worthwhile community engagement, pops and outdoor concerts.  This 53rd season will be one to mark on your calendar.  Some of what’s musically noteworthy:

MASTERWORKS CONCERT SERIES

Masterworks III—Heavy Metal

• February 3, 2018

• Time: 7:30 PM

• PE Monroe Auditorium; Lenoir-Rhyne University

  • Tickets:  $22-$42

Program:  “Machine” (Higdon); Concerto #4 in G Major (Beethoven); “The Foundry” (Mosolov); “The Infernal Machine” (Rouse); “Pacific 231” (Honnegar)

Notes on Program: Guest Artist, “Greg Knight is one of our favorite soloists for several reasons. WPS welcomes back the internationally recognized and award-winning pianist for a night you’ll not soon forget!”  Higdon, both Pulitzer and Grammy winner, wrote the energetic Machine “as an encore tribute to composers like Mozart and Tchaikovsky, who seemed to be able to write so many notes and so much music that it seems like they were machines!” The premiere was given by The National Symphony Orchestra. Concerto #4 in G Major is a surprising departure in style and composed in 1805 while Napoleon was conquering the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Zavad was written in the 1920s and reminiscent of Stravinsky. The Infernal Machine was composed by Rouse in 1981 and has been heard by various orchestras internationally. Pacific 231 was written in 1892 and was inspired by the composer’s love for locomotives.

Masterworks IV:  Homecoming

• March 3, 2018

• Time:  7:30 PM

• PE Monroe Auditorium; Lenoir-Rhyne University

• Tickets:  $22-42

Program: Meditation (Williams); Violin Concerto in D minor (Schumann); Symphony #2 in B minor (Borodin)

Notes on Program: Guest Artists: Dmitri Pogorelov, Violin; featured artists: James & Sally Fanjoy-Labrenz. The  inspirational “Meditation” was written in1992 for Shenandoah University’s Easter celebration. The Violin Concerto in D minor was written in 1855 by Schumann and is a vibrant and varied work. Symphony #2 in B minor was completed in 1877 and was inspired by warriors, minstrels and ancient tribal instruments.

Masterworks V:  Ode to Joy!  Beethoven’s 9th

• April 14, 2018

• Time:  7:30 PM

• PE Monroe Auditorium; Lenoir-Rhyne University

• Tickets:  $22-42

Program:  Overture to “Consecration of the House” Op. 124 (Beethoven); Symphony #9 in D minor, Op. 125 (Beethoven)

Notes on Program:  Guest Artists:  WPS Orchestra, Hickory Choral Society, LR Acapella Choir & CVCC Chamber Ensemble.  “Fittingly, Maestro John Gordon Ross began and will end his Symphony career at WPS with the powerful Beethoven’s 9th. Combining our award-winning orchestra with the Hickory Choral Society will bring joy to all for Maestro’s final Masterworks.” Overture to “Consecration of the House” Op. 124 was written in 1822 and received thunderous applause for its lively and majestic chords.  Symphony #9 in D minor, Op. 125 is Beethoven’s expression of joy through suffering and was first performed in 1824.

CHAMBER CLASSIC SERIES

Chamber Classics III:  Past & Present

  February 17, 2018

• Time:  7:30 PM

• Drendel Auditorium on the Salt Block

• Tickets:  $22-$32

Program:  Madrigals (Gesualdo) arr. Snyder; String Quartet No. 4 “Ritratto di Gesualdo” (Pintscher); String Quartet in D major (Respighi)

“The Tesla Quartet will once again mesmerize our audiences with their exceptional talent and energy!”

Chamber Classics IV:  Tenebrae

• March 31, 2018

• Time:  7:30 PM

• Drendel Auditorium on the Salt Block

• Tickets:  $22-$32

Program:  Tenebrae (Golijov); Sonata for Violin and Cello (Ravel); String Quartet in G major, K.387 “Spring” (Mozart)

“The Tesla Quartet will once again mesmerize our audiences with their exceptional talent and energy!”

SOUP, SALAD & STRINGS SERIES

“Join us for lunch – amazing performances by the award-winning Tesla Quartet and delicious food provided by Cafe Rule & Wine Bar. The WPS Soup, Salad & Strings series provides great daytime performances, catered lunch and fabulous fun! Ticket price includes lunch, complimentary wine or beer, dessert & performance.”

Soup, Salad & Strings II

• April 6, 2018

• Time:  11:45 AM

• Keiser Community Room on the Salt Block

• Tickets:  $35

An incredible daytime performance in an intimate setting.

WPS owes a great deal of its success to all the devoted volunteers who reside in the North Carolina mountain communities.  There are countless enjoyable and fulfilling ways to be involved with WPS and help bring music into the lives of those who live in the gated communities near Asheville NC.  If you’d like more info on volunteering contact: Box Office:  (828) 324-8603; tickets@wpsymphony.org; Monday-Friday 10-2; 243 3rd Ave NE # 1N; Hickory, NC 28601

Residents at The Coves Mountain River Club know first-hand why this is the best place to retire in North Carolina.  There is just so much to cherish and so much to enjoy throughout all four seasons of the year–whether you’ve built your own custom mountain home chock full of mountain charm, or chosen the idyllic new home of your dreams.  Folks at The Coves understand how to make the most of every day from sun up to sun down.  The outdoors is enticing no matter the season, and the lively towns offer all you need from down-home cooking to the finest in entertainment.  Be sure to visit us and discover the dream life for yourself.

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