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Missouri Philharmonic Orchestra partners with local artists for 'A London Experience'

Cello2
Martin A. Lester
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A cello

The concert will begin Thursday night at 7:30 at The Barley House at Moon Town Crossing. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The Missouri Philharmonic Orchestra will give its first concert of the season the evening of Thursday, August 25.

The group's principal conductor Amy Andreassen talked with KSMU's Michele Skalicky about the orchestra and about the upcoming concert. You can play the interview by clicking the "Listen" button above. Below is a transcript lightly edited for clarity.

Q: Your group used to be called the Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra, for those who remember that group. Tell me about your orchestra.

A: Well, our orchestra is actually a new orchestra from what Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra was in that, since COVID happened, we've reorganized and have started over. And it's a reboot.

Q: You have several performances during the year—and one coming up this Thursday. We're going to talk about that here in just a moment—but I want to talk about the musicians in your group. They're at varying levels of ability. Tell me who's in your group.

A: Well, we have three representations: and those are the professionals, the amateurs, and the students. And so we have a good variety. And my goodness, if there's not potential in this town! The students, the amateurs, rise to a level above what anybody would necessarily expect. It's been really, really fun to work with everybody. And the professionals—they help me lead, and I love that.

Q: How often do you practice?

A: We are doing pretty much like what a civic orchestra would do, [in terms of] schedule. And that would be within approximately a week we do five rehearsals and then the performance.

Q: Can anyone audition or see you about being in your orchestra?

A: Absolutely. Contact me on—our web page, missouriphilharmonic.org, is a way to get ahold of me. And, yes, whether I choose to listen to a person who would like to play or not depends on what information I can gather. And that, too, listening to someone play would just be a way for me to get information about where to place them and the ability level we're working with.

Q: You're partnering with local artists this year for your concerts. Tell me how this partnership came about and how it works.

A: When I was inspired by the space we're performing in, the Barley House at Moon Town Crossing, I could see that venue as something for more than just music. And so I have asked several people that I know of that are artists... but also have had help from Lizzie Rasmussen, who's started her nonprofit for artists. And she's helped me. So we have several that are going to be represented: Heidi Herrman Bacon, who's an artist; Cullen Bunn, a writer; Rosie Winstead, an artist; Anna Bolt, an artist and then we have also Not'cho Ordinary Taco food truck. Come hungry.

Q: And the orchestra, the Missouri Philharmonic Orchestra, is going to be presenting "A London Experience." Tell me what pieces you're going to be performing.

A: We'll be playing "The Barber of Seville Overture" by Rossini, Hindemith's "Trauermusik," with Kathy Murray on viola as the soloist, Haydn's Symphony No. 104, which is called "London," and then Radetsky Marchn by Strauss. The reason why you can call it—you know, we've called it "A London Experience" is because of the two pieces— Haydn's Symphony No. 104 and Hindemith's "Trauermusik." Hindemith was in London at the time when he wrote that for the death of King George V.

Q: Again, the concert is this Thursday night. Where and what time will it be?

A: It'll be at the Barley House at Moon Town Crossing on the north side of town near 44 and Glenstone, and the whole experience will begin at 6:30 p.m. We play from 7:30 to 8:30 and then the evening will be done by 9:30.

Q: Is there a cost to attend?

A: There's not. It's really important to us and the ensemble to offer free performances, and we want to keep it like that. What we do ask for is donations at the door, but that shouldn't stop anybody from coming.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.