Guest pianist Spencer Myer opens the new season tonight with Maestro Wilkins in Beethoven and Bernstein. Myer lives in New York but started making his connection to the symphony growing up in Cleveland.
This Friday and Saturday mark the start of the Omaha Symphony's "MasterWorks" series. Pianist Spencer Myer stops by the studios to chat with Mike Hogan about being featured on Bernstein's Symphony No. 2, "The Age of Anxiety" and the thrill of his first concert at The Holland Center.
In the 2017-18 season, which spanned 38 weeks from September 2017 through June 2018 and encompassed 55 concerts, paid attendance for Omaha Symphony performances at the Holland Performing Arts Center and Joslyn Art Museum was 70,261 - a new record. This is an 8.2% increase over last season. Including attendance at education programs, community engagement events, and free concerts, more than 121,000 people attended the Omaha Symphony in 2017-18.
Johnson: “I grew up in a place where there weren’t orchestras around every street corner and it wasn’t accessible. When I first heard an orchestra as a teenager, my world changed. The sound, in fact, just the tuning note of the orchestra was unlike anything I had ever heard. And then of course, the music these musicians made, un-amplified, acoustic music, nothing in between the listener and the instrumentalist and a conductor to shape the sound, that changed my world.”
Singer and actor Vanessa Williams has been in theatrical films, Broadway shows and television series. She has had numerous top-10 hits. She’s been nominated for Grammys, Tonys and Emmys, among other honors. She performs live concerts in large halls and more intimate settings.
She’s proud of her accomplishments. What she enjoys the most about her career, however, is the folks she meets along the way.
Principal Pops conductor, Ernest Richardson leads the Omaha Symphony, the vocal group, Resonance and Broadway singers this weekend in celebrating Bernstein’s Broadway! They’re performing a lot of his music this year in honor of his centennial, a great time to reflect on his influence.
Wyclef: “This is a space I look forward to owning with all of the musicians that are coming up and that feels like, “Yo, where’s our space?”. Well, you found your space, now you’re part of the hip hop symphonic. This is the most important tone as we move towards legacy and I’m happy that I was one of those chosen to lead this chart and I plan to take the bull by the horn and run with it.”
Wyclef Jean used to be an outlier.
Now his template for mixing styles — pop with hip-hop, singing with rap — is commonplace. And in the ultimate hip-hop salute, the Grammy-winning rapper’s music is being sampled for new songs.
Carlos Santana and Jean’s “Maria Maria” has been sampled by DJ Khaled and Rihanna for the song “Wild Thoughts,” and Young Thug released a tribute song called “Wyclef Jean.”
Omaha, NE—Omaha symphony is reuniting with Temple Israel this weekend for a free symphonic and choral concert, Tradition to Tradition. The concert will feature the Temple Israel choir, with Cantor Wendy Shermet as a soloist, concertmaster of Omaha Symphony, Susanna Perry Gilmore playing works for solo violin, and the San Diego Jewish Men’s Choir.
We sat down for our annual chat with Ernest Richardson and the principal singers from this year's Physician's Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration. We learned what's new and were introduced to two new singers.
Omaha, NE—Omaha Symphony celebrates the holidays this week with their annual Physicians Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration, conducted by Ernest Richardson and choreographed by Parker Esse. Each year, the Symphony puts on a show of seasonal favorites, like “O Holy Night,” “Be a Santa,” and “Sleigh Ride.” Not just a concert, the Christmas Celebration is a fully staged, scripted and choreographed spectacle.
If not for a mother and daughter, the Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration wouldn’t have clever reindeer outfits and towering Christmas trees.
Linda Runice is the costume designer for the orchestra’s annual holiday spectacular, and her oldest child, Chanda Hestwood, is the props master. They spend much of their holiday season in the wings and backstage at the Holland Center, making sure the concert runs like a well-oiled sleigh.
MORETTI: “I’m Steve Moretti. I am a drummer, percussionist and producer. Gosh, I’ve been doing this Symphonic Pops world now with Mr. Catingub for almost 20 years. Prior to the symphony stuff with Matt we were in Rosemary Clooney’s band for the last four or five years of her life and played with a variety of artist and aside from doing that I do some producing in a variety of styles of music. Recently, Matt and I started our own orchestra in Macon, Georgia, the Macon Pops.”
“I think that a piece of music, in our minds, one that we know very well, is like a house that we live in. So, the more pieces of music you have, the more homes you feel you are inhabiting. It’s in your memory….
You know the rooms, the turn here, there’s an architecture. The comfort of a piece of music which is from beginning to end, bottom to top, there is this perfect structure. Music helps us feel like there is nothing missing there.”
Chances are you weren’t at Judy Garland’s epic concert at Carnegie Hall in 1961.
You can get a glimpse of what happened that night this weekend at “The Judy Garland Songbook,” an Omaha Symphony Pops series event.
One of our most fun visits "In The Studio" every year...the cast from the Physicians Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration. Ernest Richardson, Kevin Voortman, Siri Howard-Quinlan, Tiffany Haas, and Graham Rowat came in to chat about life and this year's new show.
Omaha's holiday tradition is back and better than ever before! The Physicians Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration brings Broadway singers, dancers, and memorable holiday songs. Performances continue at the Holland Performing Arts Center stage through this weekend! We'll learn more about the show and enjoy a live performance!
It was billed as a master class on music.
Members of the Boys Town Voices sang side-by-side Tuesday with seven Broadway performers in the Music Hall on campus. The professional singers, in town for the Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration, joined the 41-member choir on “O Holy Night,” offering an audio-visual tutorial on expression and breath control and sharing a few thoughts about the song.
After that, in a revealing question-and-answer session, it morphed into a master class on life.