Since September, I've been the conductor and musical director of the Anchorage Civic Orchestra. Although I've conducted four previous concerts with this ensemble, this is my first as its real director. It is the most important community arts responsibility I have ever had.
After our concert last spring, The Anchorage Daily News Arts Editor, Mike Dunham, wrote "[The Anchorage Civic Orchestra wrapped up] their season with a commendable performance of Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony, “Winter Dreams.” Philip Munger was listed in the program as 'interim conductor,' but he owned the orchestra in this reading and they owned the music. It ranked with the best playing I’ve heard from the group — and the piece is by no means easy music."
Well, I didn't "own" the ACO then, and don't own it now. I'm one of many members, and enjoy being part of this close orchestral musical community.
As we've prepared since September for this coming Friday's concert, we went through frustrations, as some of our better players got transferred by their employer out of state, or got busy in other arts ensembles, troupes or bands. Others got promoted - like Emily Weaver, into the oboe section of the Anchorage Symphony.
We're rebuilding. Until today's rehearsal, that rebuilding process was looking pretty sketchy. But the change in focus, delivery and musicality between last week's rehearsal and tonight's was remarkable, to say the least. What a band!
And our soloist - young Logan Bean. I am so happy to be re-introducing him to the Alaska classical music community, after his sojourn to the Interlochen High School Academy and conservatory. Haydn's Trumpet Concerto has never been served better than by this exciting trumpet virtuoso.
Come hear us Friday.
You'll be pleased.