Conductor Nick Wallin chats with Principal Clarinetist Jason Rose about current activities and playing with the Mid-Columbia Symphony. Principal Clarinetist is an important seat in an orchestra, as Nick and Jason explain. Jason tells us about growing up in Kennewick, teaching music at our local high schools, and some of his favorite experiences playing in the Symphony. The link to the video is here.

New to our archived recordings page is an April 1975 performance by Leona Mitchell, the iconic African-American opera singer who was a leading soprano with the Metropolitan Opera of New York for 18 seasons. She made her professional debut in San Francisco in 1973 and her Metropolitan Opera debut in New York on December 15, 1975, so the performance is at the very start of her career. In this recording, she performs songs from La boheme, Madame Butterfly, Manon Lescaut, and Porgy and Bess. Find this on our archived recordings page, here. Enjoy!

The Mid-Columbia Youth Orchestra is the premier youth symphony program in the Mid-Columbia region and is the educational arm of the Mid-Columbia Symphony. In 2015, after several years of hiatus, the Youth Symphony was revived under the direction of Adrienne Fletcher. We are unable to meet in person this Fall but we have been busy connecting and learning virtually. We are discovering and analyzing great works of literature together, we are developing our listening and theory skills, and we are keeping each other engaged and inspired to make music on and off the screen. Read all about it in the Director’s  note here.

The Mid-Columbia Symphony Board has been working with the Arts Center Task Force to set up live video streaming! This will allow us to broadcast live musical performances by the Symphony to help fill the need of both the audiences and the musicians in these times of social distancing. These live performances will also be available afterwards as video recordings on our website. We will be setting up trial streams in October in anticipation of making streaming performances widely available in November and December. Stay tuned!

We added two interesting videos to our Video Message page. A striking video shows the reality of socially-distanced orchestras: see the Parallax Orchestra play familiar excerpts from classical pieces. And we direct you to a delightful, facetious video presented by Classic FM Digital Radio. An ensemble of animated woodland creatures gathers under a full moon one night to sing a Bellini anthem in a gorgeous short film by Illogic Studios and Bloom Pictures.

At the Mid-Columbia Symphony Society annual meeting in August, the 2020-2021 budget was approved with a fundraising goal of $100,000.  During normal times, when we perform five live concerts, the budget outlay is around $250,000.  In addition to paying the service fees of the orchestra musicians and the cost of rental music, there are substantial costs incurred just to keep our non-profit organization running.  These include the salaries of Dr. Nicholas Wallin, Youth symphony director Ms. Adrienne Shields, and Operations manager, Kristy Sandidge-Fargher.  Additionally, there are the costs of state and federal taxes, unemployment and liability insurance, and the costs of renting the MCS office in the MacHunter building, copier rental, membership fees, licensing fees, internet fees, storage fees, etc.  For the past month, these costs amounted to about $10,000.

So, the fundraising goal of $100,000 will pay just for 10 months of maintaining the symphony’s non-profit status.  This will allow the resumption of producing live classical music when Covid-19 restrictions are removed.

Look on our Video Messages page for Dr. Wallin’s recommendations for classical music selected for Halloween and for Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Here is his list of music:

For Halloween, he recommends from the program of the Mid-Columbia Symphony performances on November 1, 2014 and November 2, 2019,
Camille Saint-Saëns – Danse Macabre
Edvard Grieg – “In the Hall of the Mountain King” from Peer Gynt
Malcolm Arnold – Tam o’ Shanter – Overture
Franz Liszt – Totentanz for Piano and Orchestra
Modest Mussorgsky – Night on Bald Mountain
Hector Berlioz – “March to the Scaffold” and “Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath”
from Symphonie Fantastique
Charles Gounod – Funeral March of a Marionette
Andrew Lloyd Weber – Phantom of the Opera (selections)
Bernard Hermann – Movie music from Psycho
Jerry Brubaker (arranged by) – Movie music from Harry Potter
Hans Zimmer – Movie music from Batman: The Dark Night Rises

And he recommends this less-familiar music,
Sergei Rachmaninoff – Isle of the Dead
Frans Liszt – Inferno, from Dante Symphony
Antonín Dvořák – Water Goblin
Ruth Crawford Seeger – Andante for Strings
Gustav Mahler – Scherzo from Symphony No. 7 (Song of the Night)

For Día de Muertos, he recommends
José Pablo Moncayo – Huapango
Arturo Máarquez – Danzón No. 2, Conga del Fuego