Connection Concerts

 

With the concert hall empty, our musicians are turning to what they do best – providing a connection through musical performance. Please enjoy these home performances and favorite selections from past concerts!

 

 

Duke Ellington’s Far East Suite

May 15, 2021 | 7:00 pm

Babcock Theater

Experience Duke Ellington’s 1968 Grammy Award-winning Far East Suite as performed by the Rocky Mountain Jazz Collective.

Bibimbap Trio – Philip Aaberg

May 6, 2021 | 7:00 pm

Billings Depot

Grammy- and Emmy-nominated composer Philip Aaberg and his piano trio, the Bibimbap Trio with violinist Angella Ahn and cellist Sara Stalnaker, expand their musical exploration to Billings.

Trip Around the World of Music

February 25, 2021 | 7:00 pm

Billings Depot

Multinational guitarists Mircea Gogoncea and Arturo Castro
Nogueras share their contemporary works inspired by the song and dance traditions of the Balkans and Latin America.

Ensemble Bayona

November 5, 2020 | 7:00 pm

Billings Depot

Music free of limitations and prejudices. Members Eros Jaca, (cello), Vladyslava Luchenko (violin), and Camille Sublet (piano), perform innovative, folk-inspired interpretations of the world’s greatest composers while forming authentic relationships with their audience.

Ugly Beauty: Music of Thelonious Monk

October 10, 2020 | 7:00 pm

Babcock Theater

The BSOC proudly teams up with the extensive local talents of the Rocky Mountain Jazz Collective. Join Scott Jeppeson and his friends as they pay homage to legendary pianist and jazz composer Thelonious Monk.

Tanner Jorden in Concert

September 3, 2020 | 7:00 pm
Billings Depot

The BSOC couldn’t be prouder of Billings’ own Tanner Jorden. Tanner is a two-time winner of the Montana Association of Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition and has performed at Carnegie Hall. Come listen to Tanner so you can say, I knew him when!

COVID-19 Updates

Update: March 19, 2020

Dear Symphony Friends,

We sincerely hope that this finds you in good health. The Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale greatly appreciates the outpouring of support we have received while navigating this uncharted territory and we look forward to when we can once again enrich lives through live music—whether on stage or out in our community.

Many of you have asked about the status of the BSOC’s programs and collaborations. The staff and Board of Directors are grateful for your patience as we evaluate our options in this rapidly-evolving situation with COVID-19. We hope to have more information for you within the week.

In the meantime, we invite you to visit billingssymphony.org for free access to our archive of audio-recorded performances. Music heals and inspires no matter the circumstances! Continue listening to free classical music around the world here.


Our way of life is changing every day, and the BSOC is working hard to adapt in the best interests of our musicians, patrons, staff and volunteers. We’re in this together, we are as committed as ever, and will do everything in our power to take care of one another.
Thank you for your continued patronage and support of the
Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale

March 23, 2020

The Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale Cancels or Postpones
Remaining Events for the 2019-2020 Season

Billings MT- The Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale has canceled or postponed all remaining concerts, events, and outreaches until future notice, following the directive of Montana Governor Steve Bullock, that recommends limiting public gatherings to no more than 10 people to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The BSO&C’s highest priority remains the safety and well-being of our patrons, musicians, and staff. We are disappointed that we cannot perform for you, and are examining different opportunities to continue to Enrich Lives through Music during this time.

The following performances have been canceled or postponed:

March 14, 2020- West Side Story: Symphony Concert Version-Postponed, date TBD

April 18, 2020- Rachmaninoff-Canceled

April 19, 2020- 2020-2021 Orchestra Auditions-Postponed

May 2, 2020- The Who Cares Symphony Benefit-Canceled

Ticket Information

Tickets for postponed performances will be honored on the rescheduled date. Patrons with questions are encouraged to call the BSOC Box Office at 406-252-3610 or email symphony@billingssymphony.org. Please be aware, while our physical office is closed until future notice, the staff are working remotely and your inquiry might take longer than normal to answer. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Exchanges, Refunds, and Donations

As a community-supported symphony, the BSOC needs your support now more than ever. We ask that you consider donating your ticket back to the BSOC for a tax credit. You can also exchange your ticket for another performance during the 2020-2021 season, exchange your ticket for house credit to use at a later date, or request a refund to your original form of payment. Exchanges and refund requests must be made in writing or sent by email no later than fourteen days after the canceled scheduled performance and may take up to 90 days after said event to process. No refunds will be given on transaction fees.

We here at the BSOC want to thank all of our patrons and supporters during this unprecedented time. In an on-going effort to Enrich Lives through Music, we will be regularly posting music education and other content to our social media platforms to help those with school-aged children at home. Like and follow our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages to keep up to date.

What’s coming?

The BSOC is looking forward to announcing our 2020-2021 season. Our 70th Anniversary season celebrates the 250th birthday of Beethoven and showcases local and national talent. New season brochures are coming soon. To get on the BSOC’s mailing list, visit https://billingssymphony.org/contact-us.

Mark your calendars for our main summertime event, Symphony in the Park. We have joined with the Yellowstone Art Museum and SummerFair, turning this event into the ultimate Fun Family Friendly weekend at Pioneer Park. SummerFair begins Friday, June 26th and ends Sunday, June 28th. Symphony in the Park is Sunday, June 28th from 4-9 pm. We are excited to bring live music to the Billings Community once again!

We are working on an alternative virtual benefit to replace the Who Cares Symphony Benefit. Details coming soon.

Same Symphony, New Look! The BSOC is rebranding!

What can you do to help?

Consider a donation in lieu of a voucher or refund. We are also deeply grateful to donors’ continued contributions even without a spring production. Tell your friends about the important role we play in the fabric of our community and ask them to join you in supporting us during this challenging time.

The Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale (BSOC) is the largest professional orchestra in Montana. Established in 1951, the BSOC strives to enrich lives through music. Consisting of over 135 musicians, the BSO&C serves a regional population of 400,000 people located throughout South Central and Eastern Montana, and Northeastern Wyoming by introducing music to children, youth, adults, and seniors through Explore Music!, the BSOC’s community engagement program. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

March 26, 2020

Dear Symphony Friends,

The BSOC greatly appreciates the outpouring of support we have received while navigating this uncharted territory and we look forward to when we can once again bring live music to our community. The safety of our BSOC family and our patrons is our top priority, so at this time we are announcing the postponement or cancellation of all concerts and events through May 15.

  • March 14, 2020- West Side Story: Symphony Concert Version – Postponed, date TBD
  • April 18, 2020- Rachmaninoff – Cancelled
  • April 19, 2020 – 2020-2021 Orchestra Auditions – Postponed, date TBD
  • May 2, 2020 – The Who Cares Symphony Benefit – Cancelled

If you have a ticket to any of the above events, you can contact the BSOC office to:

  • Donate your unused ticket for a tax-deductible donation. Right now, your donations to the BSOC are more critical than ever. As we navigate our way through this unprecedented shutdown, please consider donating your ticket(s) to provide the vital support needed for the music and musicians that inspire and connect our community.
  • Exchange your ticket for future performance. Exchange your ticket(s) for full-value, which can be applied towards any future Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale concert, including the rescheduled West Side Story: Symphony Concert Version (Based on availability.)
  • Receive a credit on your BSOC account. We’ll put the funds on your account to use toward another performance next season. These funds can be used toward single ticket or subscription purchases, bases on availability.
  • Receive a refund. If you have tickets to an above event, you may choose a full refund.

Many of our supporters have kindly asked, “What can I do to help?” Here are a few things:

  • Consider a donation in lieu of an exchange or refund. We are also deeply grateful to donors’ continued contributions even without a spring production.
  • Tell your friends about the important role we play in the fabric of our community and ask them to join you in supporting us during this challenging time.

Please continue to stay in touch with us through our email updates and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you know a BSOC patron who does not have email, please relay our updates and pass along our greetings and well-wishes.

Thank you,

The BSOC Office Team

P.S. Listen to Billings Symphony Live until we can perform live for you!

The Who Cares Virtual Symphony Benefit

We believe in the power of music. Music heals. Music soothes. Music Teachers. Music inspires.

As many of you know, the BSOC has had to cancel the remaining of our 2019-2020 symphony season dye to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes our annual Symphony Benefit. Because of this, we have a special treat for all our friends. We are offering a special performance by John Roberts y Pan Blanco LIVE from Craft Local on Tuesday, May 5 at 7 pm via Facebook Live and Youtube Live!

In our continuing efforts to Enrich Lives Through Music, we need your help now more than ever! The Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale participate in more than 100 free education and outreach programs each year! Our annual fundraiser helps expand Explore Music!, the BSOC’S community engagement and outreach programs.

Please consider supporting Explore Music! Today!

Support Explore Music!

Who Cares about the Billings Community?
Who Cares about music education in the schools?
Who Cares about providing music to nursing home residents?
Who Cares about providing positive musical influence to inmates in the Montana Women’s Prison?
Who Cares about pediatric and cancer patients?
Who Cares about long-term care patients at St. Vincent & Billings Clinic?

WE DO!

We know you do too!

Join us on Facebook and YouTube throughout the day on Tuesday, May 5 as we provide a full day of music! We will be broadcasting our Connection Concerts from the homes of BSOC musicians, all leading up to the LIVE concert at 7 pm.

Help us share the music by supporting The Who Cares Symphony Benefit!

Virtual Symphony in the Park

Get your FREE Ticket Here!

 

We are excited to invite you to our Virtual Symphony in the Park! Although we cannot be with you live at Pioneer Park this year, we still want to give you your summer music fix. You will enjoy the Star-Spangled Banner, performed by members of the BSOC brass section, along with some of our favorite “pops” performances, and much more! Kick off the Fourth of July week with the Billings Symphony!

We are testing out a new way to bring you your Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale. Not only will this help us explore new possibilities for the future, but it will also help us stay connected to you, the most valued members of our organization. Your participation is greatly appreciated. 

Here’s How:

Symphony in the Park is, as always, a FREE event! It just looks a little different this year. To access Virtual Symphony in the Park, please visit billingssymphony.org to “purchase” a ticket. You will NOT be charged. You will then be given access to the webpage to watch! Tickets will be available soon. Join our email list to receive notifications at billingssymphony.org.

Bucket Brigade

Our friends at the St. Vincent Foundation have generously agreed to match all donations, up to $2,500, given during the Bucket Brigade.

Thank you for your generosity and support for the Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale’s community outreach and education program
Explore Music!

Donate Today!

 

Virtual Kid Conducting Contest

Even though we aren’t able to gather for Symphony in the Park this year, we’re inviting kids to take part in our favorite part of Symphony in the Park: the Kids Conducting Contest!

Simply submit a video of your kid conducting to Stars and Stripes Forever, along with their first name and age to tyler@billingssymphony.org by Tuesday, June 23rd.

The winner will receive their very own conductor’s baton, and the opportunity to lead the Billings Symphony Orchestra in ‘Sleigh Ride’ at the December Holiday Concert!

Must be age 12 or under to apply. By submitting a video, you agree to allow the Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale to post the video publicly for promotional purposes.

 

 

Symphony in the Park 2020

 

 

 

June 28, 2020, at Pioneer Park

Join us for the 49th annual Symphony in the Park! The largest concert, and most visible component of Explore Music!, wraps up another season and introduces many to live, symphonic music. This is a favorite Billings tradition-bring your blanket or lawn chair and relax to an evening of music under out big Montana sky while enjoying picnic fare from participating food sponsors.

Guest Artists

John Roberts y Pan Blanco

Food Trucks and other Refreshments:

 

Program

  • 4 p.m. Instrument Petting Zoo
  • 5 p.m. Billings Community Band Concert
  • 6:45 p.m. Young Conductors’ Contest
  • 7 p.m Billings Symphony Orchestra Concert

Reserved Seating Area: Enjoy our reserved creek-side seating area with picnic tables so you can have it Made in the Shade! Purchase your $10 wristband at the BSO&C office in downtown Billings (2721 2nd Ave. N. Suite 350) or at Symphony in the Park Seating is limited – first-come, first-served.

Reserved Parking: For only $5 (Cash Only) get a reserved parking spot located in the Senior High parking lot. The golf cart shuttle will be available to drive you right to the action! Limited spots available – first-come, first-served. Handicapped parking (with proper permit) available for free.

 

The Staff

Ignacio Barrón Viela: Executive Director
ignacio@billingssymphony.org

Brad Constantine: General Manager
brad@billingssymphony.org

Candy Holzer: Director of Education
candy@billingssymphony.org

Michelle Dawson: Manager of Marketing & Public Relations
michelle@billingssymphony.org

Sandy Cantesano: Manager of Development & Events
sandy@billingssymphony.org

Holly Robinson: Office & Bookkeeping Coordinator
holly@billingssymphony.org

Lisa Bollman: Orchestra Librarian/Operations Manager
librarian@billingssymphony.org

Matt Glover: Manager of Artistic Operations
production@billingssymphony.org

Tyler Menzales: Social Media Coordinator
tyler@billingssymphony.org

Robin Aalseth: Chorale Librarian

Rachmaninoff

Due to COVID-19, Rachmaninoff has has been canceled. We appreciate your understanding.

If you would like to donate to the BSOC, please follow the link below.

billingssymphony.org/support-your-symphony/

Lincoln Center
April 18, 2020  | 7:30 pm
Concert Cues | 6:45 pm
The symphony season ends with one of the finest pianists of his generation and the last great Russian composer, Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Featuring the return of MASO winner, Tanner Jorden playing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, with special side-by-side performance with the Billings Youth Orchestra.

Tanner Jorden
16-year-old Tanner Jorden’s current teacher, Dorothea Cromley, is the former Professor of Piano at Montana State University–Billings. In 2015, the Billings native began participating in—and winning—competitions locally and internationally. He competed in the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition in November 2016.

Tanner won the state Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) competition in 2016, 2017 and 2018, receiving honorable mentions in the Junior and Senior divisions at Northwest regionals. In January 2019, he won the Northwest regional competition and competed in the National MTNA competition in March 2019. In January 2017, he received first place in the Junior division of the Montana Association of Symphony Orchestras (MASO) Concerto Competition, and in April of that year performed a debut recital at MSU–B as a Connections student. Tanner made his orchestral debut with the Great Falls Symphony in February 2017, and has since performed with the Billings, Helena, Glacier and Northwest College (Powell, WY) Symphonies. In January 2019, Tanner again received first place in the 15th biennial MASO Young Artist Competition, this time in the Senior division.

 Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2
Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto was the first piece he composed after his long bout of depression and writer’s block. It was his great comeback that became a smash hit, bringing Rachmaninoff back to his former self. Dedicated with gratitude to Dr. Dahl, the Piano Concerto No. 2 premiered on November 9, 1901, with Rachmaninoff performing and his cousin, Alexander Siloti, conducting, and is considered by many to be the greatest piano concerto ever written.

 Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No 2. In E Minor
After the disaster of his first symphony, Rachmaninoff was hesitant to begin composing again. The success of his Piano Concerto No. 2, however, instilled him with confidence, but not so much that he was ready to let the world know he was back at it. He wrote the Symphony No. 2 in secrecy for about a year, when word of his newest composition leaked out in the press. He confessed to a friend: “I have composed a symphony. It’s true! … I finished it a month ago and immediately put it aside. It was a severe worry to me and I’m not going to think about it anymore.” But think about it he did, and the hard work and turmoil paid off. A year later, Rachmaninoff conducted the premiere in Saint Petersburg in January 1908, with great, reassuring success.

Upcoming Events

 

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Mozart & Vivaldi

 

January 23, 2021 | 7:30 PM

Location | TBD

Carrie Krause violin

Mozart Symphony No. 40
Vivaldi Le Quattro Stagioni,
(The Four Seasons)

One of his final masterpieces, Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 is full of beauty and turbulence. Montana soloist Carrie Krause brings her “supreme virtuosity and flair” to Vivaldi’s beloved Four Seasons.

Carrie Krause

Violinist Carrie Krause’s “elegant, sparkling performance brought audience cheers” –Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, Carrie Krause performs as a baroque violinist with ensembles across the country and on numerous international series, such as the BBC Proms and Utrecht Early Music Festival.  She has appeared as principal of the Oregon Bach Festival, Seattle Baroque, Spire in Kansas City, and Apollos’ Fire, among others, and as soloist with Juilliard415, the Calgary Symphony, and the National Repertory Orchestra. In Bozeman, she serves as concertmaster of the Bozeman Symphony and is the founder of Bozeman’s newest arts non-profit, Baroque Music Montana. She also founded the I-90 Collective, the Second String Orchestra, Bozeman Chamber Ensembles, and the Period Performance Workshop. Carrie holds music performance degrees from Carnegie Mellon, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and The Juilliard School.  Some days she loves to skate ski almost as much as practicing the violin. www.baroquemusicmontana.com

Mozart’s Symphony No. 40

First premiered in the US with the New York Philharmonic on April 25, 1846. Conducted by Henry C. Timm.

Like most of Mozart’s repertoire, Symphony No. 40 has become an iconic classical work. It is thought by many to be a symphonic last will and testament along with symphonies 39 and 41. There is no concrete proof of this. It is more likely they were composed as a concert series to be played in Vienna on April 16 and 17, 1791. It is unknown whether Mozart actually heard it performed.

Four Seasons

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was published in 1725 in Amsterdam as the first of four works of Opus 8.

Four Seasons is the best known of all Vivaldi’s works. Inspired by the landscapes of Italian artist Marco Ricci, Vivaldi used his creativity to become the first composer to set his music to poetry. Thus. producing the earliest known examples of program music. Four Seasons was published with poems that were possibly written by Vivaldi.

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons can be heard in a multitude of Hollywood soundtracks such as Tin Cup, Spy Game, What Lies Beneath, and The Other Sister.

Holiday Pops

December 19, 2020 | 7:30 PM

Location | TBD

Amy Schendel, vocalist

Join the BSOC for the must-see holiday concert of the season-Holiday Pops! What better way is there to lift your spirits and get into the holiday mood, than with your BSOC and guest artist Amy Schendel performing all your favorite carols and holiday favorites? We can’t wait to celebrate the holiday season with you!

Amy Schendel

Amy Schendel is thrilled to be on stage with the Billings Symphony. A versatile performer, she is usually found in the clarinet section but has been a vocal soloist with Symphony numerous times. Amy’s operatic credits include Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, the title role in Floyd’s Susannah, Mimì in La bohème, Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Despina in Così fan Tutte, the title role in Sister Angelica and others. Some of her favorite musical theatre roles have been the title role in Evita, Velma in Chicago, Missy in The Marvelous Wonderettes, and Ellen in Miss Saigon. Sometimes she can be found around town singing jazz standards with local jazz musicians, a passion she has held for many years.

Amy is a dedicated music educator, serving her fifteenth year as the Director of Choirs at Billings Skyview High School and as co-conductor of Yellowstone Valley Voices. She travels around the state and beyond conducting honor choirs, adjudicating at festivals, and teaching at summer camps. Amy holds bachelor’s degrees in Clarinet Performance and Music Education, as well as a Master’s in Music Education from the University of Montana. She is a certified member of the VoiceCare Network and is currently serving as the President-Elect of the Montana Music Educators Association.

*Programming subject to change.

Romancing the Keys

Wei-LuoOctober 24, 2020 | 7:30 PM

Location | TBD

Wei Luo piano

Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3
Schubert Unfinished Symphony

A rising star, Gilmore Young Artist Recipient Wei Luo showcases Prokofiev’s “devilishly difficult” Piano Concerto No. 3 with ease.

Wei Luo

American classical radio station WQXR recognized pianist Wei Luo, as one of the 19 artists to watch in 2019. In August 2019, Wei released her self-titled debut album produced by Grammy awards producer Erica Brenner, under DeccaGold, Universal Music Group. Gramaphone online featured the album as one of the most exciting recent releases in July 2019. Soon after the release on various online platforms. Apple Music and Amazon Music (classical) featured the album on the front page. Spotify alone reached around 30,000 listeners.

“This recording reveals a dazzling artist with an astonishing range of colors at her disposal, put to the service of a confident young soul whose musicality suggests the experience of someone two decades older.”–San Diego Union Tribune.

For more information about Wei Luo, visit weiluopiano.com

Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3

Premiered December 16, 1921, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Conducted by Frederick Stock.

Arguably the most popular of Prokofiev’s five piano concertos. Because of its difficulty, and the dexterity and the stamina it takes to play, it tops the list of ultra-virtuosic showpiece concertos.  The passionate expression of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 has led it to become one of the most loved piano concertos of the 20th century.

Wei Luo performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3

Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony

Composed in 1822. Premiered on December 7, 1865, in Vienna. Conducted by Johann von Herbeck.

Competed in 1822 when he was only 25 years old, Schubert’s hauntingly romantic Unfinished Symphony was dedicated to the Graz Music Society. Schubert gave the 2 finished movements to his longtime friend Anselm Hüttenbrenner, who subsequently held on to it in secret for 42 years. Schubert never heard his symphony. He died when he was 31. It was not until 1865 that Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony premiered at the Society of Music Friends in Vienna.