Rachmaninoff

Tickets for Saturday performances at the Lincoln Center are available online or in-person at the Lincoln Center (auditorium entrance located on N. 29th St. across from the Dude Rancher Lodge) the day of the performance.

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.

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West Side Story in Concert

Tickets for Saturday performances at the Lincoln Center are available online or in-person at the Lincoln Center (auditorium entrance located on N. 29th St. across from the Dude Rancher Lodge) the day of the performance.

Lincoln Center
March 14, 2020 | 7:30 pm
Concert Cues | 6:45 pm

First time in Montana! Witness the forbidden love, feuding families, and rival gangs in this modern-day retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.

Featuring Jerome Robbins’ award-winning adaptation with music from Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and book by Arthur Laurents with a cast of Broadway professionals.

Jessica Soza (Maria)
Jessica Soza has had the pleasure of singing in 10 cities and 7 countries all over Europe. Her most notable credits involve playing Maria with the international tour of West Side Story in 152 performances. She graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles and obtained her BA from CSU, San Bernardino. Upon graduation, she moved to New York, during which she left to tour Europe with West Side Story. She returned to the United States after the tour closed and is now pursuing her MFA in Acting and Pedagogical Performance at CSU, Long Beach.

 

Beau Hutchings (Riff)

Beau is honored to be a part of this wonderful concert experience with the Billings Symphony Orchestra. Originally from Southwest Michigan, he is a graduate of Western Michigan University’s Music Theatre Performance Program. Beau currently resides in New York City. Beau’s professional theatrical credits include Riff in the International Tour of “West Side Story’. Snowboy in the Broadway National Touring production of “West Side Story”. Riff in Fireside Theatre’s “West Side Story”. Action in New Bedford Festival Theatre’s “West Side Story”. And Diesel with the Abilene Opera Association’s “West Side Story”. The Tinman in NETworks Touring production of “The Wizard of Oz”, and ensemble/Tinman and Scarecrow Understudy in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s re-orchestrated National Tour of “The Wizard of Oz”. He has enjoyed a tour of the Caribbean in the Broadway Musical “Chicago” on Royal Caribbean’s ‘Allure of the Seas’. Along with numerous regional theatre credits, Beau is also a professional choreographer and dance instructor. He is currently in his third season sitting on the judge’s panel for “Applause Talent”, a nationally recognized dance competition circuit. Beau would like to say, “Thank you to my mom and dad for their constant love and support and thank you for supporting the arts!”


Aline Mayagoitia (Anita)
An award-winning actress, Aline Mayagoitia attended the prestigious Musical Theatre program at the University of Michigan. In her college years, she discovered a love for writing and directing, as well as working extensively in the film department. In her four years, she performed/produced/wrote/ directed/choreographed over 20 live shows and screen projects, and also served as creative director of the MOSAIC: Intercultural Performance Ensemblea student-led organization dedicated to increasing diversity and representation in the theatre community. Aline toured Costa Rica with a bilingual version of Evita, doing community engagement activities and serving as the main translator for the project.

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A Celebration of Mozart

Tickets for Saturday performances at the Lincoln Center are available online or in-person at the Lincoln Center (auditorium entrance located on N. 29th St. across from the Dude Rancher Lodge) the day of the performance.

Lincoln Center
February 15, 2020 | 7:30 pm
Concert Cues | 6:45 pm

The Billings Symphony Chorale joins the orchestra to pay homage to one of the classical music’s greatest composers, with Mozart’s Requiem and Symphony No. 35.

 

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 fourteenth 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.

Sara Ponder

Hailed as “Deeply expressive” (Chicago Sun Times) and a “first-class soloist” (Chicago Classical Review) Sarah Ponder, mezzo-soprano, enjoys a busy career as a soloist and ensemble singer with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Chorus, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Chicago a cappella, Music of the Baroque, and many others. Sarah holds a faculty position at Loyola University. In addition to training voices, Sarah has helped to establish many outreach programs with CSO’s Negaunee Music Institute, specializing in original composition workshops through The Lullaby Project and Notes for Peace, where she is featured prominently as both a vocal coach and interpreter of these moving tributes. Her work as a technique model is also featured in the award-winning pedagogy book by Dr. Julia Davids, Vocal Technique: A Guide for Conductors, Teachers, and Singers

Clayton Parr

Clayton Parr, tenor, is Professor of Music at Albion College in Michigan.  His professional experience as a performer has included the Cincinnati Opera, Whitewater Opera, Oregon Bach Festival, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and Music of the Baroque, Grant Park Music Festival, and Bella Voce in Chicago.  Solo concert performances with orchestra have included the Cincinnati Ballet, Billings Symphony, Midland Symphony, Middletown Symphony, the Janus Ensemble in Chicago and the National Music Center Orchestra of Tbilisi, Georgia, where he was a Fulbright scholar at the Tbilisi Conservatoire.  He leads the Alioni Georgian Choir of Chicago and has edited publications of Georgian folksongs in print with Hal Leonard and earthsongs Publishing.

Daren Small

Daren Small is a distinguished bass-baritone soloist in the American Northwest. He enjoys sharing his passion for singing on stage as well as in the classroom and voice studio. Small is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). As a native of Billings, MT, Small earned his Music Education and Master of Education degrees from Montana State University and was formerly the Director of Choirs at Billings Senior High School. He has enjoyed opportunities to share his “clear and rich-timbred voice” with all audiences in a growing list of venues and locales including: Ohio, Indiana, California, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. Many reputable soloists and educators have and continue to influence his career including Tom Baresel, Dennis Rupp, Lowell Hickman, Dr. Jon Harney, and Dr. Steven Hart. Additional information about Daren Small can be found at darensmall.com

Mozart’s Requiem
The Requiem was secretly commissioned by Count Franz von Walsegg to commemorate the passing of his wife. Once Mozart received the first half of his commission—paid by messenger—he began writing, never knowing who he was writing for. Incredibly ill at the time, Mozart is said to have been convinced he was writing the Requiem for his own funeral. Indeed, he passed away on December 5, 1791, at the age of 35, leaving the work unfinished. Mozart’s wife recruited his student, Franz Xaver Süssmayr, to complete the Requiem in secrecy, and 100 days after Mozart’s death, it was delivered to Count Franz von Walsegg. Many believe von Walsegg tried to pass it off as his own work, as he was known to do. However, Mozart’s wife was very vocal about the commissioned project and was able to quash his claim.

Mozart’s Symphony No. 35
Also known as the Haffner Symphony, Symphony No. 35 was Mozart’s second work commissioned by the Haffner family of Salzburg, Austria. After the success of his Haffner Serenade for the wedding of Marie Elizabeth Haffner, the family again sought Mozart to commemorate the ennoblement of Sigmund Haffner the Younger. This second Haffner serenade was later reworked by Mozart into a full symphony, making its debut performance as Symphony No. 35 on March 23, 1783, at Vienna’s Burg Theatre.

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