“This concert features our magnificent Chorale as well as the return to Winston-Salem of guest mezzo-soprano Stephanie Foley Davis for an evening of dramatic and beautiful music,” said Maestro Robert Moody. “Bernstein’s Jeremiah and Jenkins’s The Armed Man are powerful pieces that grapple with the tragedy of war. They both struggle with the horror of war but also both end with a message of hope for peace, a sentiment that transcends time and resonates with all of us.”
The Winston-Salem Symphony is partnering with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC for a food drive as part of Orchestras Feeding America, the League of American Orchestra’s annual March food drive. Concertgoers are encouraged to donate food at “A Concert for Peace.” The League of American Orchestras first joined forces with Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, in 2009. More than 215 orchestras in all 50 states participated in an unprecedented, coordinated effort by collecting and donating food to their local food assistance agency or food bank within Feeding America’s network of more than 200 food banks and 60,000 agencies. Since then, over 360 orchestras have participated in the annual effort. Visit americanorchestras.org for more information.
“At Second Harvest Food Bank we’re investing in the health and vitality of our community by ensuring healthy food access as a foundation for greater community health,” said Clyde Fitzgerald, Chief Executive Officer for the organization. “We’re truly excited about this community partnership with the Winston-Salem Symphony to bring a food and funds drive to the March concert series. Second Harvest and the Symphony share a commitment to feeding the human spirit and nourishing our community, and we continue to find ways to work together because we know that a vibrant community feeds both the body and soul. We are hopeful for strong support for this effort, and I hope all in our community will take a moment to visit our website at hungernwnc.org to view a list of the healthy food items we and our local partner organizations need most.”
The Symphony will dedicate the Sunday, March 11 performance of A Concert for Peace to honor the life and legacy of arts community volunteer Margaret Kolb, who passed away on February 6 of this year. Margaret dedicated countless hours of her time to support the arts institutions in Winston-Salem, and was a leader in the establishment of the Winston-Salem Symphony over 70 years ago.
Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 (Jeremiah) was composed in 1942 and premiered in 1944 at the Syrian Mosque in Pittsburgh in 1944. The piece presents the biblical story of the prophet Jeremiah, who foretold great suffering for the Israelites due to their sinfulness. The destruction of Solomon’s Temple and the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians were seen as Jeremiah’s prophesy coming true. Jeremiah expressed his great sadness over what happened in his Lamentations but also talked of his ultimate hope for the people of God. These themes resonated with Bernstein, who—as David B. Levy, Professor of Music at Wake Forest University writes in his program notes for this concert—struggled with a “crisis of faith in a world dominated by the tragedy of wars and human suffering. Bernstein believed this crisis of faith was not just a personal issue but, in fact, was a fundamental crisis facing the entire world.”
Sir Karl Jenkins composed The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace in 1999. The Royal Armouries Museum commissioned the piece to mark the millennium and its move from London to Leeds, England. The piece is dedicated to the victims of the war in Kosovo. Based on the Catholic Mass, it also includes elements from other religious sources, including the Islamic call to prayer, the Bible, and the Mahabharata. The Armed Man follows the growing anxiety and horror of descent into war. It is at its core an anti-war piece that ends with a hope for peace in the new millennium.
Guest artist Stephanie Foley Davis was praised by the New York Times in her Glimmerglass Festival debut in The Tender Land as “a poised, touching Ma Moss” and Opera News said she was “a loving, careworn Ma, warm of voice and presence.” Foley Davis subsequently returned to Glimmerglass to create the role of Mary McCarthy in the world premiere of Jeanine Tesori’s A Blizzard in Marblehead Neck. Foley Davis has appeared in leading roles throughout the US with companies such as Arizona Opera, Nashville Opera, Nightingale Opera Theatre, Orlando Philharmonic, and almost every professional opera company in North Carolina, including Opera Carolina, Piedmont Opera, North Carolina Opera, and Greensboro Opera, to which she returned as Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in January 2018. Other recent credits include Mercedes in Greensboro Opera‘s Carmen, her first Suzuki in Piedmont Opera’s Madama Butterfly, the mezzo soloist in the Winston-Salem Symphony’s Beethoven’s 9th, and as a distinguished alumna in Verdi’s Requiem at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. For more information please visit WSsymphony.org.
Under the baton of Maestro Moody, the concerts will take place on Sunday, March 11 at 3 p.m. and Tuesday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Stevens Center of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, 405 West Fourth Street in downtown Winston-Salem. Tickets range from $20 to $67 and are available in advance by calling the Symphony Box Office at 336-464-0145 or online at WSSymphony.org.
Several pre-concert programs will take place and will give attendees an opportunity to learn more about the upcoming Classics concerts:
Stephanie Foley Davis, guest artist for A Concert for Peace, will present a talk entitled “How Do They Sing Like That?” on Thursday, March 8 at 6 p.m. The event will take place at Bookmarks at 634 W. 4th Street, #110, in downtown Winston-Salem. Foley Davis will discuss the vocal styles of six singers ranging from Freddie Mercury to Frank Sinatra. She will play segments from each vocalist and provide
a brief vocal history of each performer and discuss how they sing. Free and open to the public, this will be an engaging discussion, no musical training required.
Music Lovers’ Luncheon, a fun and informative pre-concert lunch with Maestro Moody and Stephanie Foley Davis, will take place Friday, March 9 at noon at 1703 Restaurant, located at 1703 Robinhood Road in Winston-Salem. The luncheon is $20 per person and is a great opportunity to learn more about the concert in a relaxed atmosphere. Reservations are required for Music Lovers’ Luncheon and can be made by calling 336-464-0145.
Students of all ages can enjoy a free open rehearsal with the Symphony on Friday, March 9 at 7 p.m. at the Stevens Center of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, 405 W. Fourth Street. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to learn how a professional symphony orchestra rehearses, to watch how musicians and conductor interact with each other musically, and to discover interesting things about the repertoire before it is performed. Free tickets can be reserved online at WSsymphony.org or by calling the Symphony Box Office at 336-464-0145. RSVP by Friday, March 2, 2018.
This concert series and the Winston-Salem Symphony are sponsored by Season Presenting Sponsors BB&T and Bell, Davis, & Pitt, P.A.; Concert Sponsor Arbor Acres; Media Sponsor 89.9 FM WDAV Classical Public Radio; the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County; and the North Carolina Arts Council.
About the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale
The Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale is comprised of nearly 120 auditioned volunteer singers, many of whom are members of area church choirs and university choruses. It is directed by Dr. Christopher Gilliam. The group rehearses weekly and performs several times each year with the Winston-Salem Symphony. For more information visit WSsymphony.org/about/chorale.
About the Winston-Salem Symphony
The Winston-Salem Symphony, one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded regional orchestras, began its 71st season, which is Music Director Robert Moody’s Farewell Season, in September 2017. Under the baton of Maestro Moody, the season includes the Classics and Kicked-Back Classics series, Plugged-In Pops series, Discovery Concerts for Kids, annual performances of Handel’s Messiah, a concert featuring Winston-Salem Symphony and Youth Symphony musicians, holiday concerts, three youth orchestra ensembles, and a multitude of educational and community engagement programs. The Symphony is supported by Season Presenting Sponsors BB&T and Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A., as well as generous funding from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, the North Carolina Arts Council, and other dedicated sponsors. For more information, visit WSsymphony.org.
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