Music in 3D: #8 :: Concert Preview No. 1

Before each concert, we share “Manny’s Musings,” thoughts from our Music Director and Conductor, Manny Laureano. This is the first entry of the “Musings” for the “Music in 3D: #8” concert that will be performed on Sunday, May 1, 2022.

Paul-Abraham Dukas (1865-1935) was one of France’s pre-eminent Jewish composers but his music did not really reflect the folk aspects of that culture, unlike Gustav Mahler, who was alive at the same time. His music was, instead, exemplary of the new traditions that the impending Impressionist would bring. In fact, he would eventually attend the Conservatoire in Paris and find himself studying and honing his skills alongside a young Claude Debussy and the two were friends until Debussy passed into musical immortality in 1918.

In addition to becoming a composer and orchestrator he became a respected music critic (one does have to make money, after all). His musical output was not as massive as so many other composers of note but he did manage to make the most of what he wrote. There are few music-lovers who could not sing the famous bassoon melody from his best-known work, L’Aprenti Sorcier, with a few bup-de-buppity-bups. 

The Fanfare to La Peri is a bit of an afterthought that comes from suggestions that the abrupt, original opening to his short ballet needed something to prepare the palate. So, after preparing the main course, this chef pairs it with a short but brilliant work for an orchestral brass section. In three parts, he accomplishes what he sets out to do with bursts of chords, triple-tonguing, and a shimmering nod to the Impressionist period of 1912. It gives way to a cloudy texture of close harmony that does exactly what Impressionism in France was famous for. That is, suggestion rather than outright clarity. Not to worry, as the opening statement is reprised with an anthem-like ferocity leaving the listener to want to stand and, with a wave of your chapeau, yell “Vive le France!”

Join Music Director & Conductor Manny Laureano, for the concert, “Music in 3D: #8” featuring soloists Clare Longendyke, piano, and Yu Chia Hsu, violin. The concert takes place on Sunday, May 1, 2022 at 3 p.m., at the Gideon S. Ives Auditorium at the Masonic Heritage Center (11411 Masonic Home Drive, Bloomington)

To learn more about the concert, click here. You can order tickets online through the Masonic Heritage Center Box Office, or by calling 952-948-6506.

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Musicians Musings – April 2022

We are always thrilled to share the non-musical talents of our musicians. This month’s musing is written by SO Principal Trombonist John Metcalfe. Read on to learn more about John’s other artistic pursuit, and then visit the link at the bottom of the page to bid on the lamp (auction will be open April 24-28, 2022).

A white man with white hair plays a trombone, a younger Hispanic man plays trumpet in the background
John Metcalfe, BSO Principal Trombone & Stained Glass Artist

I joined the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 1985 as principal trombonist, a position I have held since then.  In that time I have played for some very talented conductors, played with some incredibly gifted colleagues, and performed some of the world’s greatest music.  I even had the opportunity to solo with the orchestra – twice – playing the Gordon Jacob “Concerto” and the Launy Grondahl “Concerto.”  As a non-professional, playing in this wonderful orchestra has allowed me to pursue this avocation at a high level well into my retirement years.

In addition to playing in the orchestra, I have also served on the Board of Directors and have contributed to various orchestra fundraisers.  This includes a stained glass lamp that I contributed to this year’s event.  And that brings me to my other avocation, stained glass work.

A stained glass lamp created by BSO musician John Metcalfe

I had long admired the stained glass work that I saw at various art shows, such as the Renaissance Festival.  Then one day, about 15 years ago, I was running some errands and happened to walk past a stained glass supply shop.  I stopped in and asked the proprietor if stained glass was an expensive hobby.  He replied, “It’s cheaper than golf.”  I liked his attitude right from the start.  He said they had a beginner’s class coming up in a month.  I signed up, took the class, set up a studio in my garage, bought the necessary tools, and jumped in.

The pieces that I make are either panel lamps (lamps consisting of 4, 6, or 8 flat panels), windows or hanging panels, or small suncatchers.

I have sold a few pieces that were commissioned, given a few as gifts, and we have a number of pieces in our home.  But many of the pieces I have made have been donated to causes that are meaningful to me.  When the Bloomington Symphony participated in Taste of Chocolate, I donated lamps to the silent auction.  And for the past ten years I have donated to a similar fundraiser at my former school, Community of Peace Academy.  A few years ago, I created three large windows for the Prayer Room at my church, Augustana Lutheran in West St Paul. 

And I have donated many pieces in support of the Lutheran Church in Guatemala, with which my church has a partnership.  Most of those projects have been in conjunction with our annual gala fundraiser.  But one project consisted of four large windows which are installed in the Lutheran Center in Guatemala City.  (The glass pieces were cut and packed here and then assembled and finished in Guatemala.)  When I told the proprietor at the glass shop that I was working on this, he remarked, “Cool!  You’ll be hung in a foreign capital.”  To which I replied, “I guess that’s better than being hanged in a foreign capital.”

This has been a great hobby for me.  I have a CD player in my studio.  And since most of the glass work is quiet, I can listen to great music while doing the work.  I may lose track of time, but I know that if I get to the end of a Mahler symphony, it’s time to take a break.

You can help the BSO make it’s end of year fundraising goal by bidding on this lamp or one of the other fabulous items and experiences on our virtual auction. Click here to see all of the items on this year’s auction. Thank you for supporting the BSO!

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Tickets on Sale Now!

The BSO looks forward to performing with soloists Clare Longendyke and Yu Chia Hsu for our season-ending concert, Music in 3D: #8, on Sunday May 1. Tickets are on sale now – Order today to assure your chance to hear these outstanding soloists and the BSO’s highly anticipated performance of Brahms’ Symphony No. 4.

Clare Longendyke, Piano
A black and white photo of a young Asian man holding a violin
Yu Chia Hsu, violin
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February concert cancelled

Due to impacts from the COVID-19 omicron surge, the BSO Board has made the decision to cancel the February 27, 2022 concert. With the anticipated decline in cases, we are planning for and anticipate performing our season finale, “Music in 3D: #8” featuring Clare Longendyke performing Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G.

If you purchased tickets to the February concert, the Masonic Heritage Center Box Office will be in touch to refund your tickets. Please address questions to them directly, or reach out to us if you do not hear from them.

We hope you will join us on May 1 when we can celebrate a wonderful finale to the orchestra’s 59th concert season!

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November Program Sneak Peek

We are happy to provide this preview of the Bloomington Symphony’s November 21 concert program. Please read, and then purchase your tickets here and plan to join us for the performance of these two pieces – one brand new to the orchestra and our audience, the other familiar and beloved. Don’t miss your chance to hear these great works performed live, by the 75 volunteer musicians of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra led by Manny Laureano, Music Director and Conductor.

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Tickets on sale for 2021 concerts

The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra performs at the Masonic Heritage Center, under the baton of Manny Laureano
The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra with Manny Laureano, Music Director onstage at the Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center (Photo by Leslie Plesser)

The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra is looking forward to returning to stage this fall.

The first concert, Celebrations! will be on Sunday, October 3. Featuring Rebecca Jyrkas, the BSO’s principal horn playing Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1, and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1919), along with violinist Vladimir Tsiper, the concert will be a triumphant and celebratory return to the concert stage.

The BSO will return to the Masonic Heritage Center stage on Sunday, November 21, for The Storyteller and the Poet. Opening with William Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony, this gorgeously orchestrated piece was written by an African American composer who we are proud to introduce to our Bloomington audience in what we believe to be the Twin Cities premiere of this piece. The concert will conclude with BSO Concertmaster Michael Sutton performing the beloved Violin Concerto by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Tickets are on sale now.

October concert

November concert

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Arts in the Park – Cancelled

Due to tonight’s forecasted inclement weather, and in consultation with the City of Bloomington, the BSO’s concert at Arts in the Park is cancelled. We are so sad not to be able to play for you as we had hoped.

We thank you for your support and enthusiasm, though, and hope you will consider joining us for a season concert in 2021-22. Please check our website www.bloomingtonsymphony.org for current concert information.

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Arts in the Park 2021

The BSO is excited to announce the program for our August 5 Arts in the Park concert. Click here for full concert information.

We are thrilled to welcome Vladimir Tsiper, who will make his BSO debut, performing the exciting final movement of Henri Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2.

Vladimir Tsiper, Violin

We are so excited to perform and hope you will join us for this evening of music sure to inspire and delight.

The BSO’s performances are subject to change based on the public health situation at the time of rehearsals and performances. We will make decisions to gather for rehearsals and performances based on the best interest of the safety of our musicians and audience. Changes to our performance schedule will be announced on our website and Facebook page.

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Audition for the BSO

The BSO is anticipating a return to performing in summer/fall 2021. We are currently accepting audition videos for violin, cello, and oboe II/English horn. Please visit the audition page to learn more.

The BSO performs at Normandale Lake Bandshell at the 2018 Summer Fete in Bloomington
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2nd Trumpet Audition – December 2020

The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra will hold an audition for Second Trumpet in December 2020. The first round video is due on November 30, 2020.

Download the materials here and share with any potential candidates.

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