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WFAE’S Duncan McFadyen Interviews Christopher Warren-Green

After this past Tuesday's rehearsal, Christopher Warren-Green sat down with Duncan McFadyen for an interview about Friday and Saturday's Mozart Mass concert. The interview aired Friday morning on WFAE 90.7 FM, Charlotte's local NPR affiliate.
By Duncan McFadyen | Originally aired 11/16/12 on WFAE
Listen to the full story here.

Excerpt from the interview:

WARREN-GREEN: I've wanted to bring the children onto the stage at the Symphony every year, because I believe the Symphony is a family, and that family embraces the audience--the people who work for the symphony, the volunteers, everyone who comes to concerts, everyone who listens on radio--it's a community; it's a family, and I want our audience to see what their patronage is doing for the community.

Christopher Warren-Green leads the Charlotte Symphony in a rehearsal of Mozart's Mass in c minor. Credit Duncan McFadyen

MCFADYEN: Where do you think this perception that classical music is inaccessible comes from? Do you think that teaching children about the arts early in life helps to dispel that myth?

WARREN-GREEN: ...there is a preconception that the concert hall is maybe not a place for us. It's wrong! Everyone is musical, and if you get a chance with all the churches around here to get your children into some kind of choir,  my goodness, the training is extraordinary. And it changes their life, it really does. This is not a corny catch phrase. Music transforms lives. It did it for me: I was nowhere until music picked me up out of the gutter at a very young age...

Read or listen to the entire interview here.
Were you introduced to music at a young age? Have you been shaped by a Youth Orchestra experience? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Posted in Classics, Education & Community. Tagged as Classical, interview, Music Director.

History in the Making

For the first time in Charlotte Symphony history, the entire CSO artistic "family" will perform together on the Belk Theater stage. At the November 16 and 17 Classics Series concerts, featuring Mozart Mass in C Minor, the program will now open with a special performance of Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus by members of the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra (CSYO) and Junior Youth Orchestra (JYO), the Winterfield Elementary Youth Orchestra, the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte, and Charlotte Symphony musicians.
Winterfield Elementary Performance at Classics Series, January 2011

This special performance is reflective of Music Director Christopher Warren-Green's vision for the Charlotte Symphony as a primary source for music education in Charlotte. Warren-Green sees the Charlotte Symphony's youth orchestras as vital to the growth of the organization and the enrichment of the Charlotte community.

"I feel very strongly that you can't have one organization--the Charlotte Symphony or our Youth Orchestras--without the other," said Maestro Warren-Green. "We need the professionals to teach the youth and the youth are our future musicians, audience members, and supporters. Our mission is to educate our whole community and our Youth Orchestra [CSYO and JYO] programs, for instance, have been educating young musicians for fifty years."

Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra Performance, 2012 (photo, PRBrowning Photography)

He added, "We know that the discipline the students learn by studying music contributes to success in other subjects in school. I'm very proud to be the Music Director of an orchestra that has educated and continues to educate so many members of our community."

Mozart Mass in C Minor will take place on Friday, November 16 and Saturday, November 17 at 8:00 p.m. at the Belk Theater. The concert will feature the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte, the official chorus of the Charlotte Symphony, and soloists Karina Gauvin, soprano, Mary Wilson, soprano, Daniel Stein, tenor, and Sumner Thompson, baritone.

Posted in Classics, Education & Community, Youth Orchestras. Tagged as Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestras, Classical, CSYO, Education, winterfield elementary.

Passing Down the Love of Music

There was a certain large piece of furniture in my childhood bedroom that could only be described as uncharacteristic to such a space. Sandwiched between my Barbie house and the bookcase filled with Babysitter's Club titles sat a cabinet record player. I'm assuming it was there for lack of a better place in my parents' home. Nevertheless, there it sat and as a result, music has always been a prominent element in my life. I placed the needle gently down on a record of my choosing before doing just about anything else in that room every single day. I sang. I danced. My Barbies danced.

One album I remember from my youth was a recording of circus-themed classical music,
probably including some of the very same works that are on this weekend's Lollipops program. For a little girl with a very active imagination, this classical composition was the soundtrack of many afternoons inside that pink bedroom as I pretended to be a clown, acrobat, or tight-rope walker.

I've been encouraging the love of music to my daughter since her birth three years ago and I'm so excited to take her to the Charlotte Symphony's Lollipops performance of Carnivals and Clowns on Saturday, November 10th. This is the first Lollipops concert of the season and it's a not-to-be missed event on my calendar.  I can't wait to watch my daughter's face light up as she hears the colorful music.

Along with the performance of Dvorak's Carnival Overture and  Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag, the concert also features Drew Allison and his Grey Seal Puppets  and these puppets are always so fun to watch! Drew Allison will help tell the Russian tale of Petrushka, the straw puppet that comes to life, set to Igor Stravinsky's music score.  I'm looking forward to hearing this and all the other beautiful pieces in this weekend's program.

My daughter loves coming to the pre-concert festival.  Here she plays several instruments of the orchestra, makes musical arts and crafts and sees demonstrations by local musicians.  After the concert, we plan to head next door to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art's Family Day event to make even more art for our Home Collection.

After such an exciting Saturday morning, it's quite possible that there will be a little tight-rope walker or lion-tamer performing in our living room later on in the day. In fact, I'm quite hoping for it.  And I'll help hold the hula-hoop as all the animals jump through.

Essay by Mandy Smith, Charlotte Symphony Marketing Manager and mom of Molly Grace.

Posted in Family. Tagged as CSO Lollipops, Education, Family Series.