West Michigan Symphony Launches 75th Anniversary Concert Season

Season Highlights the Symphony’s Past While Celebrating Its Future

Muskegon, Michigan, Aug. 22, 2014 — Season tickets are still available for the West Michigan Symphony’s 2014-2015 Diamond Anniversary season. A very special lineup of music, performers and tributes highlight the Symphony’s past and celebrate its future as it marks its 75th year in existence.

The Symphony kicks off its anniversary season red-carpet style Friday, Sept. 26, at the Frauenthal Center for Performing Arts with Hollywood on the Lakeshore. Music Director Scott Speck, who returns for his 12th season on the podium, conducts a symphonic celebration of cinema with recognizable works from current and classic films.

“The West Michigan Symphony’s extraordinary 75th anniversary season pays tribute to our long history and looks forward to an exciting future,” said Speck. “Our Masterworks season begins with the first piece of music we ever performed, in 1939—and we are presenting several West Michigan Symphony premieres as well.”

Masterpieces from the Symphony’s first performance in 1939 will also make appearances throughout the season, including Wagner’s “Tannhauser” Overture and the rarely heard Overture to “Il Guarany,” by Carlos Gomes. The Symphony also looks ahead to welcome its children’s choir to the Frauenthal stage for Carl Orff’s greatest masterpiece, “Carmina Burana.”

Other highlights of the season include symphonies by Beethoven, Sibelius and Haydn, a celebration of the holidays and an appearance by The Hit Men.

The series, which features five Masterworks concerts and three Pops performances, will wrap up June 5, 2015, with a rare performance of “The Planets” by Gustav Holst.

The 2014-15 WMS season will feature:
Opening night: Hollywood on the Lakeshore — Sept. 26 The star-studded evening will be a symphonic celebration of cinema featuring music from “Spider-Man,” “Inception,” “James Bond,” “Star Wars,” “E.T.” and the great classics “Gone with the Wind” and “Lawrence of Arabia.”
Carmina Burana: Sacred and Profane — Nov. 21 The WMS Children’s Choir, along with the Muskegon Chamber Choir, Grand Rapids Chamber Choir and Holland Choral, will perform one of the most iconic and recognizable works of the 20th century.
Christmas Magic — Dec. 12 Guest conductor Clyde Mitchell joins the WMS, along with vocalist Monique Creber and pianist Michael Creber, to perform a variety of holiday melodies. The family friendly evening will also feature the Norse Singers and the WMS Children’s choir.
Words and Music — Feb. 6 WMS Principal Bassoonist Vincent Karamanov performs Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto and the WMS performs Theme and Variations from “Mozartiana,” Peter Tchaikovsky’s own tribute to the immortal composer, Mozart. Carla Hill will narrate “Voices from the Gallery,” a witty and moving work by the living composer Stephen Paulus.
Beethoven and Blue Jeans — March 13 The WMS will perform two rarely heard Beethoven masterpieces and German virtuoso Nicolas Altstaedt will join the Symphony to perform Dmitri Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto.
The Hit Men — April 17 Former stars of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons will join the Symphony to perform favorites, including “December ’63,” “Who Loves You,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” and “Let’s Hang On.”
Following the Nordic Sun — May 15 The WMS features the three most celebrated Nordic composers with Nielsen’s “Helios” Overture, Grieg’s Piano Concerto featuring pianist Charlie Albright and Symphony no. 5 of Jan Sibelius. Albright is the 2014 Avery Fisher Career Grant winner.
The Planets — June 5 The season finale begins with the first piece of music ever performed by the WMS: Overture to “Il Guarany” by Brazilian composer Carlos Gomes. The Symphony will also perform “The Chairman Dances” from living composer John Adams’ groundbreaking opera, “Nixon in China.” The concert, and the season, will then conclude with “The Planets” by Holst.

Performances are Fridays at 7:30 p.m. at the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Muskegon.

“The best way to capture the entire 2014-15 Anniversary season is to invest in a season ticket,” Natalie Carmolli, Director of Marketing said. “Season ticket subscribers’ seats are reserved ahead of time so they can return to their favorite spot to enjoy each performance.” Season tickets are available for full, masterworks, pops and flex-series. Individual tickets start at $18 for adults and $7 for students.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the WMS box office at 231.726.3231 x223, in person at 360 W. Western Avenue, online at westmichigansymphony.org or at info@westmichigansymphony.org.

About West Michigan Symphony
As one of the few professional regional orchestras in Michigan, West Michigan Symphony has played a leading role in the region’s cultural community for 75 years. Founded as the West Shore Symphony Orchestra, WMS now serves a regional audience with eight performances annually at the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts, 15 performances at its new performance space, The Block, plus dozens of educational and outreach activities for children and adults. For more information, visit westmichigansymphony.org.

Michigan Arts & Culture Council
National Endowment for the Arts