• May 16th Program Notes

    See a summary for each piece and a link to learn more.

    Sleepers Wake

    Arranged by Jerry Brubaker

    This is an arrangement of J.S. Bach's Zion hört die Wächter singen (Zion hears the watchmen singing) which is from the cantata, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Awake, calls the voice to us), BWV 140. He also utilized it in a collection entitled, Schübler Chorales. In its original setting, the chorale tenors sing these words.

    Trilogy (Ode to Breath)

    Arranged by Rebecca Brown

    This premiere performance will feature the work of local composer and Symphonicity education contributor, Joseph Umstead. Three movements depict short commemorations of themes that are especially relevant to the societal challenges we have all faced over the last 12 months.

    Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18

    Arranged for string orchestra by Jeremy Liu

    Written between 1900 - 1901, it has become among the most famous of piano concerti repertoire. The full range of the instrument is explored through rhapsodic virtuosity that also conveys a full range of human emotion with memorable melodies and hauntingly rich harmonies. Lee Dise offers this detailed commentary.

  • Bach: Sleepers Wake

    Zion hears the watchmen singing
    The maidens’ hearts with joy are springing
    They wake and quickly to Him go.


    Their Friend comes in Heav’nly splendor
    With graceful strength, with mercy tender
    Their light is bright, their star doth glow.


    Now come, thou worthy One;
    Lord Jesus, God’s own Son


    We follow all
    To that glad hall
    To our Lord’s table we are called.

    Umstead: Trilogy (Ode to Breath)

    A tribute of reflection, love and hope for all people who have lived and been lost during the perilous year between 2020 - 2021.

    I. Lament (for Strings & Percussion)

    II. Sounds of Love (for Woodwinds & Percussion)

    III. Lament Leads to Hope (for Brass)

    Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18

    Ringo Starr was once asked by an interviewer if he was always as sad as he looked. Ringo replied, "Ah'm naught sad, it's just me face." Likewise, Igor Stravinsky once described his friend and fellow Russian émigré, Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) as "a six and a half foot scowl." Like Ringo, Rachmaninoff had that kind of face. However, he did in fact struggle with depression at various points in his life, particularly following the disastrous debut of his Symphony No. 1, in 1897, and lived for years in the private hell of the overly self-critical. When he was too depressed to compose music, he kept the wolf from the door by teaching lessons and conducting. Finally, his aunt stepped in and urged him to seek professional therapy, which he obtained from a physician and family friend named Nikolai Dahl. The therapy was successful, and the first fruit of that success was the completion of his Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor in April 1901, which he dedicated to Dahl.


    The Second Concerto is more Tchaikovskian than Stravinskian in its approach; Romanticism was not going to die on Rachmaninoff's watch. When Wagner's disciples were adding chromaticism to their music by the truckload, and atonalists were walking their cats up and down the keyboard and taking dictation, Rachmaninoff held true to the musical idioms that had educated and nourished him as a young student and fledgling composer. Unlike Sibelius, Rachmaninoff was a dedicated and unrepentant melodist, a tunesmith, and, had he been born fifty years later, he could probably have made a fortune on Broadway.

    The Second Concerto is relentlessly diatonic, with unapologetically broad and sweeping melodies that have made a considerable imprint on American pop culture. The first movement, Moderato, opens with its famous C-minor melody; don't miss the dip down to the low G in the violins -- a "dead" note. An open string cannot be played with the customary vibrato and for the low G there is no alternate fingering. So, as dark and moody as the melody already sounds, the low G kicks it up a notch. You'll also hear a second melody, gorgeous, introduced and prominently displayed in a French horn solo. The main melody in the second movement was turned into a song, "All By Myself, Don't Want to Be," by pop artist Eric Carmen and released in 1975. Carmen must have thought the tune was in the public domain, but, alas, he wound up owing royalties to Rachmaninoff's estate. Imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery, but sometimes it is also the most expensive. The exquisitely-crafted theme from the third movement also became a pop tune, "Full Moon and Empty Arms," and was popularized by Frank Sinatra. Rachmaninoff was a piano virtuoso himself, and so his score requires that the performing soloist keep up with him. ("So you think you're good, do you?") What Rachmaninoff gave us is both a virtuosic showcase and a deep, soul-searching Romantic concerto, born from struggle and inspired from the heart. Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto is one of the top two or three most popular piano concertos in the literature, and has been inspiring audiences for just shy of a hundred and twenty years.

    - ©Lee Dise 2020

  • Svetlana Smolina


    SVETLANA SMOLINA performed with orchestras and in recitals worldwide. A recipient of “NewNames” scholarship program, her notable appearances with orchestras include Mariinsky Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher, St.Petersburg Philharmonic,Orchestra National de France, Odessa and Nizhny Novgorod Philharmonic, PittsburghSymphony, New Florida Philharmonic, Shreveport Symphony, New York Chamber. A frequent guest at festivals worldwide, Ms. Smolina has performed at theSalzburg Festival, HollywoodBowl, Ravinia Rising Stars, White Nights, Maggio Musicale, Mikkeli, Ruhr, Easter, RotterdamPhillips Gergiev, International Gilmore, Settimane Musicali di Stresa, Michelangeli, HennessyArtists Series at Hanoi Opera House, TheVoice of Music in Upper Galilee, in Royal CoventGarden Opera, Mariinsky 3 Concert Hall, Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory, Mozarteum, MerkinHall, Kravis Center, NJPAC, Gulbenkian Foundation, Grand Artists Series in Tel-Aviv, AcademiaSanta Cecilia in Rome.Recent recordings include Stravinsky’s Igor Stravinsky Les noces (Valery Gergiev, conductor on Decca/Phillips and on Mariinsky Label which received ICMA award for Best Choral Work in 2011),a recording of solo Chopin Album for the Chopin iTunes Project, Benjamin Britten Young Apollo live recording from Walt Disney Hall for BCM+D records and many broadcasts for NPR, BBC,PBS, RAI, Cultura TV and other networks.In the summer of 2011 Svetlana joined iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates in Los Angeles, making her debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall with iPalpiti Orchestra (Eduard Schmieder,conductor).Since 2011 Svetlana is directing piano program at Philadelphia International Music Festival..In 2014 Svetlana won “Live on Stage” live show cases tour and was chosen as their onlyClassical Pianist Artist for 2015-16 season.In 2014-15 Vadim Repin gave a series of concerts with Svetlana inWashington DC and inLondon UKfor Maestro Repin ‘s Trans-Siberian Art Festival. Their recital in March 2015 in Koerner Hall in Toronto, Canada received an astonishing critical acclaim. In July 2015 they performed a recitals part of "2015–Russian Year in Monaco" in the Salle Garnier, Monte-Carlo Opera forPrince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.In 2015-16 season Svetlana opened the season with Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional Juvenil inLima, Peruand was chosen as thesoloist on the New Year tour to Chinawith DublinPhilharmonic/Maestro Derek Gleeson performing in 7 cities includingSuzhou Grand Theater,Harbin Concert Hall, Wuhan Qintai Concert Hall,TianjinGrand Theater and in Changsha, opening its new Concert Hall.Highlights of 2016-2017include performances atthe inauguration year of Tippet Rise Festival inMontana, duo recitals with Vadim Repin at Cartagena Music Festival in Teatro Colon, Bogota for“2017 Columbia-France Year”,in Bangalore andMumbai India for XXV Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival, at Teatro Lirico di Cagliari in Sardinia, Italy; Carnegie Hall recital with Lee-ChinSiow and in Sentosa World Theater in Singaporeanda recital in Buenos Aires, Argentina atCCK Symphony Hall for “The Best Pianists of the 21st Century “series”.Highlights of Spring 2018 include opening night concert at Navrasa Duende Global Carnival withDublin Philharmonic on Nehru Stadium/ New Delhi, duo recital in Basel Switzerland with Charlie Siem and a concert tour in China for Winplus International.
    Invitations for 2019 include a concert at VI Trans-Siberian Arts Festival with Vadim Repinand Alexander Kniazev, debut at Lake Tahoe Festival with Maestro Joel Revzen, solo debut at theFestival in Ushuaia, Argentina,tour inFlorida with South Florida Symphony, recital and recordings in Bangalore, India with Dr. Subramaniam for Sree Rama Seva Mandali Festival, concert at Kimmel Center for Triumph Music Festivaland an orchestra recording withMaestro Gleeson and Pavel Sporcl at Bulgarian National Radioin Sofia.Svetlana holds DMA from University of Michigan and her professors include Alexander Toradze, Natalia Fisch, Monique Duphil, Evgeny Mogilesvky and Arthur Greene.

  • Musicians

    Megan Van Gomple, Concertmaster
    Cindy Bryan, Assistant Concertmaster
    Lynette K. Andrews, Principal Second Violin
    Verleyne Andrews-Rodgers
    Summer L. Cozzens
    Kylen Doubt
    Danielle J. Fagan
    Anjoli Ferrara-Clayton
    Satoko Fukasawa
    Howard I. Horwitz
    Rebecca Houghton
    Irene Kohut-Ilchyshyn
    Kelvin C. James
    Linda Johnson
    Alexandra Marlins
    Christina Morton
    Nikki Nieves
    Nick R. Raykhman
    Justin Stanley
    Adam Symborski
    Shirley Luu Smith, Principal
    Margaret A. Brown Honorary Viola Chair
    Daniel Austin
    Linda G. Dyer
    Leah Rosenberg
    Leslie M. Savvas
    Keara L. Smith
    Mary Ann Hughes, Principal
    Marguerite C. Alley
    Charlotte Dettwiler
    Deborah Ramos-Smiley
    Kirsten Rowe
    Joseph J. Eriksen, Principal
    Rebecca Brown


    Amber Kidd, Principal

    Erika Frydenlund

    Susan Grube

    Frank Jones



    Harvey Stokes, Principal

    Sandra Richards



    Jo Marie T. Larkin, Principal

    Alan J. Brown

    Lee Cooper



    Suzanne Daniels, Principal

    Laura Parker



    Christine Foust, Principal

    Becky Peppard, Assistant Principal



    Heath Losick , Principal

    Tom Graper

    Chad McGill

    Denise White



    Kenneth Keller, Principal

    Rick Kalinauskas


    Bass Trombone

    Jeffery Beckett



    Jim Cipriano



    Glenn Smith



    Aaron Cook, Principal

    Doug Montgomery

    Wesley Coombs

    Fermata Club

    Andrea Boothe, Fermata Club Coordinator
    Kayhlynn Dickey
    Ray Grover
    Nicholas Ilchyshyn
    Janiyah Washington