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September 14, 15 concerts at 8 pm in Schuster Center begin celebration of American creativity

This season, when Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director Neal Gittleman plays the Star Spangled Banner to open the season’s first concert as is tradition, it will have very special significance. At 8 pm on Friday, September 14 in the Schuster Center, the DPO will begin a two-month-long homage to America with a concert titled American Panorama, the first of six concert programs the DPO will present in September and October. These six programs constitute the NCR Made in America Festival and feature exclusively the works of American composers and the talent of American artists.

American Panorama (which repeats on Saturday, September 15) features works by American composers Tomás Svoboda, Leonard Bernstein, Jennifer Higdon, and Howard Hanson. Svoboda’s Overture of the Season opens the program. Guest pianist Norman Krieger will perform with the DPO in Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety. Higdon’s Blue Cathedral and Hanson’s Symphony No. 2, Romantic, round out the program. This concert is the first of the Classical Concert Series presented by Kettering Health Network and Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP.

The first evening (September 14) will occur during the Downtown Dayton Partnership’s Urban Nights event.

As part of the season kick-off activities, there are three events that will take place in the that are free and open to the public:

On September 14 and 15 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the DP&L Stage in the Wintergarden, the DPO Trio will perform uniquely American music by composer Joseph Price: American Vignettes (2002) and Theme and Variations (2006). The DPO Trio consists of Bassist Steve Ullery, Trumpeter Ashley Hall, and Principal Percussionist Michael La Mattina.
For the nine Classical Series concerts and the four Dayton Daily News Classical Connections concerts, starting at 6:30 pm each concert evening the Dayton Metro Library will operate Words & Music, a lobby-stop library kiosk in the Wintergarden. Concertgoers and other visitors will be able to select from, and check-out, a wide variety of books, CDs, and DVDs related to the American Panorama theme, Dayton history, and classical music. All that one needs to check-out any of the items is a Dayton Metro Library card. Users may return the items to any branch of the library; they may also sign up for – and receive – a library card if they do not have one.
On the Orchestra Level in front of the Mead Theatre, there will be a season-long display of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra History in a text-and-photo timeline on banners. There will also be display cases, with artifacts and photos, and framed historical photos.

In a salute to America’s military and its role in Dayton’s history, for the initial Classical concerts on September 14 and 15, the DPO is offering $10 best-available seat tickets to all active and retired military personnel as well as to all active defense contractor personnel.

“The DPO is dedicated to playing classical music in all its many forms,” DPO Music Director Neal Gittleman states. “That includes American classical music in all its many forms. We’ll try to capture a lot of that variety in the NCR Made in America Festival that opens the season. And there’s even some more American music outside the Festival, including Stephen Albert’s beautiful Cello Concerto and the bold Violin Concerto by Dayton’s own Roque Cordero. The 2007-2008 season has lots of traditional favorites, too – Beethoven, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Verdi – and I hope that our audience will come away with a sense of how the great American classical music fits in with the great classical music of the past and a new sense of pride in what this country’s composers (and performers) have achieved in transforming what was once a purely European art form into something that speaks to – and of – the American experience.”