Sibelius, Rossini and Rosetti

Jon Silpayamanant performing Mahler 1 & "Blumine" with the IUS Orchestra and members of Keep Louisville Symphonic (17 April 2011).

So the Fall semester at IUS will begin tomorrow.  The IUS Orchestra will have its first rehearsal on Tuesday (the orchestra rehearses Tuesday nights during the regular school year and partway into the beginning of the summer).  As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t often get to do a ton of classical music–I’m really just too busy with other performances–so it is a pleasure to “get back to my roots” again, so to speak.

As was the case last year, I will be alternating rehearsing with the orchestra and my klezmer group, the River City Klezmer Band.  These two groups I play with for fun.  Both are community groups with constantly rotating memberships and I’m not expecting either to necessarily lead me to “greater things” (whatever that is supposed to mean)–just being able to play music with larger groups than I normally play with is a pleasure in and of itself.

The first IUS Orchestra of the semester will fall on November 20, 2011 with repertoire as follows:

  • Gioachino Rossini  (1792 – 1868)   Overture to “L’italiana in Algeri”
  • Antonio Rosetti  (c. 1750 – 1792)  Horn Concerto in Eb (I have no idea which one of the dozen) with soloist Colin Dorman
  • Jean Sibelius  (1865 – 1957)  Symphony No. 2 in D major, Opus 43

I’ve played most of Rossini’s other Opera overtures, but not the Algiers one.  Never played a work by Rosetti (that I can recall), and have never played any of Sibelius’ Symphonies*.  I’m not even sure how often any of Sibelius’ Symphonies get programmed.  It should be a fun first concert.


*edit: as Kyle (see comment below) reminded me–I have actually played the last movement of the Sibelius 2nd Symphony with the Floyd County Youth Symphony at least once.

on Klingon weddings and playing the Sci-Fi/Fantasy circuit

Jon Silpayamanant as a Klingon performing before a production of The Pirates of Penzance (in Outer Space) in New Albany, Indiana.

So, as I mentioned in the previous post, there is an embarrassment of riches as far as performing options are concerned, if you’re willing to think outside the box.  The past few years I’ve been playing the Sci-Fi/Fantasy circuit.  I hesitate to call it the “Sci-Fi/Fantasy Convention circuit” if only because some of the best paying gigs I’ve gotten recently happen to be at organizations outside of the Convention circuit proper.

And some of that has started to creep into the so-called ‘high arts’ realm with organizations such as Symphony Orchestras playing themed shows dedicated to particular Sci-Fi or Fantasy franchises (e.g. Lord of the Rings, Star Wars) as part of their pops seasons.

On the whole, however, there’s always been music at conventions–even if it only consisted of filk music.  Part of the Klingon schtick is as much act as play and the idea came to me as a whim after il Troubadore started playing Sci-Fi conventions at the request of some bellydancers.  We decided we needed our own act and schtick, thus was born the il Troubadore Klingon Music Project.

Ok, so I talk about the short series of events from bellydancer request to Sci-Fi convention to developing a full blown Klingon Band personae as if it’s an everyday thing.  But seriously, for me, it is.

That’s the specific issue at hand here.  Over the years I’ve heard all manner of musicians grouse about the lousy economy and the lack of work.  And here, I’m talking primarily about those musicians who do not hold full time or professional positions as musicians–this includes freelancers, but also just your normal everyday band musician.  I know I’ve brought up this issue plenty of times in the past, but don’t want to flood this post with a ton of links.

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