Two Openings in RSO Trombone Section!

Categories: Uncategorized

RSO will be holding trombone auditions on Sunday, Feb 1, 2015 from 2:00 – 5:00PM at Carswell Recital Hall, Meredith College.  Interested applicants please download the audition application form available on this site and  email it to:  Questions?  Please contact us at 919-546-9755 or by email at




Upcoming Holiday Event: Our Christmas Gift

Categories: Current Event

DCF 1.0


Upcoming Holiday Concert


Raleigh Symphony is on the road doing what we do best!  Spreading the gift of music to young musicians in our area!  Join us as we perform with the Leesville Rd Middle and High School Orchestras in their auditorium at 8410 Pride Way, Raleigh NC on Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 7:00pm.

Raleigh Symphony will perform a side by side concert with these talented musicians.  Come hear holiday classics such as Winter Wonderland, The Holly and the Ivy, and Frosty the Snowman as well as orchestral favorites Sibelius’ Finlandia, Grieg’s Zwei Melodien and Haydn’s Symphony No. 44.

881wknc (1)

This concert’s Non Profit Partner is WKNC 88.1FM Radio.

WKNC 88.1 FM is student-run non-commercial radio from N.C. State University. We pride ourselves on our educational and alternative programming of indie rock, electronic, metal and underground hip-hop and have been consistently named among the best in the Triangle by Independent Weekly. Boasting 25,000 watts, WKNC can be heard throughout the Triangle and far beyond via our webcast. Our aim is to provide NCSU students with the knowledge needed for a career in the broadcast industry and listeners with music that doesn’t suck.


Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) –  Finlandia

Sibelius wrote the symphonic poem Finlandia in 1899, and revised it in 1900.  The piece was composed for the Press Celebrations of 1899, a covert protest against increasing censorship from the Russian Empire, and was performed as an accompaniment to a tableau depicting episodes from Finnish history.  Finlandia had to be performed under alternate names at various concerts, in order to avoid Russian censorship.

Much of the piece is taken up with rousing and turbulent music, evoking the national struggle of the Finnish people.  Near the end of the work,  a calm comes over the orchestra and the melodic Finlandia Hymn is heard.  The Hymn section is of Sibelius creation, and is not a traditional folk melody.  Although the Hymn is one of the most important national songs of Finland, it is not the Finnish national anthem.

It is also sung as a Christian hymn (Be Still, My Soul), and was the national anthem of the short-lived African state of Biafra.


Franz Joseph Haydn  (1732-1809) – Symphony #44 ‘Trauer’

Haydn’s Symphony #44 was written in 1772.  The nickname of the symphony translates to ‘mourning’.  This piece was written during Haydn’s ‘sturm und drang’ (storm and stress) period.  He had been in the employ as Kapellmeister of the royal Esterhazy family since 1766.  Some of the symphonies he wrote between 1766 and 1772 show how much Haydn was experimenting.  This symphony and #49 are both in minor keys, and are especially expressive and dramatic, and different in structure from most Haydn symphonies.

The work is in four movements and is scored for two oboes, bassoon, two horns, continuo and strings.

Allegro con brio – This movement is in sonata form.  It begins with a four-note motif played in unison, which occurs throughout the movement.

Menuetto: Allegretto– Here Haydn reverses the order of the inner movements and balances the intense emotions of the first and third movements with a minuet in between them.  The minuet is in the form of what is known as a “Canone in Diapason” between the upper and lower strings, with the lower strings trailing the upper strings by a single measure.

Adagio – Haydn gave the symphony the nickname ‘mourning’, in no small part because of this movement.  Later in his life viagra online Haydn requested this piece be played at his funeral.

Presto – The finale, like the first movement, is in sonata form, and is dominated by a figure which opens the movement in unison.  It is quite contrapuntal, and ends in E minor rather than finishing in the usual major key.




The Raleigh Symphony Orchestra presents Concerto No. 2

Categories: Current Event

Concerto No. 2 with Edward Burke

Guitarist, Edward Burke hails from the Raleigh area.  Currently based in San Francisco, CA , he holds a Masters in Music from the internationally acheter viagra en ligne acclaimed San Francisco Conservatory and a Bachelors of Music from the North Carolina School of the Arts.   He will be featured as guest soloist the with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 3PM with a performance of the rarely performed Concerto No. 2 by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. solo-guitarist


Buy Tickets for Three Deuces

Categories: Current Event, Tags: ,



The Three Deuces

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 3:00PM, Jones Auditorium, Meredith College

For ticket information call the RSO box office at (919) 546-9755 or purchase tickets online.











Photo Courtesy of Greg Plachta Photography

Edward Burke, Classical Guitar

  Performs rarely heard Tedesco Guitar Concerto No. 2


Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 by J. S. Bach

The Brandenburg concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach (BWV 1046-1051) are a collection of six instrumental works presented by Bach to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt, in 1721. They are considered to be some of the best orchestral compositions of the Ba-roque era. Most likely, Bach composed the concertos over several years while Kapellmeister at Kothen. Unfortunately, Christian Ludwig lacked the required number of musicians in his Berlin ensemble, and the works were not performed. After Christian Ludwig’s death the original manuscripts were sold for the equivalent of $22 today. The autograph manuscript was rediscovered in the Brandenburg archives, and the concertos were first published in 1850.

Brandenburg Concerto No. 2: This piece features one trumpet, one flute, one oboe, and one violin soloist with string accompaniment. The trumpet part is considered one of the most difficult in the entire reper-toire. The trumpet does not play in the second movement, a common practice in baroque era concerti due to the construction of the natural trumpet in use at the time, which allow it to play only in major keys. Because concerti often move to a minor key in the second movement, concerti that include the instrument in their first movement often ex-clude it in the second. The third movement is currently the theme for Masterpiece Theater on PBS; it was chosen as the first to be played on the “golden Record”, a phonograph record containing a broad sample of Earth’s common sounds, languages, and music sent into outer space with the two Voyager probes.

Guitar Concerto No. 2 in C major Op. 160 (1953)

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco was an extremely prolific Italian composer during the first half of the twentieth century. His compositions em-ployed many forms and genres, including but not limited to: ballet(3), opera(4), overtures, concertos, solos, song cycles, and film music.

Perhaps his best known work was the second violin concerto which was written for and dedicated to Joshua Heifetz. He is also remembered as the primary composition teacher of many film composers such as John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, and Howard Shore.

Tedesco himself composed the score for many films including Serpent of the Nile(1953), Bridge Over the River Kwai(1957), and Captain Video, Master of the Stratosphere(1951). Unlike Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s first guitar concerto, the second is relatively unknown and rarely performed. It was written in 1953 which was shortly after ac-claimed Spanish guitar virtuoso Andres Segovia stopped playing new compositions by the composer. Unlike most other composers who were writing music for Segovia a that time, Tedesco was completing works faster than Segovia could learn them. Other guitar works from this period include Escarraman Op. 177, Passacaglia Op. 180, Greeting Cards.

Symphony No. 2 “Little Russian”, Op. 17 by P. Tschaikowsky (1840 – 1893) Written while on a summer vacation in the Ukraine – which at the time the Ukraine was considered “Little Russia”. Tchaikowsky’s use of folk tunes are very prevalent in three of the four movements: For the first movement, the tune “Down the Mother Volga” is found, “Spin, O My Spinner” is used in the second and “The Crane” is the foundation for a theme and variations found in the fourth movement. Its premiere was a success, however, Tchaikowsky made extensive revisions in 1879 by recomposing the first movement, re-orchestrating the scherzo section and by making the finale much shorter. The “second” premiere of this symphony was in 1881. Ironically, the original version was never published.


Concert Sponsors

Arts NC State

The mission of ARTS NC STATE is to enhance the environment of the University and our community with rich and diverse events, installations, and opportunities and to make the arts a significant part of every student’s educational experience.



 Ten Thousand Villages

To create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to our markets through long-term, fair trading relationships.”


For ticket information call the RSO box office at (919) 546-9755 or purchase tickets online.


Buy Tickets for Rising Stars!

Categories: Current Event



Rising Stars

Sunday, February 23, 2014, 3:00PM, Jones Auditorium, Meredith College

Let’s Celebrate our Rising Stars!
Showcasing winners of RSO’s annual statewide concerto competition. Come see tomorrow’s stars today! This concert features a fun and beautiful arrangement of classical ensembles sure to please everyone.


We can’t wait to perform with our two Concerto Competition winners. This year we had a number of worthy applicants, but two stood above the rest. Daniel Liauw of Durham, NC currently attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Daniel will accompany the Symphony on Piano. Mary Catherine Cox of Southern Pines, NC currently attends East Carolina University. Mary will accompany the Symphony on Violin. Join us in welcoming these two young musicians into our community orchestra!

The Performance

Piano Concerto No. 1 – Sergei Rachmaninoff, 1891 sponsored by Wounded Warriors.woundedwarriors


Sergei Rachmaninoff debuted his Piano Concerto No. 1 in Moscow as the piano soloist. He was very inspired by the Grieg Piano Concerto during his developmental student years. This concerto is full of the eighteen year old’s youthful vivacity. The Russian Romantic style has character melodies, expressiveness, and rich orchestral colors. Enduringly popular with audiences worldwide, movies such as Clint Eastwood’s 2010 film Hereafter feature his unforgettable music.

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873 – 1943) was born in Russia and immigrated to the US after the Russian revolution in 1917, his livelihood and estate lost. He became an American citizen in 1942 and is interred in New York. Rachmaninoff was always homesick for Russia and had a summer home in Switzerland to remind him of his homeland mountains. He was initially influenced by Tchaikowsky and remained in the Russian Romantic style which was carefully learned and crafted from his student years. Rachmaninoff toured widely and was wealthy enough in 1923 to fund a fellow Russian’s failing aircraft factory, thus becoming the first Vice President of Sikorsky Company. Rachmaninoff was known for his love of fast cars, his 6’6” height and his very large hands which gave him a pianist’s span of a 13th. He was a passionate man who said “Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.”

Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Opus 105 – Jean Sibelius, l924 sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club.wake-bgc-logo

Adagio, Un Pochett, Adagio, Allegro, Vivace, Presto, Largamente, Tempo I

Symphony No. 7 is the final published symphony by the Finnish composer Sibelius. In one movement rather than the standard four, it is completely masterful and original in form. Sibelius used the key of C to unify the music and the constantly changing tempi to move the music along and to achieve variety. This concept of a continous single movement symphony was reached after much experimentalism, and is often described as organic. It is in a strictly tonal idiom and uses Finnish folk tunes. Eugene Ormandy often programmed Sibelius to introduce him to the American audience. Sibelius has fallen in and out and in fashion, the “anti modern modernist”. He describes his music as the “joy of life and vitality” and the very memory of the Scandinavian landscape.

Conductor comments: The Sibelius Symphony No. 7 is a model of sonata form efficiency. It is half the length of a standard symphony yet showcases wonderful solos for all the orchestral instruments. Especially listen for the trombone solo renowned at every trombone audition. This Sibelius symphony has not been ever been heard anywhere else in the Triangle. The Raleigh Symphony Orchestra brings to its audience a new experience in symphony programming.

Jean Sibelius (1865 – 1957) was a late Romantic period Finnish composer and accomplished violinist. He is performed frequently and is best known for Finlandia, Valse Triste, the Violin Concerto in D, and the Swan of Tuonela. Sibelius was influenced by Wagner and Tchaikowsky, and became the Finnish national identity in music. The composer’s birthday, December 8, is also celebrated as the National Day of Finnish music and the Finnish 100 mark bill has Sibelius’ portrait. In 1914 he received an honorary degree from Yale University and was Composer of the Year at the Norfolk Music Festival in Connecticut,. The Finnish Senate voted Sibelius a lifetime pension in 1899 in recognition of his genius and of his importance to the nation’s gaining independence. Often criticized for being too simple or weird, Sibelius said “Pay no attention to what the critics say. No statue has ever been put up to a critic.”

Violin Concerto in D Major, Opus 35 – Pyotr Tchaikowsky, 1878 sponsored by Helping Paws.helping-paws

Allegro Moderato

The Violin concerto in D was written in Switzerland on Lake Geneva. Tchaikowsky was creating musical beauty and emotions rather than the established traditions of elevated abstract thought. The Violin Concerto was initially rejected by the celebrated violin soloists of the day for being “odorously Russian” and in need of editing because some of the passages were not suited to the character of the violin. It is now the best known violin concerto and considered to be the most technically difficult work for the violin. The Violin Concerto does not follow sonata form, but relies on blocks of tonalities, sensual opulence and thematic groups. It contains Russian folk melodies, Russian values, and engages the listener to the truly lived and felt experience.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikowsky (1840 -1893) was a Russian Romantic composer whose works include symphonies, operas, ballets, chamber music and a choral setting of the Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy. Tchaikowsky reaches beyond Russian traditions wit his music, and thought seriously about Russia’s place in European musical culture and performance, and also how to discover and express his Russianness in a way which was true to himself.

Tchaikowsky was the first Russian composer to be known worldwide. Twenty years after his death, in 1913 Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite Of Spring exploded onto the musical scene, signaling Russia’s arrival into twentieth century music. Between these two very different worlds, Tchaikowsky’s music became the sole bridge.

For ticket information call the RSO box office at (919) 546-9755 or purchase tickets online.


Buy Tickets for Rockin Around the Christmas Tree!

Categories: Current Event



Rockin’ Around the Christmas cigarettes shops Tree

December 7, 2013, 8:00PM, Jones Auditorium, Meredith College

Tis the Season for Family, Music and a Rockin Good Time!
A unique collaboration with a popular Raleigh rock band including a piece with vocalist Amanda Kessell. Selections to include creative new arrangements of classic holiday tunes for The Band Scarlet and your Raleigh Symphony Orchestra!

Don’t Forget to Attend our Christmas Concert After Party!

To buy a ticket for both the after party and concert, please click here.
Capriccio Italien, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, 1880
Andante un poco rubato, Pochissimo piu mosso, Allegro moderato

White Christmas: Irving Berlin, 1940
White Christmas is the best selling single record of all time, fifty million copies worldwide.  It won the Academy Awards best song of 1942 and RIAA ranks it #2 in “Songs of the Century” behind “Over The Rainbow”.  It is the most recorded Christmas song and has 500 versions in several languages.

The First Noel
The First Noel is a traditional English carol from the thirteenth century.  This combination of tune and lyrics was published in 1823 in “Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern”.  Featuring Soprano, Amanda Kessell.

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home):  Greenwich, Barry and Spector, 1963
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) is first the Rolling Stones’ list of the Greatest Rock and Roll Christmas songs, and covered by a long list of artists.

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year:  Pola and Wyle, 1963
It’s The Most wonderful Time of the Year was written for the Andy Williams TV show.  It has been #4 by Billboard as the “Top Ten Holiday Songs” since 2001, and often used in advertising and parodies.

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree:  Johnny Marks, 1958
Rockin’Around The Christmas Tree  was first recorded by Brenda Lee at thirteen years of age with Boots Randolph on sax.  Nielson places it 4th on their list of all-time best selling Christmas/Holiday singles.

All I Want for Christmas is You:  Carey and Afanasieff, 1993
All I Want for Christmas is You was originally performed by Maria Carey.  The New Yorker calls it “one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon”.  It is Carey’s biggest international hit.

Santa Baby:  Javits and Springer, 1953
Santa Baby was originally performed by Eartha Kitt, and has been covered by everyone, including Mae West and Pink Martini.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas:  Martin and Blane, 1944
Featuring the Band Scarlet. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas was introduced by Judy Garland in “Meet Me In St. Louis”, and covered famously by Frank Sinatra.  ASCAP ranked it the third most performed Christmas song in 2007.

Guest Musicians and Programming Notes

Orchestra Arrangements by Harrison Fisher, Emily McLawhorn and Jim Waddelow

Capriccio Italien – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893)
Tchaikovsky was born to a middle class family in Russia.  He started composing at age four and studied composition with Anton Rubenstein at St. Petersburg Conservatory.  Johann Strauss the Younger first performed Tchaikovsky’s works in 1866 and he quickly became a world music figure,  He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally.  Tchaikovsky conducted at the grand opening of Carnegie Hall in 1891 and received an honorary doctorate degree from Cambridge University, England.  Often criticized by his colleagues for not being “Russian enough” in his harmonies, Tchaikovsky’s audiences have always loved his expressive melodies.

The Capriccio Italien is a fantasy for orchestra inspired by a trip to Rome during Carnival.  It contains Italian folk songs which Tchaikovsky heard on the streets.  The opening fanfare is a signal used at the cavalry barracks.  Tchaikovsky was very pleased with this composition and found it “delightful”.

Amanda Kessell
Amanda Kessell lives in Raleigh and is the lead singer for The Band Scarlet.  She met Dr. Waddelow at Meredith College in the opera “Trial By Jury”.  Ms Kessell is the full time National Anthem singer for the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Band Scarlet
Scarlet is a four piece regional dance band formed in 2010 comprised of Paul Zizzo on lead guitar and vocals, Jeramy Bell on bass and vocals, Tony Williams on drums, and Amanda Kessell, vocals.  Scarlet has an energetic stage show featuring Top 40 music from the 80s, 90s and today.  Their website lists the band’s appearances in Raleigh and other North Carolina venues.  Scarlet is also available for private and corporate events, where they keep the dance floor packed and everyone has a good time.

For ticket information call the RSO box office at (919) 546-9755 or purchase tickets online.


Concierto de Aranjuez : For Guitar & Orchestra

Categories: Current Event

b279c5a9aa9f3ae42cbdccdedabb4253Born in Toronto, Raleigh-based guitarist and Liscio recording artist, Ed (Stefanyshyn) Stephenson’s virtuosity extends throughout the Spanish and Nuevo Flamenco genres. In addition to performing throughout North America as a soloist and with his Nuevo Flamenco ensemble, the Paco Band, Stephenson has invested locally through performances with The North Carolina Symphony, The North Carolina Theater, The North Carolina Bach Festival, and The North Carolina Guitar Quartet.  Ed’s most recent recording, Esencia, is craftily blended to deliver a new dimension of Nuevo Flamenco music. It includes six ensemble tracks and four solo tracks. Roger Cope of The Classical Voice of North Carolina praised the album saying, “The ensemble is tight with rhythmically biting and often infectious enthusiasm… The solos are duende-imbued renditions of standard classical guitar repertoire that are surprisingly effective and that refresh their signature elements… It has all the characteristics and virtuosity of traditional flamenco guitar but falls outside—or perhaps expands upon—the limited traditional flamenco harmonies and structure. You find influences such as bossa nova or Latin, rock, jazz, swing and salsa, and others.”