A Season of Firsts

The 2015–2016 Jacksonville Symphony season will be known as the season of firsts. First up are three free community concerts. These free concerts – scheduled for the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m., Unity Plaza on October 2 at 8 p.m. and Jacoby Hall in the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts on October 3 at 8 p.m. ­– are the perfect entré to a season full of fun and excitement.
Grand opening weekend – October 9, 10 and 11 – will be the opening of the first full season for Music Director Courtney Lewis. He will be joined by the women of the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus for a program opening with John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine, continuing with Hayden’s Symphony No. 90 and finally Holst’s masterpiece, The Planets.
TMP_9635Lewis has been recording video introductions to each of the Florida Blue Masterworks concerts (another first). Each clip will contain information about the composers and the circumstances in which they wrote their music. Find out why he loves each piece. Each of these video introductions will be posted on the Jacksonville Symphony’s website, jaxsymphony.org, which has been completely redesigned and is expected to go live sometime in October.
The new website will make it easier to purchase tickets online; feature much more audio and video of music to be performed, and provide timely information about the Symphony’s musicians, guest artists and music.
A first that affects young students will be the new Under18 Free program. Children ages seven to seventeen will be able to attend any Masterworks, Pops or Coffee series concert FREE with the purchase of one adult ticket. Under18 Free is in addition to the Sound Check Card, a season access pass for $25 that allows any student up to the age of twenty-five access to any Masterworks, Pops, Coffee and Matinee performance. Plus there is still a Student Rush ticket. Any student can purchase a ticket to a Masterworks, Pops, Coffee Series and Matinee concert through Patron Services ninety minutes prior to the concert when they present valid ID.
The Symphony’s new assistant conductor, Nathan Aspinall, will make his first appearance with the orchestra for the first Fidelity National Financial Pops Concert on October 16 and 17. Nathan hails from Brisbane, Australia, and won the position during auditions held in May.  He will be leading the orchestra and vocalist Denzal Sinclaire in The Music of Nat King Cole.
Other firsts coming up this season include Symphonic Night at the Movies – three concerts which feature films with the orchestra playing the live score. Pixar in Concert is scheduled for December 5, Back to the Future on March 12 and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial on April 9. Special thanks to Sight & Sound Productions who are helping make these special presentations possible.

Read MoreBy Amy Rankin

Author: Arbus

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