Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Unique Family Series Concert Lets Audience Choose Musical Ending
Composer Gregory Smith Hosts In The Composer’s Workshop, May 10
Baltimore, Md. (April 2, 2008) —On May 10 at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will conclude its 2007-2008 Family Concert Series with a unique and interactive program, In the Composer’s Workshop. Hosted by the composer himself, Gregory Smith, In the Composer’s Workshop will help children gain critical listening skills, show them how composers create music and give them the opportunity to practice these skills by selecting the musical ending for Gregory Smith’s original composition. Led by Carolyn Kuan, the program also includes familiar works by Aaron Copland. See below for complete program information.
The program will focus on the compositional process, illustrated for the students using Gregory Smith’s original work, Mr. Smith’s Composition. Students will learn how to listen for and identify musical themes and techniques, and gain a better understanding of how composers communicate their ideas through a range of instrumental and vocal timbres through interactive lessons with the host and BSO musicians. This program also highlights the works of Aaron Copland, one of the great composers of the 20th century, best known for his incorporation of popular forms of American music into his compositions such as jazz and folk music. The program includes Fanfare for the Common Man, excerpts from “Dance” from Music for the Theatre, El Salón Mexico, Variations on A Shaker Melody, and “Hoedown” from Rodeo.
About Gregory Smith, composer and host
The career of Gregory Smith (b. 1957) covers the entire range of the musical world from serious chamber music to Broadway to movie scores. His television music can be heard on all of the major networks as well as stations around the world. The family and educational concert works of Gregory Smith have received more than 700 performances by more than 160 orchestras, often with Smith narrating. His latest work, The Melodic Life, was premiered by Marin Alsop at the Cabrillo Music Festival in August 2006. Smith enjoys a long association with the Walt Disney Company and has served as composer and music supervisor for numerous productions at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland and Euro Disney. Most recently, Smith composed, arranged and conducted the music for the fireworks show at Hong Kong Disneyland.
Smith's television and film credits include composing themes for MSNBC, The Discovery Channel, ESPN, TNT, Headline News; scoring for the various Star Trek TV dramas, additional music for The Mighty Ducks (II and III), orchestrations for Con Air and Now and Then; arranging songs for the Disney animated features Pooh's Grand Adventure and Pochontas II and composing animation music for Warner Bros. cartoons. Smith recently composed the logo theme for the newly merged CBS Paramount Television.
As a conductor, Smith has recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and Seattle Symphony Orchestra as well as numerous recording studio orchestras in New York, Los Angeles, London and Prague.
About Carolyn Kuan, conductor
Carolyn Kuan is currently an associate conductor with the Seattle Symphony. She holds the distinction of being the first female to be awarded the Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellowship by the Herbert von Karajan Centrum and American Austrian Foundation in 2003.
She has performed with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, Charleston Symphony, Richmond Philharmonic and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Kuan is a keen advocate of new music, having served as assistant conductor for the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music under Music Director Marin Alsop since 2003. She also held the post of conductor of the Smith College Composers Ensemble and has led the Peabody Symphony Orchestra in readings and recordings of new compositions.
The recipient of numerous awards, Kuan was named the first Taki Concordia Fellow in 2003 and has received additional awards from the Women's Philharmonic, the Conductors Guild, the Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship and the Susan W. Rose Fund for Music. Kuan studied with Marin Alsop, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier and Leonard Slatkin. She graduated cum laude from Smith College and received a master’s degree in Music from the University of Illinois and a performance diploma from the Peabody Conservatory.
COMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION
Classically Kids: In the Composer’s Workshop
Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 11:00 a.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Gregory Smith, host
Carolyn Kuan, conductor
Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man
Copland: Excerpts from “Dance” from Music for the Theatre
Copland: Excerpts from El Salón Mexico
Copland: Variations on A Shaker Melody
Gregory Smith: Mr. Smith’s Composition
Copland: “Hoedown” from Rodeo
Tickets for these concerts range from $12 to $20 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444 or 410.783.8000, or BSOmusic.org.