What did you do in the arts this past weekend?

We’re entering the holiday entertainment season, and BAMirror reviewers are going to be as busy as elves, either writing about other people’s performances or participating in their own concerts and shows.
Therefore, it seems like the perfect time to revive our once-regular “what did you do” Monday query. In the comment section, BAMirror readers — and writers — can offer a quick summary of their weekend’s entertainment adventures.
Over the past two weekends, I’ve attended the exuberant EPAC production of The Producers and Tri-Cities Opera’s powerful presentation of the Vietnam-era opera Glory Denied.
What have YOU been doing in the arts?

— Barb Van Atta

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1 Response to "What did you do in the arts this past weekend?"

  1. Lee Shepherd

    It was inspiring, sitting in the second violin section, but about two feet from our young piano soloist at the Nov. 18 Binghamton Community Orchestra concert at Binghamton’s East Middle School. Tayler Otis, Wyalusing, Pa., is 17 and gifted way beyond her years. She performed the first movement of a Saint-Saens piano concerto with such musicality and emotional maturity that it brought tears to my eyes. Tayler, winner of the BCO/Southern Tier Music Teachers’ Association (STMTA) competition, has a bright future as a concert artist.

    And that was just the tip of the iceberg of fine offerings at last Saturday’s program, “Bach to the Future,” a theme concert created by our conductor, the inventive Timothy Perry. A hallmark of a BCO concert is the informative and entertaining explanations of the music offered by Perry between works.

    In a collaborative effort with the Madrigal Choir of Binghamton, conducted by Bruce Borton, the orchestra played Bach in the original form (a cantata, “A Mighty Fortress is our God”), plus Bach as finessed and interpreted by Holst, Stokowski and Brahms.

    But the glitter on the frosting on the cake was a performance of a Bach parody, “The Seasonings,” by PDQ Bach (an offspring of the composer “discovered” by composer/humorist Peter Schickele).

    Featuring rude and raucous sounds by windbreakers (mailing tubes), the tromboon (an unholy cross between trombone and horn), garden hose, the chord organ (an antique child’s instrument), slide whistles, kazoos, foghorn and more, the piece is the ultimate in silliness and fun. Over-the-top performances by soloists Kathy Starks, Theresa Lee-Whiting, Dave Schriber and John Starks were hilarious.

    What both choir and orchestra discovered was that, number one, the piece is hard to play without giggling, and secondly, that it’s difficult. The music has to be played well, in order to be played badly!

    Orchestra members provide lavish refreshments after each concert, so the crowd received both treats for the ear and appetite. All in all, I think BCO concerts are cultural community events that shouldn’t be missed.

    The next concert is Feb. 24 and features movie music and another young STMTA competition winner, soprano soloist Cassandra Pinataro.

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