2013-14 Season

Listed are the four concerts in the SSO concert series plus two additional “special” concerts. Concerts #1 through #4 are available as a subscription series. Concert #5 is a Chamber Benefit concert and Concert #6 is a free concert presented al fresco.

Concert #1

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Linda Plays Ludwig
October 12, 2013 at 7:30PM | Bel Air High School
A pre-concert lecture will be held at 6:50 – 7:10. Watch for updates on lecture topic.

Sheldon Bair – Conductor
Brian Folus – guest conductor
Linda Molina – Violinist

  • Zach Beever – Don’t Panic “What do you mean, you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri?” (Premiere)
  • Chabrier – Fete Polonaise
  • Chabrier – Joyeuse Marche
  • Beethoven – Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61

It is always difficult for a Music Director to decide what pieces should share a program with a masterpiece like Beethoven’s ever-popular Violin Concerto. The Violin Concerto isfull of many emotions, so Maestro Bair has chosen three fun-filled works for the first half of the concert. French composer Chabrier is best known for his ‘Espana’, but his ‘Fete Polonaise’ or ‘Festive Polonaise’ is full of fanfare and dance. The same composer’s ‘Joyous March”, to be conducted by Harford Youth Orchestra conductor Brian Folus, is truly a short comedy and march rolled into one. To round out the first half of the concert the SSO will perform 18 year-old Zach Beever’s ‘Don’t Panic’ that is a set of dances. The title is taken from ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ and the work is highly melodic and rhythmically intriguing.

The second half of the program contains just one work: Beethoven’s great Violin Concerto, which is arguably the best violin concerto ever written. Wonderfully gifted local violinist Linda Molina returns as guest soloist with the SSO for this great work. The first movement, the longest, is full of drama, the second movement is very romantic, while the third and final movement is very dance-like and light, returning to the feeling of the first half of the concert.

Concert #2

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Some Assembly Required
December 7, 2013 at 7:30PM | Bel Air High School

Sheldon Bair – Conductor
Brian Folus – guest conductor
Morgan Bair – Narrator

  • Theldon Myers – People Look East
  • Todd Goodman and Justin Cober-Lake – Some Assembly Required
  • Percy Grainger – The Sussex Mummer’s Christmas Carol
  • Benjamin Britten – Men of Goodwill (Variations on a Christmas Carol)
  • Leon Jessel, arr.Donald Raff – Parade of the Wooden Soldiers
  • arr. Folus – A Hanukah Celebration
  • arr. Chase – Christmas Memories
  • arr. Bair – Christmas Sing Along

The SSO’s ever-popular Holiday Concert is bound to continue in its popularity with this concert of Holiday favorites plus a narrated work about growing up. The concert will include a work the SSO has performed many times: local composer Theldon Myers’ arrangement of the Christmas carols ‘People Look East’. Also included from past concerts are the dramatic ‘Parade of the Wooden Soldiers’ as arranged by Donald Raff (our bass trombonist and ‘acted’ by the SSO members) and Brian Folus’ extremely popular (at last year’s Holiday concert) ‘A Hanukah Celebration’ with Maestro Folus conducting. Sheldon Bair has arranged a new ‘Christmas Sing Along’ with different tunes than last year’s Sing Along, and the concert also includes holiday music by Percy Grainger and Benjamin Britten (the latter’s ‘Men of Goodwill’). Bair’s daughter, 14 year-old Morgan, will narrate Todd Goodman’s ‘Some Assembly Required’ about a child learning to grow up. The concert will conclude with the usual goodwill and good wishes from the SSO!

Share the joy of the season. The SSO collects toys and gifts at its holiday concert. The Aegis Empty Stocking Fund is a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization created to help Harford Countians during the Holidays with toys, food and clothing for each family.

Concert #3

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Carmina Burana
March 8, 2014 at 7:30PM | Bel Air High School
A preconcert lecture will be held from 6:50 – 7:10.

Sheldon Bair – Conductor
Martha Banghart – guest conductor
Teri Bickham – Soprano
Christopher Dudley – Tenor
Jeffrey Grayson Gates – Baritone
Deer Creek Chorale, Martha Banghart, director
Guest singers from Harford Choral Society (William Spencer, director), Towson University Choral Society (John Pusateri, director), Towson High School Chamber Choir (Derrick Jackson, director), The Frederick Children’s Chorus (Judy DuBose, director), and All Children’s Chorus of Annapolis (Julie Culotta, director)

  • Mozart – Ave Verum Corpus, K. 618, (Martha Banghart conducting)
  • Carl Orff – Carmina Burana (Sheldon Bair conducting)

For their first collaboration since the Carnegie Hall debut in 2009, Deer Creek Chorale and guest singers from Harford Choral Society, two Towson Choirs and two Children’s Choirs, will perform popular choral works with the SSO. Deer Creek Chorale director, Martha Banghart, and Maestro Bair, have been working on this collaboration for two years and the groups are pleased to finally present such a concert to the community. The concert will begin with the Deer Creek Chorale singing one of Mozart’s very last works, his moving ‘Ave Verum Corpus’. This short work, to be conducted by Martha Banghart, is for chorus and the orchestral strings only. This is then followed by one of the most popular works of the 20th century: Carl Orff’s massive ‘Carmina Burana’. The work is for a huge orchestra, massed choirs, and three soloists. Audience members will recognize some of the music from television shows, even though the name of the work might be new to them. The work is full of wonderful and memorable melodies while at the same time being very rhythmic in nature (using a large percussion section and two pianists!). Towson University soprano, Teri Bickham, as well as tenor Christopher Dudley, and baritone, Jeffrey Grayson Gates, will join the massed forces for this performance.

Concert #4

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Maestro’s Favorites
May 3, 2014 at 7:30PM | Bel Air High School
A preconcert lecture will be held from 6:50 – 7:10. Watch here for updates on lecture topic.

Sheldon Bair – Conductor
Chungwon Lydia Chung – Pianist
Harford County Public Schools’ finest All-County Students

  • Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488
  • Tchaikovsky – Andante Cantabile, Op. 11
  • Shostakovich – Festive Overture, Op. 96
  • Rimsky-Korsakov – Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36

For the final concert of the season, Maestro Bair has chosen some of his favorite works for performance. Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A Major is one of the sunniest of all his 27 concertos for the instrument. Scored for strings and just a few winds, the concerto moves from one sunny tune tothe next and is one of the great composer’s mostly lovely works (and that’s saying something!). The wonderfully talented Baltimore pianist Chungwon Lydia Chung joins the Orchestra in this, one of Mozart’s masterworks!

Following intermission, Peter Tchaikovsky’s ‘Andante Cantabile’ will be performed. This is a work for strings only and the high school students will join us for this piece.

Shostakovich wrote his Festive Overture in the course of just a few days. It is based on the Overture to ‘Russlan and Ludmilla’ by fellow countryman Mikhail Glinka (from about 100 years earlier). After a great fanfare, the Overture turns into a grand romp for large orchestra.

‘Russian Easter Overture’ by Rimsky-Korsakov, also Russian and another influence on Shostakovich, is a grand and moving work, utilizing tunes from the Russian Orthodox liturgy and ending with a great chorale, brass blazing!

The SSO welcomes Harford County Public Schools’ finest musicians in this annual “side-by-side” concert.

Concert #5

Chamber Benefit Concert for FURNISHVETS
April 6, 2014 at 7:30PM | St. Mathew Lutheran Church, Bel Air, MD 21014

SSO members create small groups and play their favorites in this informal free concert to Benefit FURNISHVETS, a Chamber of Commerce initiative to assist veterans discharged from the VA Center in Perry Point.

Many Veterans transitioning are in need of help to furnish their first homes after discharge, and now three Harford County non-profits have teamed to fill this need. With the generosity of Harford County residents who are donating gently used furniture, the Harford County Chamber of Commerce (Military Affairs Committee) and the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Susquehanna Chapter have created FURNISHVETS which will pick up and transport needed items with volunteer labor and vehicles. The logistics channel is fragile and sufficient only for the start-up of the program. Transportation funds are needed to support the project through its first year. Therefore the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra has designated FURNISHVETS as the beneficiary of this year’s Chamber Concert. Monetary donations will be accepted at the concert by the MOAA. Attendees may also schedule pick-ups at the event. Among the most needed items are sofas, chairs and tables. Tax-deductible receipts will be provided.

Concert #6

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Free Bel Air Summer Concert Series
June 1, 2014 at 7:30PM | Humbert Memorial Band Shell

Sheldon Bair – Conductor

  • Sousa – Fairest of the Fair
  • Lewis – Chesapeake Suite (Sailors of Annapolis)
  • Rush – Spirit of Freedom
  • Shostakovich – Festive Overture
  • Tchaikovsky – Andante Cantabile (for strings)
  • Williams – Selections from Star Wars: New Hope – Main Theme, Imperial March, Throne Room and End Title
  • Sousa – Stars and Stripes Forever

Kickoff the summer with this annual Bel Air Outdoor Summer Concert event. Bring a picnic and blanket and join the SSO for some tunes under the trees.