News Column

Growing Summer Music Festival to begin with cookout

August 4, 2013


Aug. 04--Joe Mount envisions a day when the Carolina Summer Music Festival resembles a mini Spoleto, with a wide array of offerings, including theater, dance and music.

The festival might not be there yet, but it's growing.

"We've added two or three performances, and we have some dance mixed in there," said Mount, one of the festival's organizers. "It evolved to be larger this year."

And if the festival is careful with its money and keeps using local performers, "we can easily grow it to another level," he said.

This year's festival will begin Aug. 8 with the Camel City Cookout featuring the Camel City Jazz Orchestra. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Millennium Center and costs $25, $12 for children. The ticket price includes grilled burgers, hot dogs and other cookout fare. There will also be a cash bar.

"This is the perfect kickoff," Mount said.

On Aug. 9, the festival will premiere a new dance created and performed by Wake Forest University and UNC School of the Arts dance faculty. They'll be accompanied by a live string quartet performing "44 Harmonies from Apartment House 1776" by John Cage as well as other works.

"Imagine anthems and hymns from the late 1700s, but Cage has thrown White Out on the page," said Jacqui Carrasco, one of the festival's organizers who will play the violin during the performance.

By removing certain parts of the original hymns, Cage has created a "haunting, almost ghostly effect," Carrasco said.

The dance will be performed by Abby Yager, Ming-Lung Yang, Amy Beasley and Christina Tsoules Soriano. The evening will also include music by Telemann and Ligeti. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Byrum Welcome Center at Wake Forest and is free.

On Aug. 10, the festival will present an evening of Dvorak and Mozart serenades at 7:30 p.m. at Gray Auditorium in the Old Salem Visitor Center. Peter Perret will lead a 10-piece ensemble in works including Dvorak's Serenade for winds, cello and bass, and Mozart's Wind Serenade. Tickets are $18, $5 for students.

The festival will have a Pops Picnic with the Giannini Brass at 7 p.m. Aug. 14 at Salem Square in Old Salem. The concert is free and will include works by Sousa, Gershwin, Mancini, Cohan and others. Patrons are invited to bring a picnic and a blanket or lawn chairs.

On Aug. 17, the festival will present an Old Timey Radio Show at 11 a.m. in Gray Auditorium in the Old Salem Visitor Center. This is a family-friendly concert highlighting the musical culture of Northwest North Carolina. There will be jazz, bluegrass, gospel, R&B, old time string band and Moravian brass music. The concert, presented in collaboration with Carolina Music Ways, costs $10, $5 for students and children.

The Aug. 17 program is titled Over the Rainbow: Jazz Tribute to Harold Arlen, featuring singer Martha Bassett. The concert will be performed at 3 and 7:30 p.m. and costs $18, $5 for students.

Arlen wrote "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," "Let's Fall in Love," "That Old Black Magic" and "Stormy Weather," among others.

"He wrote all these great jazz tunes," Mount said. "You know all these tunes but you might not know who wrote them."

On Aug. 18, the festival will celebrate the Reynolda House Museum of American Art's exhibition "Things Wondrous & Humble: American Still Life." David Ford of WFDD will moderate a post-concert Q&A with the musicians and composer Kenneth Frazelle, whose "Wildflowers for Solo Piano" will be performed, along with other works. The concert will be held at 3 p.m. at Reynolda House and tickets are $18, $12 for students and Reynolda House members.

On Aug. 21, the festival will present a concert by pianist Dmitri Shteinberg at 7:30 p.m. at Piedmont Music Center, 212 N. Broad St. Tickets are $18, $5 for students. Shteinberg will perform works by Chopin, Prokofiev, Mozart and Rachmaninoff.

The festival will have a dinner concert with jazz singer Melva Houston and the Matt Kendrick Trio at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 22 at Graylyn Conference Center for $55, which includes food and wine.

The festival will conclude on Aug. 23 with A Musical Paprikash, a concert of classical chamber music inspired by Hungarian and Romanian folk traditions. The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Community Arts Cafe, 411 W. Fourth St. and costs $18, $5 for students.

"Traditionally, our finale concert has had some sort of celebratory theme," said Carrasco, who had previously done a concert with a colleague that had Hungarian themes. "We thought this would be fun. And having it at Community Arts Cafe is great because you can have a glass of wine and feel festive."

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