March 18, 2015

Billings Symphony unveils its 65th season sponsored by The Oakland Companies

Billings, MT –The Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale (BSO&C) has unveiled its 2015-16 season, which includes six season concerts and several special events. The 65th season is generously sponsored by The Oakland Companies.

The season opens on Saturday, September 19 with Heroic Tales featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (also known as the “Eroica” Symphony) and Michael Daugherty’s “Trail of Tears” Concerto. Before his more infamous 5th Symphony, Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony was at least as revolutionary, both for harmonies that were considered unusual in the early 19th century and for its overall structure. Based in Michigan, Michael Daugherty, is one of the most widely performed American composers of his generation. In Daugherty’s own words, “My flute concerto is a musical journey into how the human spirit discovers ways to deal with upheaval, adversity and adapting to a new environment.” Flutist Amy Porter, who premiered “Trail of Tears” in 2010, will be the featured soloist.

Next, on Saturday, October 24 the Billings Symphony will explore a new concert presentation with Behind the Scenes. The concert will focus on Hector Berlioz’s masterpiece, “Symphonie Fantastique.” The concert will be split into two halves. During the first half, the work will be introduced through of combination of dramatic narrative, multimedia, and excerpts from the piece. Then the Symphony will perform the complete work during the second half. “Symphonie Fantastique” is a programmatic piece and was also written during tumultuous circumstances for the composer, all good material for a concert right before Halloween.

On Saturday, November 14 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 15 at 3:00 pm, A Time of Grace will show off the talent and power of Symphony Chorale with two performances at St. Patrick Co-Cathedral. The concert is programmed by the BSO&C Chorale Director Dr. Steven Hart and will be a mix of contemporary and traditional chorale repertoire. Continuing a bi-annual tradition, these concerts have been incredibly popular in the past.

The holiday season welcomes the return of The Nutcracker, a Thanksgiving Weekend tradition that brings Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score to life with the Billings Symphony Orchestra, the San Diego Ballet, and a stage of local dancers and singers. Performances are Saturday, November 28 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, November 29 at 2 p.m.

Celebrate the holiday season with the Irish sounds of a Celtic Christmas on Saturday, December 19. Sharing his gifts with us, Jeremy Kittel will be returning to Billings. Jeremy Kittel is known throughout the classical world for his diverse fiddle and violin selections, many of which are original works. He not only performs with his own Jeremy Kittel Band, he is highly sought out to perform with some of today’s most influential and coveted artists. Award-winning uilleann pipe player Tyler Duncan will be joining the stage. Tyler Duncan is a composer, producer and an all-around true artist with a flair for the Irish. His sounds meld the rich tradition of Irish music and sweet melodies with contemporary panache. When he is not performing with his band The Ollliam, Tyler Duncan can be found producing, composing and writing new material. Multi-award winning Canadian artist, Quinn Bachland will bring his unique sound to our stage. He is a child prodigy who started performing at age eleven. He now performs with his sister Qristina and their band, Qristina and Quinn Bachland. Quinn Bachland’s smooth guitar and Celtic influence are sure to bring joy to our hearts, and fire to our souls. Join us for a festive event that will surly enrich the Celtic soul in all of us!

Rock in the New Year with the outstanding vocal prowess of America’s number one contemporary A Capella group, Rockapella! Founded in 1986 by Brown University Alumni, Rockapella has taken the music industry by storm with their urban soundtrack and soulful sounds of original songs and their own renditions of Motown, pop, and soul classics. You will find yourself looking around for the band, until you realize they are the band! Rockapella has toured the globe bringing their unique sound to many generations. The group had their first taste of fame with a reoccurring spot on PBS’s Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? They gained momentum with other PBS specials. Rockapella has gone on to release 19 albums and have many successes outside the country as well, such as multiple record deals and concerts in Japan.

Join us Saturday, February 6 for a trip Around the World & To the Stars. We will travel to Munich Germany with Carl Maria von Weber and his Bassoon Concerto. The Bassoon Concerto was composed over a three day period in November 1811, and played for the first time on December 28, 1811 for the Queen. Weber’s Bassoon Concerto is one of the most popular concertos for the bassoon. 2015 MASO Senior Division winner, Edin Agamenoni of Great Falls will be performing with the symphony. Edin has been playing the bassoon for five years and is a current student of Marni Constantino and Russ Kellogg.

You will hear the American composer Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto. Composed in 1939, and put off due to the war and other difficulties, it was not heard until 1941 at the Academy of Music. Barber’s Violin Concerto has become one of the most frequently performed violin concertos of the 20th century. 2015 MASO College Division winner, Emily Young of the University of British Columbia, will be performing with the symphony. Emily has been playing the violin for sixteen years.

Finally, we will travel to the East via Russia with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. Based on One Thousand Days and One Thousand Nights, also known as The Arabian Nights, Scheherazade was composed in 1888 and is considered Rimsky-Korsakov’s most popular symphonic poem.

On Saturday, March 12, be prepared to be transported to a world of intrigue and fantasy with Cirque de la Symphonie. Witness veteran performers of Cirque dance, tumble and soar through the theatre in perfectly choreographed movements while the Billings Symphony Orchestra performs Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite among other works. Follow Prince Ivan on his quest as he catches The Firebird, finds love, and defeats Kashchei the Immortal. Cirque de la Symphonie is sure to leave you at the edge of your seat wanting more!

The Symphony season comes to a close with Gustav Mahler’s most successful symphony, Resurrection on Saturday April 16. The Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale will be the first orchestra in America to perform this rendition of Mahler’s Resurrection. Listen as Mahler delves into his melodic interpretation of the beauty of the afterlife and resurrection. In this massive undertaking including the chorale, 2 vocal soloists, and the orchestra, Mahler takes us through a spiritual upheaval that ends in a culmination of absolution and warmth. Resurrection is an unequaled work of art that is often used by modern day symphonies to signify a momentous occasion. What a perfect way to end a glorious season with the Billings Symphony and Chorale and look forward to a new season beginning.

Wrapping up our Special Events for the season, The Billings Symphony and Chorale presents Grammy award winning, Sony/Phillips recording artist, Midori, April 22, at the Alberta Bair Theater. Midori in Recital promises to be an electrifying performance by one of the most influential violinists in the world. Known for her generosity as well as her immense talent, Midori has captivated the world over with her energy and extensive musical repertoire. Midori in Recital promises to expand your heart, your soul and blow your mind!

Season concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Alberta Bair Theater and Concert Cues, an interactive discussion with guest artists about the evening’s music and composers begin at 6:45 p.m.

Season tickets are on sale now and single tickets go on sale mid-August. Prices for single tickets start at $10. Student discounts are available with a valid I.D. for most seating, and group discounts are available for your group of 10 or more. For more information call the Billings Symphony office at (406) 252-3610 or visit the Symphony’s website at

Tickets for The Nutcracker, Rockapella, and Midori in Recital will go on sale in July and can be purchased at the Alberta Bair Theater box office, by phone at

(406) 256-6052, or on their website at