November 14 @ 7:30 PM
November 15 @ 3:00 PM
Join the Billings Symphony Chorale as their voices resonate throughout St. Patrick Co-Cathedral in downtown Billings. This concert combines traditional and contemporary pieces that highlight the talent of our amazing chorale. Below are some examples of the pieces you can expect to hear.
St Patrick Co-Cathedral is wheelchair accessible. There is an elevator and a ramp for your convenience.
Novemeber 28 @ 7:00 PM
November 29 @ 2:00 PM
Ms. Morgan began her dancing career with the original San Diego Ballet (SDB) School & Company. She was awarded a full Ford Foundation Scholarship
to the School of American Ballet and later danced with New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine, toured with Suki Schorer’s
NY Lecture Ensemble and performed in Helgi Tomasson & Kay Mazzo NYCB Troupe. Returning to San Diego she developed her reputation as a teacher and dancer in local studios before opening the SD School of Ballet in 1989. She has choreographed for various theatre groups including network TV, served as rehearsal assistant for local children in San Francisco Ballet’s San Diego productions, and was honored for her leadership in the dance community.
Ms. Morgan founded the new San Diego Ballet in 1990.
Mr. Velasco has supplied dances for productions at the La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, and has a long-standing relationship with the San Diego Repertory Theatre and he has received numerous awards for his directing and choreography. Mr. Velasco currently serves as artistic director of the SDB, having created over 70 original pieces since its inception, including 10 pieces in collaboration with composer David Burge to commissioned scores. He was recently awarded a Creative Catalyst Fellowship to create a new work with Jazz saxophonist, Charles McPherson for the upcoming SDB season.
School of Classical Ballet
Ms. Loos directed her own school for six years before co-founding the School of Classical Ballet with former business partner Jana Stockton. Betty received her early training from June Austin and Hungarian teachers Ildiko Perjessy and Angela Mc Alpin. She continued her training at the University of Utah under the direction of William Christiansen, and at the Teachers’ Training Program through the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Former students have danced with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theater, Smuin Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, David Taylor, and apprenticed with the National Ballet of Canada.
Ms. Marble attended the National Academy of the Arts in Champaign-Urbana, IL, a performing arts high school, and then attended Cornish Institute of the Allied Arts in Seattle, WA. She later continued her dance studies and performing in New York City. Marble danced professionally with Matthews-Masters Dance Company, Bernhardt and Dancers, and many other NY modern dance companies. Marble served as the Artistic Director of Dance Arts Los Alamos in NM, a non-profit performing arts school, prior to teaching in Billings.
It is Christmas Eve and the Stahlbaum family decorates their splendid living room for the annual party. Their children, Clara and Fritz, rush in all aglow at the prospect of toys and magic and sweets. Soon the family is joined by their friends and beloved grandparents and a wonderful party commences. The children perform a dance with Christmas garlands and their parents follow with a polka.
Suddenly, at the height of the dancing, Herr Drosselmeyer, a Russian magician, appears. He brings three mechanical dolls who perform for the guests: a Ballerina doll, a mechanical Mouse, and a handsome Nutcracker. Little Clara falls in love with the Nutcracker and Drosselmeyer gives her the doll as a gift. While Clara and her Nutcracker doll are dancing a pas de deux, the mechanical Mouse suddenly goes out of control. There is a terrible scuffle with the Nutcracker, who is suddenly knocked out and broken by the Mouse. As the guests depart, Clara mourns her broken doll.
Late into the night, Clara creeps quietly back into the living room to console her Nutcracker and falls asleep by his side. Midnight strikes and the mysterious Drosselmeyer appears again. He casts a spell over Clara and puts her in a dream-like trance. Her dream turns into a nightmare as mice begin to scurry about and the Christmas tree grows to giant proportions. Clara runs to her Nutcracker doll and pleads with him to save her. He calls forth his army of toy soldiers and a huge battle rages with the mice, led by their Mouse King. The Nutcracker is about to be defeated when Clara distracts the Mouse King—just at that moment the Nutcracker runs him through with his sword and the battle is won!
For helping him win the battle, the Nutcracker offers to take Clara through the Kingdom of the Snow on the way to his home, the Land of Sweets. They encounter the Snow Queen and King and their Court, who dance the Waltz of the Snowflakes in a wintry scene.
Angels dance at the gates of the Land of Sweets, followed by a team of Bakers who are working on a cake. Clara enters and is greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy who dances a solo.
Various confections then perform their characteristic dances for Clara: Spanish Chocolate, Chinese Tea, Arabian Coffee, Marzipan Shepherdesses, Russian Candycane, Salt Water Taffy Sailors and the Dewdrop Fairy and Flowers. The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier then dance a pas de deux, before the entire Court dances together in a spirited finale celebrating Clara’s joy and happiness.
Jeremy Kittel has earned a reputation as one of the most exceptional violinists and fiddlers of his generation. With tremendous musicality; a rare mastery of styles as diverse as jazz, Scottish and Irish fiddle, bluegrass, classical music, and more; a unique compositional voice, and an “exhilarating stage presence” (Strings Magazine), Kittel inspires listeners and fans worldwide through his solo work and collaborations.
As a leader, he performs with his own Jeremy Kittel Band (quartet), as well as intimate duo and trio formats, and also as a soloist with orchestras. In collaboration, he is frequently called upon by some of today’s most influential and vibrant artists in a variety of genres; he has recorded and performed with musical giants My Morning Jacket, Jars of Clay, Mark O’Connor, Abigail Washburn, Camera Obscura, Bela Fleck, Laura Veirs, Aoife O’Donovan, Paquito D’Rivera, Stefon Harris, and many more. He also recently completed a five-year full time position in the Grammy-winning Turtle Island String Quartet.
His most recent solo recording, Chasing Sparks (Compass), features his original compositions with a stellar cast of musicians including special guests Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, and Mike Marshall, and has garnered rave reviews among acoustic music circles worldwide.
Committed to nurturing future generations of musicians, he is a passionate clinician and educator and regularly teaches at programs such as Belmont Strings Crossings, International Music Academy of Pilsen, Mark O’Connor Strings Conference, Swannanoa Gathering, and schools and universities worldwide.
He currently resides in beautiful Brooklyn, NY and can sometimes be spotted climbing trees and wandering the wild woods of Central and Prospect Parks.
In 1999 and 2000, Tyler Duncan won the All-Ireland Championship (the World Championships of Irish Music) on the uilleann pipes – and became the first American to win the All-Ireland on that instrument. In 2001, he won the All-Ireland on the bodhran – also the first American to win an All-Ireland on that instrument as well. At age 15, he was featured the on EMMY award-winning Kitty Donohoe Album “This Road Tonight.” Upon turning 16, Tyler composed, arranged and performed the score for an original Irish musical comedy,The Changeling, produced by Wild Swan Theater in Ann Arbor. At 17, Tyler worked with an instrument maker to design a new chromatic Low Whistle, with which he became the first Low Whistle player ever to be accepted into a university music program, becoming a jazz studies major at the Univerisity of Michigan. That same year he recorded an album with his progressive Irish cross-over band, Millish, which went on to win two International Acoustic Music Awards. During his first year of college, he was a featured soloist with the Ann Arbor and Ashland Symphony Orchestras. At age 19, he recorded with the Kruziki Trans-atlantica Quintet, a Middle Eastern-Tango-Jazz project, performing an extended solo on a high-energy Armenian 9/8 composition. That track earned a Downbeat Music Award and was selected to be a part of the nationally-distributed Jazziz Magazinecompilation. Later that year, he was recorded with the UNITY award-winning band, Ceili Rain, on their album, “Whatever Makes You Dance,” including the #14 single, “Kneeling.” At 20, he composed a big-band drum-and-bass adaptation of the traditional Irish song, “The May Morning Dew.” That arrangment was selected to be performed at the prestigious International Assocation for Jazz Educators Conference. Shortly thereafter, the piece was selected to be performed live on national radio as a part of NPR’s, “Jazz Set.” During his last two years of college, he switched directions, and as a synth player and producer, started an electronic dance-rock band called Ella Riot. Upon graduation in 2008, he began touring with that band full-time. Today, their live show is described as “an out-of-body experience,” (Urb Magazine), they have performed over 250 shows nation-wide, including Lollapalooza, 10,000 Lakes, and Wakarusa. They have been featured inSeventeen and VenusZine magazines; Fox Network’s “Fearless Music;” Pepsi’s “Refresh” campaign; and shared the stage with 3OH!3, Mike Posner, Neon Trees, and OK GO!.
Now he is taking time off the road to focus on composing, producing, mixing, and all those other good studio things.
Guitarist and composer Kyle Sanna’s musical inheritance was a 1945 Epiphone guitar, a newspaper photograph of his grandfather trumpeting with Louis Armstrong, and his parents’ love for popular music of the 1960’s. To these Kyle has added a lifelong pursuit of music. Building from his roots in rock guitar and jazz improvisation and continuing with composition study and an immersion in the traditional music of Ireland, this path has led to an intersection with broader ideas and other art forms.
Kyle Sanna has collaborated with and performed alongside many of today’s virtuosos (Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Mark Gould, Theodosii Spassov), with some of the greatest living interpreters of Irish music (Kevin Burke, Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill), and with many veterans of New York’s experimental scene. He has performed his original music throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East.
As a composer, Kyle Sanna writes for both live performance and fixed media, at times creating a video component for the works. He has received commissions from Beta Collide, Brooklyn Rider, the Knights, flutist Alex Sopp, and yMusic. Festival acceptances include the International Symposium on Electronic Art (Sydney), the Irish Sound, Science, and Technology Convocation (Dublin), The Oregon Bach Festival, and Art Basel Miami Beach. Kyle participated as both composer and performer in Carnegie Hall’s Porous Borders of Music Workshop with bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer. He is a Meet the Composer grant recipient and was a Finalist in the Turner Classic Movies’ Young Film Composers Competition. His first video work, “LULLABY”, was a finalist in the Fresh Minds Festival (Texas A&M University).
Kyle Sanna has arranged for artists and ensembles including banjo pioneer Béla Fleck with the Colorado and Oregon Symphonies, Germany’s SWR Orchestra, guitar icon Kaki King, K-pop star Rain, cellist Jan Vogler (for Sony Classical), Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne-Sofie von Otter and Brooklyn Rider, Irish fiddler Martin Hayes (NPR’s Performance Today), and Yo-Yo Ma (2010 Grammy-winning release for Sony Classical, performance on The Colbert Report, upcoming release by the Silk Road Ensemble).
Kyle studied jazz at the University of Oregon and composition at the Université Lumière Lyon II in France. He lives in Brooklyn and is a member of Uri Sharlin’s DogCat Ensemble, Marika Hughes & Bottom Heavy, Kinan Azmeh’s CityBand, We the Gleaners, and a duo with violinist Dana Lyn.
Amy Logan is thrilled to be on stage again with the Billings Symphony. A frequent performer in the community, Amy sings with the High Plains Chamber Singers and has been a soloist with the Billings Symphony and Messiah Festivals in Billings and Missoula. She has been seen on stage with Rimrock Opera, NOVA, Venture Theatre and Prince Theatre. Amy’s opera credits include the title role in Floyd’s Susannah, Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Mimì in La bohème, Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Despina in Così fan tutte, and the title role in Sister Angelica. Amy’s favorite musical theatre roles include Velma in Chicago, Missy in The Marvelous Wonderettes, Ellen in Miss Saigon, and a variety of characters in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Amy is also a music educator, serving in her tenth year as the Director of Choirs at Billings Skyview High School. She conducts the Choralaires High School Choir for the Billings Youth Orchestra and Chorale and she teaches private voice lessons. Amy earned degrees in Clarinet Performance and Music Education from the University of Montana and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree. She recently became a certified member of the VoiceCare Network. Amy is proudly raising two budding musicians of her own! She loves the Billings community and the opportunity to live, work, perform and raise her family here.
On stage New Year’s Eve at the Alberta Bair Theater in Billings will be acclaimed contemporary a-cappella group Rockapella! With nineteen albums to their credit, Rockapella will bring to the ABT their soulful sounds of original songs, along with their own renditions of Motown, pop and soul classics.
A worldwide talent search led Rockapella to Steven Dorian, a former baseball star at the University of Massachusetts. Steven comes to Rockapella straight from the world famous stages of Disney, having played many major roles in Disney productions, including Disney’s Festival of the Lion King. Steven is a man of many talents whose singing, dancing and guitar playing have been showcased from Branson to New York, opening for Kenny Rogers, performing for international audiences. With his gorgeous vocals, smooth style, and magical grace on the stage, Steven rounds out the savory blend of Rockapella’s three tenors.
Our newest member, Ryan Chappelle hails from Lincoln, Nebraska and has previously provided thundering bass lines for Lincoln’s No Better Cause, and Boston’s mighty Ball In The House (BITH). Our drummer, Jeff, is always on the lookout for big funky bass lines to drum with, and Ryan has been at the top of his list. We’re now happy to welcome Ryan to the family!
Pyrotechnics is a word often used to describe Scott Leonard‘s singing voice. Scott grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and though he departed the Hoosier State for the University of Tampa on a baseball scholarship, he ended up a voice major. He sang in rock groups for Disney in both Orlando and Tokyo for two years, releasing solo albums while in Japan. Scott’s soaring vocals and songwriting & arranging prowess have played major roles in shaping Rockapella’s characteristic sound.
The astonishing percussion sounds you hear in a Rockapella show are performed vocally by Jeff Thacher, completing Rockapella’s band-without- instruments sound. Born of a very musical family and raised on piano lessons from an early age, he later added frequent vocal and choral experience. After receiving a degree in music and recording from Boston’s renowned Berklee College, Jeff spent a few years working in the radio and television industries while singing and experimenting with vocal percussion on the side in various groups, developing his unique sound. Since joining Rockapella in 1993, he’s been known as a pioneering giant among professional mouth drummers (a select group of beatboxers) who, as he likes to put it, “spit for a living”. Jeff’s powerful virtuosity forms the funky rhythmic heartbeat of Rockapella, delighting and astonishing audiences everywhere. An American original, for sure!
Calvin C. Jones was born and raised in East St. Louis, IL, and grew up idolizing Michael Jackson & Stevie Wonder. He started singing at an early age, then joined the vocal group Men Of Note at 13 and traveled the world as one of their lead singers for many years. Singing led to a passion for theater, and he went on to be featured in shows such as Dreamgirls, Fabulous 50’s, & Little Shop of Horrors, and brought his talents as a lead singer to the group SouthTown Fever. Rockapella had the good fortune to find Calvin while he was showcasing his silky smooth voice as a featured singer at Busch Gardens, Tampa, FL
Join us at the Alberta Bair Theater, January 23, 2015 at 11:00 am, for our annual Family Concert. This year, relive your favorite cartoons through their music. Cartoon Compositions is a delight for children of all ages. Take a listen to just a few of the songs we will performing.
Hungarian Rhapsody No 2.
How To Train Your Dragon: Coming Back Around
How To Train Your Dragon: This is Berk
Join the Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale in welcoming the 2015 Montana Association of Symphony Orchestras’ Young Artist Winners Edin Agamenoni and Emily Young. Listen as they take you on a magical journey full of artistry and intrigue. We will travel to the East via Russia with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.
Cirque de la Symphonie is a new production formed to bring the magic of cirque to the music hall. It is an exciting adaptation of artistic performances widely seen in theaters and arenas everywhere.
Artists include the most amazing veterans of exceptional cirque programs throughout the world—aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers, and strongmen.
Each artist’s performance is professionally choreographed to classical masterpieces and popular contemporary music in collaboration with the maestro.
The orchestra and chorale share the stage for Mahler’s immortal “Resurrection” Symphony. Get up close and personal with the musicians as they perform this massive undertaking that will leave you on the edge of your seat and wanting more!
In the 2014-2015 season, the 32nd of violinist Midori’s professional career, she will play the world premiere of a new work by Johannes Maria Staud – Oskar (Towards a Brighter Hue II), Music for Violin, String Orchestra and Percussion – at the Lucerne Festival and the Vienna Konzerthaus; she will make two new recordings, one of Bach solo sonatas and partitas (on Onyx) and one of DoReMi, the violin concerto by Peter Eötvös (on Naïve); she will continue her community engagement work in Japan and throughout the U.S., while doing her usual complement of recital, chamber music, and concerto appearances throughout the world. In another highlight of 2014-2015, Midori will conduct a week-long festival at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, which will feature four concerts, each with a different program. The week will include a presentation by children with physical and developmental challenges from her Music Sharing organization; a concert featuring Midori playing 4 complete violin concertos; two recitals (one of new music, one of standard repertoire) with pianist Özgür Aydin, and more. She is particularly excited to be recording one new violin concerto (the Eötvös) and playing the world premiere of another (the Staud) in the same year. Midori has been given the prestigious title Artiste Étoile by the Lucerne Festival, which co-commissioned the Staud concerto along with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Konzerthaus, and the Vienna ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra. The world premiere was performed with James Gaffigan conducting the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, on 27 August 2014.
Today Midori is recognized as an extraordinary performer, a devoted and gifted educator, and an innovative community engagement activist. In recognition of the breadth and quality of her work in these three entirely separate fields, in 2012 she was given the prestigious Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum in Davos, was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in music by Yale University. In 2007, she was named a Messenger of Peace by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In essence, over the years she has created a new model for young artists who seek to balance the joys and demands of a performing career at the highest level with a hands-on investment in the power of music to change lives.
Named Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Southern California in 2012, Midori works with her students at USC’s Thornton School, where she is also Jascha Heifetz Chair. Midori thrives amidst the challenges presented by her full-time career as educator at a major university. To these commitments she adds a guest professorship at Japan’s Soai University, and substantial periods of time devoted to community engagement work.
Midori’s involvement with community engagement began in earnest in 1992. Then just 21 years of age, she started an organization to bring music to underserved neighborhoods in the U.S. and Japan. What started with just individual personal appearances by Midori in classrooms and hospitals has blossomed over the last 22 years into four distinct organizations, whose impact is felt worldwide. The underlying idea inspiring Midori’s community engagement work is that the joy of music should be available to all.
Because people in wealthy or privileged circumstances have easy access to the performing arts, Midori’s organizations focus on bringing music to the less fortunate. Since 1992,Midori & Friends has enhanced the lives of over 225,000 New York City children who have little or no access to the arts, through high quality music education that nurtures their creativity and self-confidence (www.midoriandfriends.org); Partners in Performanceoffers recitals by Midori and others to chamber music lovers in small communities throughout the U.S. seldom visited by established touring artists (www.pipmusic.org);Orchestra Residencies Program brings a week-long residency by Midori to two U.S. youth orchestras with winning applications each year (http://www.gotomidori.com/orp/); andMusic Sharing provides both traditional Japanese music and Western classical music performances and workshops to children in schools, hospitals and institutions, as well as learning opportunities in Japan and Southeast Asia for young artists (chosen by audition from all over the world) who are interested in community/music engagement work (www.musicsharing.jp). Both Orchestra Residencies Program and Music Sharing also conduct satellite programs with Midori internationally, in such countries as Costa Rica, Myanmar, Bulgaria, Mongolia, and Cambodia.
Midori’s enthusiasm for playing and supporting the music of our time has blossomed into a significant and ongoing commitment. Over the years she has commissioned works for a great variety of forces. Over all, the individuals Midori has sought out to create new repertoire for the violin represent an impressive array of some of the most talented of today’s composers, including Lee Hyla, Rodion Shchedrin, Krzysztof Penderecki, Derek Bermel, Brett Dean, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Michael Hersch, Pierre Jalbert, Peter Eötvös, and now Johannes Maria Staud.
Midori’s two most recent recordings join an already extensive discography on two other labels, with fourteen recordings on Sony Classical and two on Philips. In 2013, Finnish label Ondine featured Midori in a rare recording of Paul Hindemith’s violin concerto, in collaboration with the NDR Symphony Orchestra and conductor Christoph Eschenbach, which won a Grammy for Best Classical Compendium. Later in the season the British label Onyx released a recital program by Midori with pianist Özgür Aydin in sonatas for violin and piano by Shostakovich, Janácek, and Bloch, which was nominated for an International Classical Music Award.
In 2004, Midori joined the ranks of published authors with the release in Germany of a memoir titled Einfach Midori (Simply Midori), for the publisher Henschel Verlag. It was updated and reissued in German-speaking territories in 2012.
In 2000, Midori received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Gender Studies at the Gallatin School of New York University, graduating magna cum laude, and in 2005 earned her Master’s degree in Psychology, also from NYU.
Midori was born in Osaka, Japan in 1971 and began studying the violin with her mother, Setsu Goto, at a very early age. Zubin Mehta first heard Midori play in 1982, and it was he who invited her to make her now legendary debut – at the age of 11 – at the New York Philharmonic’s traditional New Year’s Eve concert, on which occasion she received a standing ovation and the impetus to begin a major career. Today Midori lives in Los Angeles. Her violin is the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesù “ex-Huberman.” She uses three bows – two by Dominique Peccatte, and one by Paul Siefried.
Join us for our 44th annual Symphony in the Park! The largest concert, and most visible component of Explore Music!, wraps up another season and introduces many to live, symphonic music. This is a favorite Billings Tradition! Bring your blanket or lawn chair and relax to an evening of music under our big Montana Sky while enjoying picnic fare from participating food sponsors.