News Roundup – Pending Events, Grants, Awards, Honors, People, Groups, & Things in the News (since late Fall…) (posted 1/3/05)
Pending Events:
Representatives of the Triangle dance community at long last aim to do something to increase their visibility, starting with a forum on 1/9 at 1:30 p.m. at the Durham Arts Council. The public is invited to attend and participate. For more information, see
Durham’s newest performance venue will open January 13 when Common Ground Theatre, at 751 Hillsborough Road, begins offering classes, rehearsal and performance space in the Bull City. The inaugural event will be a run of Brilliant Traces by Cindy Lou Johnson. The site includes “a 60-seat flexible auditorium (available for rental on a first come first serve basis), a public area for classes and exhibitions, an artists’ dressing area, [and] ample, convenient parking.” Common Ground Theatre “will offer adults and children creative classes in art and theatre year round. Community classes are scheduled to begin January 24… and will offer individual and group training, as well as classes created specifically for caregivers of small children.” For more information, call 919/698-3870.
Eleven Triangle artists from Chatham, Orange and Durham counties will be recognized by the Durham Arts Council during an Emerging Artists Awards Ceremony at the DAC on Friday, January 14, starting at 6:00 p.m. The honorees will share more than $19,000. The recipients include vocalist Elizabeth Linnartz, who will use her grant “to audition for conductors of orchestras and choruses within a four-hour driving distance and also in Atlanta and Washington D.C.”; Angela Ray (theater), who is “developing a promotional portfolio for acting which will include a demo tape, an updated headshot, and comp cards” and “video/DVD snippets of … past television and film projects, composite cards and headshots”; Carolyn Shull, who is preparing “a spring 2005 tour for [her] instrumental trio, consisting of violist Tara Flandreau, bassist Reuben Radding, and myself, to support our spring 2005 release on Umbrella Recordings”: dancer Tamara Thomas, who “will be taking part in a Cultural Arts Safari to Gambia/Senegal [7/6-24]” that “includes music and dance intensives taught by master musicians and dancers as well as an intensive at the Berending Village where the focus will be on the style of the Djola people”; and musician Stephen Levitin, whose project will facilitate his “metamorphosis from drummer to producer by purchasing Pro Tools hardware/software system and … microphones, creating a professional recording studio which will allow [him] to produce songs and compositions” and to “produce superior quality music for local and national artists, which will be released with the artists by August 31, 2005.” For more information, call 919/560-2707 or visit
Janet Mahoney will open a new music school in Cary, at 2240 Gathering Park Circle, in Carpenter Village, this spring. The school “will operate… utilizing independent contractors for [its] teaching staff”; prospective teachers are invited to contact Mahoney at 919/881-0130 (evenings and weekends) for more information.
Grants & Honors:
The Greensboro Symphony Orchestra has received a special $25,000 grant from the Department of Cultural Resources. The GSO’s press release notes that “The grant will be used for student education concerts to be performed in Alamance, Guilford, Randolph, and Rockingham counties during the 2004-05 school year.”
Bel Canto Company Artistic Director David Pegg received the Lara Hoggard Award for Distinguished Service in Choral Music in North Carolina on 11/15 in Winston-Salem during a luncheon for members of the NC Division of the American Choral Directors Association, given as part of the North Carolina Music Educators Association In-Service Conference. Bel Canto’s press release reminds us that Pegg “co-founded and has led the Triad’s only professional choral ensemble for 19 seasons and will be retiring as Bel Canto’s artistic director in May 2005. Over his 35 year career as a music educator, conductor, and artistic director, David Pegg, born and raised in Greensboro, has led choirs in many area churches and universities. He currently serves as Music Director at Centenary UMC in Winston-Salem, a position he will keep after his retirement.” (Lara G. Hoggard’s many credits include the establishment of UNC’s Carolina Choir.)
Groups in the News:
Despite being rebuffed by Raleigh’s City Council (see, United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County is pressing on with its proposal to “consolidate and reorganize the process for reviewing requests for arts dollars” in its service area, according to an article published 11/22 by Philanthropy Journal. The news item has drawn a response from arts activist Lee Hansley, whose letter of protest appeared in PJ’s 12/27 issue; the gallery owner writes that “Instead of eyeing city funds, United Arts in Raleigh needs to improve itself. United Arts has had a bee in its bonnet for almost a decade that it would like to consolidate –”take over” is the proper term – the [C]ity of Raleigh’s very unique Arts Commission.” Copies of these two items are available at
Philanthropy Journal also reports (12/13/04) that the NC Symphony may require as much as $50M over the next five to ten years to “build its endowment and annual fund, add musicians and instruments, improve the quality of its concerts, expand and broaden its audience, lengthen its season, and increase touring, broadcasting and recording.” See for details.
People in the News:
Composer Penka Kouneva, whose years of study at Duke and whose music produced during that time will be well remembered by Tar Heel music lovers, continues to work in California, mostly but not exclusively in the movie industry. Cable subscribers can catch the TV premiere of her latest film score, for Chupacabra – Dark Seas, on the Sci-Fi channel on January 29 at 9:00 p.m. See [inactive 6/08] for details.
The Asheville Symphony has concluded its search for new leadership by selecting as its Music Director Daniel Meyer, currently Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Meyer has signed a three-year contract in Asheville but will also remain with the PSO.
The Eastern Music Festival has appointed as its Music Advisor the distinguished conductor Gerard Schwarz, currently Music Director of the Seattle Symphony and the Royal Liverpool (England) Philharmonic Orchestra. According to press releases and news reports, Schwarz “will help plan classical programs and guest artists for the 2005 festival” and “will conduct the faculty’s Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra for two of the five weeks of concerts.” The EMF appointment carries a one-year contract with an option to renew, EMF President and CEO Thomas Philion said.
Conductor Viswa Subbaraman, who was educated at UNC and Duke, reports that his family and friends in India escaped the wrath of the recent disasters in his homeland. He has been invited to help form an orchestra, in Mumbai, that will be the first professional orchestra in India, but it is likely that the project will now be delayed from its original projected start of September 2005. Subbaraman, who is based in Paris, has also been selected to participate in the National Conducting Institute with Leonard Slatkin – this is the outstanding program in which Duke SO Music Director Harry Davidson participated, in its first year.
The John Motley Morehead Foundation has published a profile of clarinetist Bryan Crumpler, a graduate of UNC, in its online journal, at [inactive 2/09]. Crumpler performed with the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra in November.
Richard Hoffert, former Executive Director of the NC Symphony, has retired after serving for six years as President and CEO of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, effective 1/1/05. His replacement in Indianapolis is Simon Crookall.
NCS Conductor Laureate Gerhardt Zimmermann will make his Cleveland Opera debut with Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette in February 2006.
Leonard Slatkin, who will conduct the National Symphony in several NC concerts this spring, will step down as Music Director of the Washington-based orchestra at the end of the 2007-8 season.
CVNC critic and disabilities activist Elizabeth Kahn, who is an audio describer for the blind and people who have low vision for Arts Access, gave a presentation on AD and arts accessibility at the American Cultural Center in Calcutta, India, in late December.
Edgar Thorne, 85, mainstay of Music from Cherry Hill, at Inez, in Warren County, died 11/25.
Frederick Fennell, 90, distinguished band director and teacher, died 12/7. Fennell’s appearances in the Triangle were special occasions for many area band members. For a lengthy obit that recaps his remarkable life, see [inactive 6/09].
NCS hornist Eileen Gress, 55, lost her 18-year battle with cancer 12/22. She is survived by her husband, Victor Benedict, the NCS’ Assistant Principal Bassoonist.
Edgar Allan Toppin, 76, a nationally known expert on African-American history and father of ECU soprano Louise Toppin, died 12/8.
British guitarist and composer John W. Duarte, 85, died 12/23. An obituary is online at [inactive 10/05].
Recent CDs by NC-based Artists & Ensembles:
NC Symphony harpist Anita Burroughs-Price received Raleigh’s Medal of Arts for the music she gives away – to the sick, the dying, and their families and friends. Among several new CDs from NC-based artists and ensembles, hers stands out for the consistency of the program and the high quality of its presentation. Healing Touch features music that offers hope and consolation by Bach, Fauré, Massenet, Grandjany, and Saint-Saëns – predictable suspects in harp anthologies, perhaps – and by Harold Arlen (“Over the Rainbow”), Richard Rodgers (You’ll Never Walk Alone”), and Thomas A. Dorsey (“Precious Lord, Take My Hand”). Along the way, there are some notable Irish and Gaelic tunes and several hymns and spirituals, too. With few exceptions, Burroughs-Price is responsible for the transcriptions and arrangements, and she is partnered handsomely by NCS Concertmaster Brian Reagin, Principal Cellist Bonnie Thron, and organist Donna Jolly, who is perhaps best known as the NCS’ staff pianist. The CD was engineered in Meymandi Concert Hall and Meredith College’s Jones Chapel by Dwight Robinett, a trombonist with the NCS, and a portion of the proceeds from sales are being contributed to the Interfaith Food Shuttle ( and Interact ( [inactive 7/09]). To obtain a copy, call 919/781-0518 or email

*The CD is $19.00 plus tax and shipping, if obtained from Burroughs-Price by calling or emailing as shown immediately above. Copies (@ $19.00 + tax) are also available at Quail Ridge Books & Music (Raleigh) and at Mountain Made (Asheville).

Shared Spaces, with John R. Beck, a percussion faculty member of the School of Music at the NCSA, has been released by Equilibrium Records. The CD “includes music for percussion, horn, clarinet, and winds” by Lynn Glassock (UNC-CH), J. Mark Scearce (NCSU), and others, and includes performances by John Beck, Lynn Beck, horn, David Jolley, horn, James Kalyn and the NCSA Wind Ensemble, Kelly Burke, clarinet, and Wiley Sykes, percussion. For more information, call 336/770-3337.
A new holiday CD, O Sapientia, was released by Blowing Rock’s St. Mary of the Hills Choir on 12/21. The recording “features much of the sacred music that is part of the worship experience at St. Marys during the holiday season,” according to Jim Baumgardner, the director. “The title ‘O Sapientia’,” he explains, “translates as ‘O Wisdom’ and is the first of the three great ‘O’ antiphons which came out of the medieval church.” The CD is $15 and is available at the church in Blowing Rock or by calling 828/295-7323. Proceeds from the sale of the CD will support the many aspects of the music ministry of St. Mary of the Hills, including the choir’s planned residency at England’s Durham Cathedral in the summer of 2006.
ECU’s Karen Hall’s collection of art songs and musical theatre selections was released in October. “The recording features 38 tracks including works by Harold Arlen, Theodore Chanler, Aaron Copland, and the world premiere recording of Max Morath’s ‘In Separate Rooms.’ The disc [also] features readings of Emily Dickenson poems by Galen Guengerich, along with accompaniment by pianists Robert Marks and Daniel Lockert.” The press release notes that “At East Carolina’s School of Music, Hall teaches voice techniques to musical theatre majors.” To hear samples and for more information, visit Twenty percent of proceeds will be donated to FORCE, a national nonprofit organization devoted to individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
A CD that documents organist Peter Sykes’ dedicatory recital on the restored Tannenberg organ at Old Salem [] has been released and is available from the Organ Historical Society or at Old Salem’s Visitors Center. The recording includes the premiere performance of Dan Locklair’s “Salem Sonata.” To order a copy ($15.95), call 336/499-7954 or see [inactive 10/07].
The Beethoven House in Bonn has scanned more than five thousand letters and manuscripts and posted many of them at its website, at
The International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) has published a fascinating survey of orchestra salaries, available online at [inactive 5/08].
Season Announcement:
The Raleigh Chamber Music Guild has announced its lineups for the 2005 September Prelude and its 2005-6 Masters and Sights and Sounds on Sundays series. Details will be posted in our series tabs in due course, but meanwhile here is the list:
8/ 7 (SSS) Ensemble Chanterelle (early music)
9/11 (off-series) September Prelude: Triple Helix with Jonathan Bagg, viola
9/25 (SSS) Brooks Whitehouse, cello, & Edmond Barton Bullock, piano
10/16 (Masters Series) Eroica Trio
11/6 (Masters Series) Ritz Chamber Players
11/20 (SSS) Degas String Quartet
1/8/06 (SSS) Aurora Musicalis
1/29/06 (SSS) Ciompi Quartet
2/19/06 (Masters Series) Daedalus Quartet
3/12/06 (Masters Series) Music from Marlboro
3/26/06 (Masters Series) Ruth Laredo, piano
4/9/06 (SSS) Meredith Chamber Players
4/23/06 (Masters Series) Miró Quartet
For more information, call 919/821-2030 or visit
News items compiled from various sources by John W. Lambert (posted 1/3/05 & updated 1/4/05)