Dateline Durham (& with thanks to the Herald-Sun):

Music librarian to lead Jewish Chorale DURHAM — Tom Moore is the new conductor of the Triangle Jewish Chorale. He is music librarian for Duke University and directed the Collegium Musicum at Duke for two seasons. Before coming to Duke he served as a visiting foreign professor in the graduate music program of the University of Rio de Janeiro and co-director of its Camerata Quantz, a music ensemble. He sang in the Symphonic Choir of Rio under the direction of Julio Moretzsohn. Before moving to Brazil he sang with Pomerium Musices and Concert Royal in New York, and directed La Fenice and the Dunstable Singers in Boston. He also performs on baroque flute, modern flute and recorder. He is a graduate of Harvard and Stanford universities.
Those interested in joining the Triangle Jewish Chorale may contact Bernie Most, membership chairman at For other questions, contact chorale manager Gayla Halbrecht at
(Dr. Moore is also a regular contributor to CVNC.)
Young Conductor Secures German Engagement
Dateline Raleigh (& with thanks to CVNC Director Joel Adams): Conductor Evan Rogister, who was raised in Raleigh, has been named principal assistant conductor of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, one of the world’s leading houses. His bio may be seen at [inactive 6/10].
Cary Choral Director Announces Marriage
Lawrence Speakman, artistic director of the Concert Singers of Cary, has married Ingrid Medcalf in a ceremony conducted in the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany, where the remains of J.S. Bach are entombed.


July 2009: HELP WANTED! News, Recommended Reading, & a Plea, all in one convenient place:

You may have heard that certain opera companies and orchestras have been especially hard-hit during the down economy. If you care about the future of opera in the capital – of, for example, Long Leaf Opera or Capital Opera Raleigh – or if you care about the fate of our state’s oldest professional orchestras – the Queen City’s Charlotte Symphony or the treasure of the Department of Cultural Resources, the North Carolina Symphony – then now is the time for you to step forward with viable support.

Click here for a press release on the recent resignation of Long Leaf Opera’s Executive Director. We’ve previously reported the almost unbelievable plight of the CSO, a victim of bad luck, poor timing, and Charlotte’s largest arts funder (click here). And the NC Symphony has just confirmed reports swirling within Raleigh’s arts community concerning its deficit and its painful deficit-reduction plans. (See below.)
So it’s time, folks, to do what an old pal in the Navy once said, in slightly different but nonetheless parallel circumstances: give till it hurts, back off half a turn, and then give some more. You need support only the groups you want to survive as you have known them. You need not support the profligate ones (and you know who they are, for we’ve reported on some of them…). You need not support arts councils whose policies or fundraising plans fail to meet your standards – you can cherry-pick the groups you want to support, if you like. And you can go look at the financial records of ALL non-profits that file 990 or 990ez reports with the IRS – this is public info, it’s available at, and you owe it to yourself to do the due diligence it takes to make sure that your investment – for that’s what it is, at this point – will be in reliable hands. But, whatever you decide, now is the time to do something to help save the organizations that have meant so much to so many for so long. Your gifts are tax-deductible. And when the good times return – as surely they will – then you will be glad that you played your part, that you did this for the arts and for our cultural organizations! Thank you.
John W. Lambert, Executive Editor,


Long Leaf Opera Director Steps Down
July 9, 2009, Chapel Hill, NC: Janet Allison Glaser, Chair of the Long Leaf Opera Board of Directors announced that James E. Schaeffer, Executive Director of Long Leaf Opera (LLO) has stepped down effective July 1, 2009. Schaeffer led Long Leaf Opera since October 2005. During his tenure, Long Leaf mounted twenty-one productions including seven world premieres. Schaeffer will retain his position as General Director of New York’s Center for Contemporary Opera which he assumed in the Spring of 2008.
Schaeffer notes that the Triangle is very fortunate to have such a great resource in Long Leaf Opera. “There is not another opera company in the country that has done what we have done and I am delighted that Long Leaf will continue its important mission.”
A retired Air Force senior officer, Schaeffer is a bassoonist, conductor, and composer whose works have been performed at the American Dance Festival among other venues.
About Long Leaf Opera
Founded in 1998, Long Leaf Opera (LLO) is a professional, nonprofit organization dedicated to works written for the operatic stage in English. Long Leaf Opera specifically highlights American composers, but also encourages the production of works from around the world. It commissions new works and actively recruits new talent.
(Press release courtesy of the LLO.)


North Carolina Symphony Slashes Expenses; Deep Cuts Throughout Entire Organization
June 9, 2009 (but not formally divulged until July 13…), Raleigh, NC: [The] North Carolina Symphony announced today emergency cost-saving measures that will reduce next year’s expense budget by more than $2 million. These measures include 100% participation from all constituents of the organization including executive and artistic leadership, musicians of the orchestra and administrative staff.
Of these actions, president & CEO David Chambless Worters said “To be at the point of needing cost-saving measures of this magnitude is heartbreaking, but implementing them is necessary for the Symphony’s survival. We must continue the important work of statewide service and music education that is at the core of this organization’s mission, and we are heartened by the continued support of the organization by so many in the community.”
Staff expense has been reduced by 20% through several means: eliminating three positions through attrition; suspending retirement contributions; implementing a one-week unpaid furlough; and reducing total compensation – including retirement and the furlough – of 30% for the president & CEO and 20% for the three vice presidents. Music director Grant Llewellyn and resident conductor William Henry Curry have accepted a 10% reduction in salary.
The musicians have agreed to forgo an anticipated 4% salary increase for the 2009-10 season and in addition, they are accepting the loss of six weeks of employment. This represents a 17% reduction in expected annual income per musician. Violinist and Orchestra Committee chair Paul Goldsberry said, “This is a very significant sacrifice on the part of the musicians, but we recognize that we all need to do our part to ensure the financial stability of the orchestra in these challenging times. We remain committed to presenting live symphonic music of the highest caliber to the citizens of North Carolina.”

In addition, the orchestra has postponed indefinitely its planned tour to Europe and has reprogrammed the coming season to reduce guest artist, guest conductor, and repertoire costs. The reduced weeks of employment will mean the loss of two weeks of paid vacation time for the orchestra and the curtailment of some traditional summer concerts in 2010. Including the compensation reductions directly shouldered by the employees, the total expenses of the organization in 2009-10 would be $11.9 million, compared to a $14.1 million budget in 2008-09.

The Symphony’s 2009 summer season continues with Summerfest concerts at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary with … Russian Masterpieces on July 18.
(Press release provided by the NCS.)