Home News Vision RSO promises exciting and varied 2017-18 season

RSO promises exciting and varied 2017-18 season

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The El Paso Brass performing a free Labor Day concert in Spring River Park & Zoo. The members of the quintet have all played with the Roswell Symphony Orchestra. (Timothy P. Howsare Photo)

If you are a fan of The Beatles or classical guitar (or both), then you won’t want to miss this year’s Roswell Symphony Orchestra season.

As it has done in past year, the RSO will offer a Christmas program and host a concert pianist who will perform a concerto with the symphony.

A veteran of the Broadway hit “Beatlemania,” Tony Kishman, who looks like a 40ish Paul McCartney will perform on Feb. 3 a symphonic celebration of the music of Sir. Paul called “Live and Let Die.”

The first concert of the season is on Oct. 14 and features classical guitarist Jiji, (Jiyeon Kim) who was born in Seoul, Korea, and now lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

A passionate advocate of new music, the 24-year-old began playing classical guitar at the age of 9 and was accepted to the Korea National University of Arts at age 14. She is a 2015 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and is currently pursuing a master of music degree at the Yale School of Music.

She will perform a selection by Johan Julius Christian Sibelius and an overture by W.A. Mozart.

Returning to the Pearson Auditorium stage on April 21 is pianist Daniel Hsu. A San Francisco native, Hsu made his recital debut at the Steinway Society of the Bay Area at age 9 before being accepted into Curtis Institute of Music at the age of 10, along with his two older siblings.

Hsu admits he is a secret Marvel film buff, and enjoys long walks and computer programming.

“Every concert season is special, but we’re very excited to have guitarist JiJi, a traditional concert of Christmas classics, “Live and Let Die — A Symphonic Tribute to Paul McCartney” featuring Tony Kishman (Tony portrays Paul McCartney in our previous Twist and Shout fundraisers and has also been awarded the title of most sound alike/look alike Paul McCartney in the world),” said Fawn Alcorn-Pierce, past/acting president for the RSO. “We are bringing back pianist Daniel Hsu whom we had last season, but has since won the bronze medal in the 2017 Van Cliburn competition!. What a year! And, of course, we had a fabulous Labor Day concert with the El Paso Brass.”

The Christmas Classics concert will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 10.

It will feature such beloved Christmas classics as George Frideric Handel’s  “Overture to the Messiah, J.S. Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” Victor Herbert’s “March of the Toys from “Babes in Toyland,” Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” and

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.” The concert also will include an audience sing-a-long of several Christmas carols.

Now in it’s 58th season, the RSO’s musicians come from all major cities within a 200 mile radius of Roswell: Lubbock, Amarillo, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, El Paso, Portales, Alamogordo and Roswell.

“Our maestro/music director, John Farrer, is in his 45th year with the RSO,:” Alcorn-Pierce said.” The RSO has only had four music directors in its 58 year history which is highly unusual.”

After Alcorn-Pierce stepped down as president, Rick Fulton has been the RSO president for the past two years.

Alcorn-Pierce said Roswell is very fortunate to have a symphony orchestra.

“The RSO Board of Directors and Guild (which no longer exists) have raised over $7 million for the RSO since its inception in 1959.  With a budget now that exceeds $300,000 a year, the sustaining fund has become the backbone of the symphony’s ongoing success.”

This years’s sustaining fund is $127,000.

Alcorn-Pierce said that raising money for RSO, which is a nonprofit, can be a challenge.

“State funding, large corporate donors and the Symphony Guild no longer exist and grants for the arts are scarce. Therefore, community support through the sustaining fund is imperative,” she said. “We supplement the sustaining fund with fundraisers, but in these economic times it is very difficult to support an orchestra of this magnitude and excellence.  Fortunately, Roswell is lucky to have an RSO board and staff that are very dedicated to Maestro Farrer, our musicians and our city. We also appreciate sponsors for our concerts who help with funding. Our Sustaining Fund mailing went out this week so we’re off and running.”

Community News reporter Timothy P. Howsare can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or vistas@rdrnews.com.