The Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra introduces 2nd conductor finalist

Ronald Foster will raise the baton and continue the magic of this season of exploration Saturday, Nov. 14, on the stage at the Stefanie H. Weill Center. The symphony audience will experience the personality and talents of Foster, the second of four guest conductors vying for the position of music director and conductor of the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra.

Foster stated, “Having conducted the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra on two previous occasions, I am delighted to be a music director finalist. This orchestra is one of the finest community orchestras I have encountered and is a real jewel for the greater Sheboygan area. The passion and enthusiasm that the SSO musicians, administration, board, and audiences bring to the music are wonderful examples of the positive power of arts in the community.”

Each of the four finalist conductors has been invited to select a work for the orchestra, and Foster chose Barber's Overture to “The School for Scandal.”

“In selecting a piece to open the Nov. 14 concert, it was important to include an American work, to complement the European repertoire of Mozart’s Concerto in D and Dvorak’s Symphony #8, op. 88 in G minor,” Foster stated.

“While I considered many pieces, from the beginning I had strong convictions about Samuel Barber's `Overture to The School for Scandal.’ Another plus is that the SSO has apparently never performed the piece.”

Foster explained, “Barber's music fits the program beautifully. Composed in 1931, when he was 21, the overture is a sparkling work, full of youthful exuberance, romanticism, and passion. As Mozart also composed his D Major Flute Concerto at age 21, we have a first half composed by two young geniuses,

balanced with the eighth symphony of an older master, Dvorak. The program features music from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, and the Barber piece, written for larger forces, gives all of the SSO's musicians the opportunity to perform on the concert.”

Foster has been a frequent guest conductor with the Milwaukee Symphony and has served as guest conductor with the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Springs Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, Traverse Symphony, Sheboygan Symphony, Waukesha Symphony, Skokie Valley Symphony, Pueblo Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, Soundscapes Chamber Ensemble, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Orchestra.

Foster holds degrees from the University of Denver (Master of Arts: orchestral conducting/composition) and the University of Southern Colorado (Bachelor of Science: music performance: woodwinds). He studied conducting with Harold Farberman, Vincent La Guardia, and Daniel Lewis, and composition with John Corigliano and Donald Keats.

The former chief composer for the U.S. Air Force Academy Band, Foster has been conductor and composer with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Arts in Community Education (ACE) Program since 1997, and guest composer with the MSO in January 2000.

Special guest flutist, Caen Thomason-Redus will bring his artistry to the Weill Center stage. Thomason- Redus is assistant professor of flute at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He received performance degrees from Rice University (MM) and the University of Redlands (BM), and did additional studies at the University of Michigan and the Mozarteum Akademie in Salzburg, Austria. He is active with the National Flute Association, Early Music Now, the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, and several other arts organizations.

Tickets are available for the Nov. 14 concert; call the Symphony Office at (920) 452-1985. Tickets are also available in the box office two hours prior to the concert.

Flutist Thomason-Redus will lead a master class at the Weill Center from 4-5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13. An R.S.V.P. is required since space is limited; call (920) 452-1985 for a reservation.

The November concert is sponsored by Windway Capital Corp.

The Interludes Pre-Concert talk is a free event for concert ticket holders. Space is limited; an R.S.V.P. is required. For more information contact vicki@sheboygansympho or call (920) 452-1985.

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