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Sttratford Symphony Orchestra
Con Spirito: Inside the SSO
September 2019
Warm greetings from the Stratford Symphony Orchestra.

Con Spirito enables us to carry on a conversation with music lovers in the Stratford community and beyond.  Please feel free to send us an  email with your thoughts or comments.

Well, blow me down,
a Petting Zoo for orchestra instruments!

It takes a big family of instruments to form an orchestra!

Get up close to a lot of those instruments at the SSO's Petting Zoo on Sunday, September 29, at the Normal School, 270 Water Street (next door to the Festival Theatre).

It's part of Ontario Culture Days, a vibrant weekend of expression to explore the intersections of creativity, the arts, and well-being.

Try out all the instruments you wish! It's great fun and it all begins at 3pm.

Then at 4pm take up a baton and learn how to conduct a group of musicians from the SSO. Wow! Haven't you ever pictured yourself waving a baton in front of an orchestra? Here's your chance.

Next concert: Legend and Legacy
November 23  

Listowel native Sarah Pratt will perform Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D.

Also on the program:  
a symphony by Louise Farrenc, French composer, virtuoso pianist and campaigner for women's equality (finally achieving equal pay with male counterparts at the Paris Conservatory, the only woman to be appointed in the 19th Century).

Once Upon a Time
SSO opens Season 15 
with Mother Goose,  
Hansel and Gretel
and fairy tales for all!

You never really outgrow fairy tales do you?
So come along with the Stratford Symphony Orchestra and immerse yourself in the music (and stories) of some of the most engaging fairy tales of all time as the SSO presents "Once Upon a Time" as its Season 15 opener, conducted by maestro William Rowson, on Saturday, October 5.
Stephen  Russell
Maurice Ravel loved reading fairy tales to the children of his close friends (a confirmed bachelor, he had no children of his own) and he often made up tales on the spot! He composed Mother Goose Suite in 1908 as a four-hand suite for solo piano, later arranging it for orchestra and then transforming it into a ballet.
Narrating tales from the Suite will be actor Stephen Russell, who has played in theatres across Canada, including 35 seasons with the Stratford Festival.
Mother Goose Suite comprises five movements: Sleeping Beauty's Pavane, Little Tom Thumb, Laideronnette ("Little Ugly Girl"), the conversations of Beauty and the Beast, and the Fairy Garden. In one of the
Katy Clark
movements you will hear the celeste, a keyboard instrument with a distinctive sound (think the Harry Potter theme).
Remember the perils of Hansel and Gretel encountering the evil Gingerbread Witch, who is determined to eat them? Excerpts from Engelbert Humperdinck's opera (including Hansel and Gretel Overture and Evening Prayer and Pantomime) will refresh those memories. Guest sopranos Katy Clark and Leanne Kaufman will add richness with their performances.
Felix Mendelssohn's Incidental Music from A Midsummer Night's
Leanne Kaufman
Dream will include Nocturne and the familiar Wedding March. Mendelssohn's composition "perfectly captures the spirit and essence of Shakespeare" wrote Marin Alsop, American conductor and violinist.
Jacques Offenbach's opera, The Tales of Hoffman, is based on the complicated stories of German Romantic author and composer E.T.A. Hoffman. The Orchestra's performance will include a soprano solo, Les Oiseaux dans la charmille (The birds in the arbor, nicknamed "The Doll Song"), one of the opera's most famous arias.
The concert will close with Antonín Dvořák's Song to the Moon , from his highly successful Czech opera Rusalka, featuring a soprano solo.
The concert begins at 7:30pm Saturday, October 5, in Avondale United Church, 194 Avondale Avenue, Stratford.
Tickets are available at Fanfare Books and Blowes Stationery in Stratford and at Lyric Flowers in St. Marys, as well as online and at the door. Adult: $40; student: $10. Children under 12 are admitted free. 

5-concert SSO subscriptions on sale until October 5
Five-pack Season 15 subscriptions are on sale through October 5, the evening of the first concert, for $175. It includes all five Avondale concerts (but not the January Celtic concert with Natalie MacMaster). Single concert admission is $40, so this represents savings of $25.
Note: This is the best year ever for SSO subscription sales. Thank you!

SSO Silent Auction is coming soon!

The SSO's annual Silent Auction begins October 5! You can bid on some wonderful items and unique experiences online via the SSO website beginning that day until 12 noon Friday, November 22.
Auction packages will be available for viewing and final bids at the SSO's Legend and Legacy concert on Saturday, November 23. Bidding will close after the concert intermission and successful bids will be announced at the concert's conclusion. Winners not present will be notified by telephone or email.  All proceeds support your SSO.
Stratford Symphony Orchestra appreciates and would like to acknowledge the following companies and businesses who support our work.  We are forever indebted to them for their kindness and generosity.

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Orchestra photo (above): Jawad Azar