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Our Favorite Moments from the Season

By Stephanie Normann

It’s hard to believe the first half of the 10/11 season has already come to a close. What an incredible first half it was though for all of us on the UMS Staff! We thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite moments from these past few months, and we invite you to leave a comment sharing your favorite moment too!

Mariachi Vargas

“Attending the Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán concert solo, I sat next to a wonderful Spanish-speaking grandmother who took me under her wing and translated each and every song: ‘this is a song about love.’ Two songs later: ‘this too, is a song about love.’ I loved the audience for that show as much as I loved the incredible music!” ~Truly Render, Press & Marketing Coordinator

“My husband and I were mesmerized by Robert McDuffie at the Venice Baroque Orchestra performance featuring the “American Four Seasons” work by Philip Glass.  The electricity and energy from the stage, as well as the audience, made us feel we had experienced a once in a lifetime event.  The icing on the cake was watching Philip Glass walk onto the stage to congratulate Robert McDuffie and join the group for the applause and well-deserved bows.” ~Kathy Brown, Executive Assistant

“Seeing the space at 523 S. Main Street transformed into a club-style performance venue for Stew & The Negro Problem.” ~Mark Jacobson, Programming Manager

“I am a great lover of Mahler’s music, so my favorite moment had to be hearing the Mariinsky Orchestra perform Mahler 5. It was the first time I had heard the piece performed live, and it was an extremely moving experience to say the least! I was so impressed by the musicality of Maestro Gergiev and the emotion he drew out of the Orchestra.” ~Stephanie Normann, Marketing Manager

“That’s a hard call for me. One moment that will not soon be forgotten occurred while I was working the box office at the Once Festival: the line of patrons waiting to purchase tickets intermixed with School of Music students holding mirrors (they were doing a performance art piece). Also, as a patron, I can’t decide between the whole Susurrus experience and that AMAZING kazoo playing by the Carolina Chocolate Drops. “ ~Suzie Davidson, Assistant Ticket Services Manager

“There was this wonderful moment during the Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán concert when one of the mariachis handed the microphone to an older man in the front row.  The man began singing along into the microphone – he knew ALL of the words and he sounded fantastic!  He was doing so well that the mariachis let him sing almost the entire song.   It was thrilling to see such an amazing interaction between the artists onstage and an audience member – and to remind us that these musical traditions grow out of us and our everyday lives, and that, as audience members, we are crucial participants in the art we experience.   That was such a joyful moment not only for that man, but for all of us gathered in Hill that night.” ~Jim Leija, Manager of New Media & Online Initiatives

Stew & The Negro Problem

“Stew and the Negro Problem at 523 S. Main was a real highlight of the fall for me. It was so exciting to see us enter a new space and transform it into a perfect setting for the concert experience. Those concerts felt so fresh!”
~Liz Stover, Programming Coordinator

“My favorite moments during this season so far were spent on the trails of the Matthaei Botanical Gardens installing the wayfinding signage for Susurrus.  I’d never been there before, and it’s really a gorgeous place, especially in the fall.  Lots of free oxygen!  My most panic-stricken moment (these tend to become fond memories a little later down the line)?  Getting Maestro Gergiev back to the airport in time to catch a flight following his appearance with the Mariinsky Orchestra.  It was a nail biter!” ~Mary Roeder, Residency Coordinator

“Watching the Venice Baroque musicians serenade our interns backstage during intermission of the concert.  They were all so gracious and made our interns experience that evening unique and special.”
~Anne Grove, Artist Services Manager

“The moment I still think about is Susurrus:  it was so different from any other sort of theatrical experience I’ve had.  I remember the story, but even more, I remember the feeling of the morning as a whole:  the beautiful setting, the weather that day, the people who were walking around with me or were just touring the gardens, Dame Janet Baker singing ‘Dido’s Lament’…  When I think back on Susurrus, I remember those feelings of calmness and contemplation, and it makes me want to feel that way again.” ~Lisa Murray, Manager of Foundation & Government Grants

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephanie is the Marketing Manager at UMS and has been with the organization for four seasons. She is also a member of the UMS Choral Union.

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