It was back to work in Greenville, South Carolina on Tuesday for the New Century Chamber Orchestra, after a incredibly happy, exciting day on Monday at Frankie’s Fun Park. Nadja treated everyone to rounds of mini-golf, laser-tag, a simulated roller coaster, and a bumper car speedway. What a great way to let off steam and relax!
And everyone was buzzing all day long about the exciting story about Nadja and the Orchestra in the The Wall Street Journal.
Greenville is a very pretty small city, about half-way between Atlanta and Charlotte. There are many gleaming new buildings, but also a tall statue of a Civil War soldier and a plaque honoring four Greenvillians who were signers of the order seceding South Carolina from the Union.
The concert Tuesday night was at the Peace Center (pictured at the top), named not to celebrate a truce or the brotherhood of man, but because the family that gave the lead gift was named Peace. The Peace Center has two halls, and New Century was to perform in the larger of the two, seating about 2100, with a big stage.
That meant Nadja and Operations Director Everett Doner had to experiment throughout that 45-minute sound-check (pictured below) on the proper positioning of the Orchestra on the stage to best project our sound into the large room. After several tries, they decided the sound was fullest when the Orchestra was positioned closer to the back of the stage, taking full advantage of the sound-push from the rear wall.
Despite some noise distractions during the first half, Nadja and the Orchestra played through with professionalism. When the noise ceased for the second half, everyone onstage and in the audience savored Metamorphosen by Richard Strauss all the more, and the Orchestra responded with brilliance, passion and depth of feeling that resulted in a huge, prolonged standing ovation.
Violist Lynne Richburg, who spent her day off with family visiting from Charlotte, was delighted to have them all attend their first New Century concert Tuesday evening. The consensus: they loved it! Lynne is pictured below with her brother, Del, and her nieces, Aliya, Jessica, and Savannah.
After the concert, Nadja, Associate Concertmaster and violinist Dawn Harms, violist Jenny Douglass and bassist Kristin Zoernig came back onstage for a half-hour Q&A session with the audience. There were many questions about our preparation process and how Nadja works to strike a balance between making sure everyone can participate on the one hand, and thorough preparation on the other.
Yesterday, the Orchestra made its way to another Greenville. This time, in North Carolina. Tonight, New Century will perform in East Carolina University’s Wright Auditorium.