Sunday, November 17, 2013

Side-by-side {A reflection}

By Allison Follbaum

The piercing musicality of the bagpipes is echoing in my ears as I sit backstage at the Michigan Philharmonic's Highland Pipes concert. The sound of bagpipes is almost indescribable. It would almost be an annoying drone except for the calming buzzing beauty and sheer magnitude of the sound. 

Watching the kids run around before the concert took me back to my side-by-side concert experiences with MYPO (formerly known as CYO or Celebration Youth Orchestra).

I played with the orchestra for five years; a violinist who didn't practice as much as she should have, but loving the creative outlet that performing gave. There was a purpose to the tedious hours of practice and endless scales; and to the lessons, and the frustration at trying to learn new skills.

I loved playing in the side-by-side concerts because it gave me a boost of inspiration. Perhaps I could aspire to be like these smartly dressed men and women and perform professionally? Then I could fulfill my dream of playing at Carnegie Hall! 

The adults were kind, asking what school we went to and how long we had been playing. Sometimes I was a little starstruck.

The music always challenged; we were playing real music after all. No "arranged by" 's or "taken from." These were the pieces that you heard on CDs and on the radio. Sometimes they had three or four movements, taking 15 minutes to play, your arm aching after the first movement. 

I loved when the concertmaster stood up to direct the pre-concert tuning. I've never been able to pin down exactly why that's my favorite part, but even when attending a concert, I like to close my eyes and just listen to all the sounds mingling and melding together after that A from the oboe. 

One of the knowledge gems that I received from involvement with the Michigan Phil is that if you want to pursue your dreams, you can. Everyone has the potential to succeed if you aspire for greatness, even when it comes to a competitive field like musical performance.

For me, I just want to be able to play the violin part of Pachabel's Canon in D with my dad, at my wedding. Luckily, there's no fancy shifts in that piece.

Allison Follbaum currently interns for Michigan Philharmonic, while avoiding the adult world after graduation. As an alumni of MYPO and a sister of a current student, she loves any excuse to get involved in the arts, especially with the Michigan Philharmonic. Caught between love for journalism and public relations, she currently works part time at a law firm and freelances on the side. Her favorite piece of classical music is Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Michigan Philhrmonic Celebrates Culture Week!
April 27 - May 5, 2013

The first week of May each year has been designated as Canton Culture Week - celebrating the many different ethnic cultures which make up the community.

Each year the celebration kicks off with the Student Art School featuring artwork from all 25 schools in the Plymouth Canton School District.  This incredible show features nearly 1000 works by students from elementary - high school and showcases the budding artistic talents of these young people.

The Michigan Philharmonic Youth Orchestra performance follows each year at the Village Theater featuring over 85 students in 4 different levels performing music from the classics to Bollywood!

The Michigan Philharmonic rounds out the week with a multi-cultural performance featuring music from many different ethnic traditions.  In the past music from Bollywood and China have been featured.  This year celebrates the music of Latin America with "Musica de las Americas" which features all Latino composers and includes youth strings players joining the orchestra on the last piece, De Colores, a beautiful Mexican Folk Song.

The Michigan Philharmonic values it's commitment to the diversity and multi-cultural programming and features music by composers from the world over.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The French Connection

This past Sunday, the Michigan Philharmonic performed at the First Methodist Church in Plymouth. Adorn in red for the "Go Red Campaign" the orchestra performed "The French Connection". The pews of the beautiful church were filled as the Michigan Phil performed pieces by Maurice Ravel, Louise Farrenc, and Mark Petering. Joining the orchestra this performance was composer Dr. Mark Petering and Canadian pianist, Anastasia Rizikov, with Petering's Fanfare and Reflection after Ravel starting the afternoon. A brilliant performance showcased the impressionistic composition that paid tribute to Ravel and was a beautiful introduction to a French styled concert.
Dr. Petering answering questions with Washburn before the concert.
The audience was then wowed by Rizikov's performance during Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major. Hearing Rizikov insert emotion in every note, it was hard to believe that she is only fourteen years old. After the concerto, Rizikov entertained the audience with solo works before the intermission.
With these special guests in attendance, we cannot forget the orchestras and conductor Nan Washburn's musicianship. The orchestra brought to life Symphony No. 3 in G minor, Op36 by relativity unknown female composer, Louise Farrenc. To close the concert, the orchestra performed Ravel's Bolero arranged for a smaller orchestra.
Rizikov performing with the Michigan Philharmonic

The Michigan Philharmonic will be performing next at The Village Theater at Cherry Hill in Canton Michigan on March 9th. They will be performing "A Beetles Blast," a fun pops concert including the tunes of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel, Barry Manilow and Billy Joel. For ticket information for this fun event please visit our website or call 734-451-2112.            

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Michigan a Creative State: You Can Take That to the Bank | Creative Impact Michigan

The Michigan Philharmonic is proud to be one of the organizations whose data was used to produce this report on the economic impact of the arts in Michigan.  The results of the report illustrate the extensive impact both economically and creativly that the arts have on the well being of the Michigan economy and culture.  Cultural arts activites account for $2 billion tourism dollars flowing into the State's ecomony and close to 3 million school children experienced the arts in 2011
The report also confirms that the hundreds of cultural organizations in Michigan are thriving on earned income - $.70 of every $1 is earned as opposed to subsidized.  This is good news for the arts in our State and good news for arts groups around the country.
the data was gathered through the Cultural Database Project which 25 states are now participating in.  This data is derived from 990's and audited financial data from all cultural organizations receiving state and foundation grants.  Take a moment to read the report at the link below:

Michigan a Creative State: You Can Take That to the Bank | Creative Impact Michigan

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hospice of Michigan Benefit Performance.

This past Sunday the Michigan Philharmonic's chamber ensemble performed "Miniature Masterpieces" once more at Planterra, an enclosed botanical garden located in West Bloomfield. As the winter wind blew outside, concert goers enjoyed hors d'oeuvres, champagne and pastries among vibrant foliage and a spring-like atmosphere. Once again we were graced with Kristin Kuster's presence as the chamber performed her piece, Ribbon Earth, for the second time. Although the acoustics of St. John's Inn were incredible, the natural surroundings and ambiance provided by Planterra, brought another element and new appreciation to Ribbon Earth. The event was MC'ed by Fox News reporter Roop Raj and all proceeds from the event benefited Hospice of Michigan, a great organization that helps people and their families in a time need.  

The Michigan Philharmonic's next performance, "French Connection," will be at the First Methodist Church (in Plymouth) at 2:00. The orchestra will be joined by piano protege Anastasia Rizikov and composer Mark Petering. At thirteen years old, Rizikov is already an accomplished musician, winning the Rotary International Piano Competition in 2012. The Michigan Philharmonic will be performing Petering's Fanfare and Reflection after Ravel. Pertering's compositions have been performed by numerous orchestras and he currently is on faculty at Carthage University. 

During the "French Connection" concert, the Michigan Philharmonic is pairing up with the "Go Red Campaign for Women." Our musicians will be wearing red accessories in honor of the campaign and we encourage audience members to show their support as well. Some "Go Red" products will be available for purchase at the concert. So GET YOUR PHIL and show your support for great music and the fight against heart disease. 

For ticket information call us at 734-451-2112 or visit our website:  


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Miniature Masterpieces

       This past Sunday The Michigan Philharmonic presented "Miniature Masterpieces" at the Inn at St. John's. The European styled chapel at St. John's provided impeccable acoustics and beautifully showcased the philharmonic's principle musicians. "Miniature Masterpiece" included Haydn's Lira Concerto No. 2 in G, Copland's Appalachian Spring Suite,  Lili Boulanger's D'un Matin de Printemps and Ribbon Earth, a contemporary piece composed by Kristin Kuster. 
Composer and University of Michigan professor, Kristin Kuster
MPO, Washburn (right) and Kuster (far left), receiving a well deserve applause. 
      Kuster, a professor at the University of Michigan, has commissioned musical works for the Michigan Philharmonic in the past, but this Sunday, the orchestra had the privilege to preform her sculpture inspired piece, written for flute, clarinet, bassoon and string quartet. The philharmonic's talented players, under the direction of Nan Washburn, wowed the audience with their seemingly effortless performance of the technical and thought provoking piece. Kuster proved once again, that modern music has a place among traditional works, by providing an exhilarating and refreshing apsect to the program

      Ribbon Earth was followed by the recognizable Appalachian Spring Suite, again brought to life by the chamber orchestra. The well known melodies resonated throughout the chapel, creating a truly memorable performance and afternoon. The Michigan Philharmonic will preform "Miniature Masterpieces" once more on Sunday, January 20th at Planterra in West Bloomfield. The proceeds from the event  will be donated to Hospice of Michigan