It takes work to provide all the play at the KSO

Harold DuckettOur Town Arts

Correction: The Knoxville Symphony is engaged in another busy week. Tonight, at the Tennessee Theatre is the first of this season’s KSO Pops concerts. Next Thursday and Friday, Oct. 19 and 20, will be the Masterworks concerts.

This Pops concert features the Classical Mystery Tour, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic Beatles album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” along with other Beatles music.

The Classical Mystery Tour is the No. 1 symphony pops attraction for the past decade. The group gave its first performance in 1996 and has performed steadily for the past 20 years with more than 100 orchestras, including many of the most prestigious, in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia.
The Masterworks programs, titled “Red, Hot and Bolero” will include music by Mexican composer Arturo Márquez, French composer George Bizet, Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera, which will feature dancers from the Appalachian Ballet Company, and British composer Thomas Ades, whose strange time signatures spurred a lively discussion among musicians this week about just how to play it. Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero,” which saw a jump in popularity 38 years ago with the movie “10” and stayed hot, will be the highlight of the second half of the program.

Performing on stage is a small portion of the work KSO musicians put in, not to mention the many hours musicians spend learning the music at home before they show up for rehearsals.

Depending on when the guest artists for Pops concerts arrive in town, there is commonly one to two rehearsals. Masterworks concerts commonly involve four rehearsals.

The chamber music concerts usually involved one to two group rehearsals, whether it’s the chamber orchestra, the principal quartet or the wind quintet.

It usually comes as a surprise to audiences and to the public that the cost of rehearsal is the same as the cost for a performance, with added costs at performance time for the hall rental and associated staff.

The Pops concert at the Civic Auditorium will begin at 8 p.m. The Masterworks concerts begin at 7:30. Extra time should be allowed for parking and the increased security screenings that have become a reality of modern life.

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