At long last, we are able to announce the details for our 2021-2022 mainstage series of full symphonic concerts at The Music Hall! We have all waited so long to be able to gather again and experience, first hand, the joys that can only be found in a live symphony performance. And that moment now has a point on the horizon we can all look forward to.
Diversity was on our mind as we were selecting the pieces for our mainstage performances this season. At each concert, we will present a piece from a composer in a traditionally underrepresented group. By balancing a standard beloved piece with a less well known work, we've crafted three unique programs whose thematic arch runs from dark to light, despair to hope, mirroring our emergence from a COVID-19 restricted world into the new normal.Read on for all the performance dates and details.
In this issue of Take Note, we also share how the PSO continues to connect with audiences through pop-up performances and chamber concerts in smaller venues; as well as highlight the culminating performances by this year's Stringendo students.
Be well until next time,
PSO Music Director
Meet Your Orchestra
Aubrie Dionne, Flute
Years playing with the PSO: 3.5 years Age started playing flute:5th grade Lives in: Manchester, NH
Why did you choose the flute?
There is a beautiful flute solo from the animated classic, “The Last Unicorn” which particularly inspired me to take up the flute. I used to pretend to play the flute with my toothbrush when I heard that solo.
How did you first get involved with the PSO?
I remember walking through Portsmouth with my husband one afternoon before 2017 when I saw one of the PSO's beautiful concert posters and thought that I’d love to perform with the orchestra.
When the principal flute position needed a substitute player, it was a great opportunity to experience performing with the orchestra. I was so impressed with their professionalism and high artistic achievement, and I really connected with the other players in the orchestra.
I am now the PSO's principal flute player and the Outreach Director for Stringendo.
Do you play with any other groups?
I perform solo concerts at Plymouth State University and Southern New Hampshire University where I'm on the faculty; as part of the Manchester Community Music School’s Faculty Performance Series; with my woodwind trio, Mythic Winds; and I'm the principal flute of the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra. I also enjoy performing with my husband who plays the harpsichord and piano.
What do you like about playing with a symphony orchestra?
I am a people person who loves being surrounded by friends and colleagues. Performing great symphonic works together is a transcendental experience for me.
How do you spend your time outside of the PSO?
I enjoy teaching flute at the university level, as well as teaching junior high and high schoolers at the Manchester Community Music School. I work as the Music School’s Performance Leadership Director where I have the ability and the honor of bringing music to those who may not have the means to experience learning an instrument or watching a symphony through grants and outreach programs.
As part of our commitment to supporting and fostering the talents of young musicians, the PSO offers a tuition-free strings program for students ages 8-18 called “Stringendo.”
In 2021, the stringendo students met virtually each week to take lessons from PSO orchestra members, rehearse, and support each other. The youth orchestra’s talent is showcased in this series of year end videos.
Stringendo students Leo Shraybman, Melanie Powers and Jacob Copp (cello); Maya Powers (violin); Joey Powers (viola); and Lana Wu (flute) perform Alessandro Scarlatti's Allegro from Quartet in F Major. The student's are accompanied by Chris Gantner on harpsichord and were coached by PSO musicians Aubrie Dionne (flute) and Johnny Mok (cello).
Performances Not to Be Missed
SAVE THE DATE!
PSO Brass Quintet "Live Under the Arch" The Music Hall, Portsmouth July 11 at 5 & 7pm
Join us in downtown Portsmouth for a toe-tapping evening that is not to be missed when PSO Brass Quintet will present a program of Americana perfectly suited for a summer evening.
Alongside marches, quicksteps, rags, and polkas, the quintet will perform several selections from Broadway. Leonard Bernstein’s rhythmic score to West Side Story will be juxtaposed with the sultry melodies of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and the wholesome tunes of Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man.
Tickets are priced per tables of 2, 4 or 6. To learn more about the program or buy tickets, visit our website.
Taking the Healing Sounds of Music on the Road
On May 13, several PSO musicians held a pop up performance in the courtyard of Portsmouth Hospital in celebration of Nurse Appreciation Week and International Nurses Day.
Brooke Lamonica (violin), Jan Heirtzler (viola), Johnny Mok (cello), Aubrie Dionne (flute) , Adam Gallant (trumpet), Brandon Newbould (trombone), and Sue Williams (french horn) delighted hospital staff and visitors as they treated them to the sounds of Vivaldi, Haydn, Boccherini.
Members of the PSO will next be performing a Father's Day Concert for residents at Riverwoods Durham on June 20.
Investing in Music
Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, together with more than 500 nonprofits across New Hampshire, is participating in NH Gives, a 24-hour fundraising campaign that kicks off tomorrow at 5pm.