Sewanee, Tenn. – The 56th annual Sewanee Summer Music Festival (SSMF) began this week with a concert on Saturday, June 23, 2012 honoring former Cumberland Orchestra conductor Bruce Dinkins. Dinkins’ family, friends, former students, and colleagues joined the Festival Orchestra in honoring the memory of a man who not only touched the lives of those in attendance, but of the thousands of others throughout his prolific and extensive career.
Dinkins’ favorite pieces were performed by the Festival Orchestra along with a special performance of Méditation from the Opera Thaïs by Jules Massenet. The piece featured Eli Matthews, violin, a student and colleague of Dinkins’, who performed the piece with such passion and devotion to his former teacher that all in attendance responded with an emotional standing ovation. Also in attendance were two notable conductors and friends of Dinkins, Tom Fraschillo and Frank Wickes, who shared details and anecdotes that showed just how much difference Dinkins made in the lives of so many. The concert was well attended, both at The Auditorium at Guerry Hall and online through the SSMF website live video stream.
Beginning Saturday, the SSMF will present three concerts. First will be the student chamber music concert in Guerry Garth at 4 p.m. Directly following will be the Faculty Artist Series performance at 7:30 p.m. titled, “It’s a Classic”, featuring composers Hadyn, Mozart, and Beethoven. On Sunday, the Cumberland Orchestra will be led by Perry Holbrook in Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance No. 8 , Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony No. 8, and Marquez’ Danzon No. 2. The Sewanee Symphony will follow led by Kenneth Kiesler performing Verdi’s Overture to La Forza del Destino and Respighi’s Feste Romane.
More exciting events coming up include Hike to a Concert on July 6th at 5 p.m. located at Morgan’s Steep. The repertoire will be Shubert’s Symphony No. 5 and Resphigi’s Ancient Airs and Dances conducted by Yaniv Dinur. University faculty will lead audience members on a hike beginning at the Lake Cheston parking lot at 3:30 p.m.. Historical and geological information will be given along the way. Open Rehearsal Friday’s will be at 9:30 a.m. and open to the community.
Tickets are on sale now on the SSMF website and at the door prior to performance. Ticket prices are $100 for a season ticket (excluding Sō Percussion), $10 online and $12 at the door for general admission, and $18 online and $20 at the door for Sō Percussion tickets. For more information go to the SSMF website at www.sewaneemusicfestival.org.