Friday, January 30, 2015

what's (on) second?

So my second class of the week is my "arts" class and we met up at Holley Hall for a visit to the Sarasota Orchestra-

A very interesting presentation by the admin folks at the Orchestra was accompanied in the background by a rehearsal of the Orchestra in the Holley Hall- while we were across the way in a "class room" style room...

a statue near the entrance to the box office- but the current conductor is from Estonia and her name is Anu Tali- and she is not your stereotyped conductor-

the facility has a gallery hall where they exhibit rotating art- today it is very colorful and just by chance we meet the artist -

a permanent piece located just outside the room where the Orchestra is rehearsing-

a practice hall- recently renovated- had wonderful acoustics-

we got to peek into the Library where all the scores are done for each musician - what an amazing amount of work that is!

here are some facts about the Sarasota Orchestra-

  • They have about 80 full time musicians, who audition for positions with the Orchestra behind a screen so the decision is based upon merit/ability.  This system was originally used to ensure that women were not excluded from the important positions and has been the standard for quite some time - not just at this orchestra.
  • The orchestra is unionized so it is subject to a lot of regulation and also has tenured positions for those who maintain a level of excellence.
  • The orchestra performs (in various iterations and various venues) 125 concerts a year.   
  • They have four series each year and many other special concerts- including a concert called "thrill of a lifetime" where young performers who have won a competition get to perform with the Sarasota Orchestra.
  • The Orchestra plays at Holley Hall, Neel Auditorium and Van Wezel and even sometimes at the Opera House in Sarasota.
  • They have an outreach program which sponsors every 4th and 5th grader in Sarasota and Manatee counties to a classical concert (more than 10,000 students) 
  • They have a summer music camp for more than 300 students and a youth orchestra of over 300 students (up to and including a philharmonic- students are placed based on ability)
  • The Orchestra used to be the Florida West Coast Orchestra and was re-branded in 2008 as the Sarasota Orchestra - they chose Orchestra over Symphony because it tested better (and likely gave them an opportunity to avoid the initials SS in a heavily Jewish community) the Orchestra 
  • Hall is actually the Friedman Symphony Center which contains the Holley Hall performance venue and the David Kahn performance venue
A photo of the Thrill concert-

Then we were on to the Sarasota Art Center- just across the street-

  • The Sarasota Art Association was established in 1926 as the first arts organization in Sarasota. 
  • In 1941, the Association incorporated as a not-for-profit organization. 
  • The City of Sarasota provided the Art Association, with a lease of land near the downtown area and in 1948, after the war, the association broke ground for its present building which was designed in the then-popular style of the Sarasota School of Architecture. The building opened in 1949 with only one gallery which is now known as Gallery 3. 
  • The Atrium or “Patio Gallery” as it was called was later erected with donations from members and was enclosed in 1961. 
  • In 1996, the Sam and Sally Shapiro Sculpture Garden was created 

some of the students at work during a class-

many classes to choose from-

one of the exhibits in the gallery space-

an outside piece-

a flyer for an upcoming sale and show- our teacher will be exhibiting there-

next up- my newest information from the Florida Maritime History Class or the Asolo play we saw this week with our friends- not sure which one will be done first (LOL- actually - third- I Don't Know)

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