Dallas Chamber Symphony, Not Your Typical Orchestra

by N.L.Thi-Hamrick on November 18, 2019 in Entertainment, Music, Dallas/Fort Worth,
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Time spent with the Dallas Chamber Symphony is truly one-of-a-kind.

On October 22nd, the Dallas Chamber Symphony (DCS) elevated what would have been a mundane, run-of-the-mill Tuesday to a dazzling night of refined entertainment, catalyzing its eighth season of musical delights with a colorful, multifaceted journey through French musical tastes at the turn of the 20th century. The stage was alight with elegance and palpable energy as the talented orchestra lifted their voices to beautifully illustrate an entire world of imagery and sensations.

Dallas Chamber Symphony Artistic Director and Conductor, Richard McKay.
Photo Jarvis Jacobs/courtesy Dallas Chamber Symphony

As Dallas’ only professional chamber orchestra, DCS has garnered numerous accolades for their showmanship, and are deserving of the utmost honor and respect as a purpose-driven organization dedicated to serving its community. They offer 10 hours of volunteer community outreach for every hour of paid programming, in the form of creative, educational and fun shows, performed in venues to include homeless shelters, juvenile detention centers, local schools and hospitals. Another outreach example is the TechNotes Youth Education program, founded by artistic director Richard McKay. This is a program for elementary school classrooms, bringing technology and musical education together in an innovative symphony.

November 23, Dallas Chamber Symphony presents a screening of the haunting silent film, “The Wind,” starring Lilian Gish. Photo courtesy Dallas Chamber Symphony

In October, charming audiences once again, the DCS toured through the tumultuous events eclipsing the ever-changing political and social milieu of turn-of-the-20th-century France. Composers Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Saëns and Francis Poulenc helped to bring the scene to life, reflecting the times expressively through music. World-renowned pianist Christopher Goodpasture joined the orchestra on Saint-Saëns’ “Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor.”

Graceful as a cloud, Goodpasture’s hands glided over the keys, producing a seemingly impossible shower of notes, calling to mind a dreamy, ethereal lullaby. Other times, the auditorium jolted with electricity as he hammered down with animated gusto, clipping strong, bold, convincing tones that compelled and commanded attention. As a decorated, top-prize winner of the Dallas, Washington, Seattle and Iowa International Piano Competitions, Goodpasture proved his musical brilliance with energetic finesse.

“The Wind” will be accompanied by a live performance of an original score by Canadian composer Alain Mayrand, pictured right. Photo courtesy Dallas Chamber Symphony

The commanding DCS punctuated staccato beats in powerful marches, only to shift seamlessly into delicate, harmonious refrains. Crashing, sublime waves, followed by delicate, simple bubbles played at the ears, tickling the senses in a torrent of raw emotion and evocative imagery.

And, there is more to come.

November 23 marks a singular event with a screening of the haunting silent film, “The Wind,” starring Lilian Gish, accompanied by a live performance of an original score by Canadian composer Alain Mayrand. The audience will be enraptured by the novel, never-before-heard music by Mayrand, whose film credits include “Ender’s Game” and “Elysium.” Fans will also have the opportunity to meet him after the performance. In the last six years, the DCS has commissioned 29 world premieres of stellar, new musical pieces.

Texas-native and global star Kyle Orth performs with the Dallas Chamber Symphony on piano February 11, 2020. Photo courtesy Dallas Chamber Symphony

February 11, 2020 at DCS heralds Tchaikovsky’s late-Romantic “Serenade for Strings,” and features iconoclastic works by two American masters: Samuel Barber’s “Serenade Op. 1,” and Franz Waxman’s “Goyana Sketches.” The wildly sought-after Texas-native and global star, Kyle Orth, will lend his musical virtuosity on piano with the Chamber that night.

Enchanting yet another Tuesday, on May 5, 2020 the enthralling 2019/2020 season will close with concertmaster and violinist Kazuhiro Takagi and TCU professor and principal cellist Jesús Castro-Balbi soloing with the orchestra on Johannes Brahms’ impressive “Double Concerto.” The program will also showcase Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture” and Robert Schumann’s “Symphony No. 4.”

The 2019/2020 season closes with concertmaster and violinist Kazuhiro Takagi (pictured) and TCU professor and principal cellist Jesús Castro-Balbi soloing with the Dallas Chamber Symphony. Courtesy photo

As socially significant as it is culturally poignant, any amount of time or money spent with the DCS is both rewarding to the ears and uplifting to the soul. At the heart of the organization, the DCS “exists to serve the community.” And they’re doing just that. These hope- and awe-inspiring events are made possible by public support and progressive partnerships in the community.

See all they have in store and be a part of the magic, often performed in the modernly designed Moody Performance Hall in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, among other spaces and locations, by purchasing tickets online or calling (214) 449-1294.

Cover photo courtesy Dallas Chamber Symphony

N.L.Thi-Hamrick, devoted to all things that bring joy: good food, writing freely, lots of smiles, and pursuing things that make you feel worthwhile.