Missouri Theatre kicks off summer music festival

Friday, June 5, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The Hot Summer Nights Music Festival returns Saturday for a two-month run of performances from world-renowned violinists to a Beach Boys cover band.

While a series of orchestral concerts might seem like a highbrow snooze-fest, the Missouri Theatre hopes to turn that image around.


Tickets prices range from $10 to $100 depending on the event and may be purchased online, by phone, by e-mail or at the Missouri Theatre box office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 203 S. Ninth St. Subscriptions and multiple ticket packages are also available.

** 7:30 p.m. Saturday: Landmark Bank opening gala featuring violinist Chloe Trevor.

** 7 p.m. Sunday: Art in Health Care Benefit Concert with violinist Jourdan Urbach. Proceeds will benefit the Columbia Children’s Hospital.

** 7:30 p.m. June 12: "Hooray for Hollywood" with the Missouri Symphony Orchestra performing famous film scores under the direction of Carl Topilow.

** 3 p.m. June 14: "The Musical Adventures of Peter & the Wolf" and "Tubby the Tuba," featuring the Missouri Symphony Orchestra and the Missouri Contemporary Ballet Company. Part of the Family Series.

** 7:30 p.m. June 15: Jupiter String Quartet

** 7:30 p.m. June 19: Mozart and Mahler with the Missouri Symphony Orchestra and soprano Teresa Gomez

** 7 p.m. June 21: Evensong with the Lucnica Chorus of Bratislava. Proceeds will benefit the capital campaign for the Regional Catholic High School in Columbia.

** 7:30 p.m. June 26: "The Planets—A Multimedia Symphonic Fantasy," featuring the Missouri Symphony Orchestra and NASA space footage.

** 7:30 p.m. June 27: "SLOVAKIA!" featuring the folk music and dance group Lucnica Chorus of Bratislava

** 3 p.m. June 28: "Explore The Planets—A Multimedia Symphonic Fantasy for All Ages," featuring the Missouri Symphony Orchestra and NASA space footage. Part of the Family Series. Proceeds will benefit Boys and Girls Town of Missouri.

** 7 p.m. June 29: Chamber recital featuring members of the Missouri Symphony Orchestra

** 7:30 p.m. July 3: "Patriotic Pops," featuring narrator Eric Wilson and Miss Columbia 2009 Paige Sommerer

** 5:30 p.m. July 8: ClassiCrawl featuring Free Planet Radio on a “gallery crawl” of Columbia.

** 7:30 p.m. July 10: "Endless Summer — The Music of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys," featuring Jeans n’ Classics.

** 7 p.m. July 13: Chamber recital with members of the Missouri Symphony Orchestra

** 7:30 p.m. July 17 and 18: “The Piano” Festival I with pianist Gleb Ivanov.

** 3 p.m. July 19: "Music in Motion" with The Gizmo Guys. Part of the family series.

** 7 p.m. July 20: Chamber recital featuring members of the Missouri Symphony Orchestra.

** 7 p.m. July 23, ClassiVibe, featuring harpist and storyteller Deborah Henson-Contant.

** 7:30 p.m. July 25: Hot Summer Nights season finale featuring harpist and storyteller Deborah Henson-Contant.

For a full series description and calendar, visit the Missouri Theatre’s Web site.

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“At first glance, people think of classical music in just one genre, but we’re going to change that,” director of public relations Kanani May said.

Hot Summer Nights concerts are arranged in five series: classical, pops, chamber, special events and family.

The one-hour family concerts on Sunday afternoons are geared toward children with Sparky’s ice cream served before the concert on the theater’s rooftop patio.

The Missouri Symphony Orchestra will perform in several concerts. The group consists of local musicians and others from across the country who take a break from their 9-to-5 jobs and make Columbia their home during the summer months. Many musicians come back year after year, May said.

Chloe Trevor, 21, daughter of the orchestra’s director, Kirk Trevor, will return as a solo artist Saturday.This will be her third time at the festival. Trevor played with the orchestra when she was 14 and 16 and said she is looking forward to playing the Brahms violin concerto.

“It’s really a monster of a concerto,” she said.

She has spent the past few summers playing as a section member of the orchestra and found that the group really becomes a community.

“My dad has collected people from a bunch of different countries, so it’s somewhat of a cultural melting pot,” she said.

“I’m always excited when the orchestra comes to town,” May said. “It’s like a family reunion.”

In addition to Trevor, this year's artists include soprano Teresa Gomez on June 19 and the Missouri Contemporary Ballet company performing the crowd-pleasing "Peter and the Wolf" on June 14.

 ClassiCrawl, an evening of gallery open houses downtown, will return to the festival July 8.

“We’ve done it before, but this year is what we’ve always hoped for for ClassiCrawl,” May said.

It will take place at Acme Hot and Fresh T-Shirts and three galleries — PS: Gallery, Orr Street Studios and the Columbia Art League. Each location will feature a small ensemble from the Missouri Symphony Orchestra playing eclectic and contemporary music.

“There might be percussion at the first stop, then strings, then horns, all playing the unexpected,” May said.

The point of ClassiCrawl is to provide an opportunity for residents to get to know the orchestra members on a personal, intimate level, May said.

"They’re youthful and fun, which is the spirit of Hot Summer Nights,” she said.

Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served at the galleries, and participants can customize a ClassiCrawl T-shirt at Acme.

New events to the festival include 16-year-old violin prodigy Jourdan Urbach on Sunday and "The Planets — a Multimedia Symphonic Fantasy" on June 26 and 28, featuring a virtual tour of the solar system with images from the Hubble Space Telescope.

May said she hopes events such as "The Planets" will help audiences see beyond the classical genre.

“It’s about the music, but it’s really about the artistry,” she said.

Even in the tough economic times, audiences have grown with Trevor’s expansion of the festival, May said.

“I really believe that art and culture are the heart and soul of the community."


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