DOWNEY - If you have never attended a performance by Downey's own symphony orchestra, consider going tomorrow evening, Saturday, for an eye-opening concert.Sharon Lavery, selected two years ago from 95 applicants for the position of music director, is an exciting, confident conductor, regarded as highly by her musicians and adult audiences as by the thousands of Downey school children who respond with delight to the special programs presented for them annually. The Downey Symphony is completing its 53rd season tomorrow in the Civic Theatre, and Lavery says, "I am very much looking forward to this concert, especially because I will be working with my good friend Elizabeth Pitairn. Elizabeth is such a dynamic performer and inspirational musicians, and we are all really looking forward to hearing how she interprets the Bruch B Minor Violin Concerto." We are looking forward as well to hearing the rare, exceptionally fine Stradivarius she plays, which dates from 1720 and is the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film, "The Red Violin." Lavery continues, "I am also eager to conduct the Serenade No. 1 of Brahms. It is a piece that is rarely performed and I am certain that the Downey Symphony Orchestra musicians and audience will fall in love with it." Traditionally, a few special goodies are added to the spring concert programs. We'll applaud Donald Bryan, last year's Baton Auction winner, when he leads a stirring march to open the concert. Bryan grew up in Downey and always wanted a crack at conducting an orchestra, at least once. This is his moment. And at the end of the evening, a complimentary reception in the theater patio is a special gift from the Symphony Guild for concert-goers and our hungry musicians. It's a great time to mingle and munch. The Downey Theatre is at 8435 Firestone Blvd. near Brookshire Ave., with ample free parking. Tickets are $30 and $25, $10 for students. Concert time is 8 p.m. with a preview discussion at 7:15. To learn more about the concert, visit the orchestra's website at www.downeysymphony.org.To learn still more, go to the performance of this excellent orchestra, one of the treasures of our community.
********** Published: April 9, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 51