The Dayton Philharmonic is partnering with area churches to provide three spiritually uplifting concerts. There is one scheduled for this weekend at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Trotwood, and two more are planned for next year. This brings the DPO together with Miami Valley communities to celebrate the human spirit through the universal medium of music. Each concert will combine the efforts of the DPO with the church choirs for a unique sound experience.
“Some years I’ve programmed pieces that have some kind of religious connotation, but this year there’s nothing specifically spiritual, except for the piece at the end with the choir which is gospel music,” said DPO director/conductor Neal Gittleman. “ ‘Total Praise’ by Richard Smallwood is one of the classics of the African-American gospel tradition.”
This is all part of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s 2013-14 Signature Season. The Stained Glass Concert program features Mozart’s “Symphony No. 31,” and Haydn’s “II Mondo della Luna Overture” (The World on the Moon). Mozart’s piece, better known as the “Paris Symphony,” is one of his most famous symphonies. Haydn’s overture is from his “opera buffa,” or comic opera of the same title.
The DPO will also perform the first movement of important American composer Will Grant Still’s “Danzas de Panama,” (Dances of Panama). Still is the first black to conduct a major American symphony, and had a successful career that included arranging music for films. Concert guests will also hear Beethoven’s “String Quartet No. 16 in F major,” op. 135, 3rd movement.”
Tomorrow’s event is the first of a three-concert series. There are two more concerts scheduled at area churches next year: Calvary Missionary Baptist Church at 2067 N. Gettysburg Ave.in Dayton at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26; and Tabernacle Baptist Church at 380 S. Broadway in Dayton at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 6.
This is the eighth year for the Stained Glass series. According to Gittleman, his orchestra is building connections with new churches, or nurturing existing church partnerships. This year’s series revisits two churches where DPO has an existing relationship. DPO has visited Tabernacle in almost every year of the series. They’ve also performed at Calvary Missionary Baptist in previous years. This is the first collaborative concert at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church.
Robert Stockton III was hired this past spring as choir director of St. Margaret’s. He brought three years of music directing experience from the Believer’s Fellowship Church in Dayton. He’s also a adjunct music professor at Wright State University.
“For the most part, symphony music is spiritual because it evokes emotions and touches the soul,” said Stockton. “We had our rehearsal last night with Neil Gittleman. “Our choir members are very excited, and I invited my Wright State students to share in this wonderful experience.”
St. Margaret’s rector is Fr. Benjamin E K Speare-Hardy II. These Norma Ross Memorial Community Concerts are made possible by the Bob Ross Auto Group. The late Norma Ross was a tireless advocate for music and minority youth.
The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the community, offering a tremendous variety of performance and education programs and setting a new standard for artistic excellence.
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance also receives partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio’s cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance also received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
How to Go
What: “Stained Glass Series” Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra
Where: St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, 5301 Free Pike, Trotwood
When: 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13
Cost: Free, open to public
More info: (937) 837-7741 (church); (937) 224-3521 (DPA); www.daytonperformingarts.org