320 East Main Street
Missoula, MT 59802
(406) 721-3194
         
Missoula Symphony Orchestra’s String Quartet and Instrument “Petting Zoo” at the Clark Fork Market
7/30/2015 11:51:54 AM

Missoula Symphony Orchestra’s String Quartet and Instrument
“Petting Zoo” at the Clark Fork Market

(Missoula, MT) For those who can’t wait for the upcoming Symphony in the Park, the Missoula Symphony String Quartet will be playing at the Clark Fork Market from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 1, underneath the bridge. According to Music Director, Darko Butorac, although the intent is to remind people of the free, outdoor concert on Sunday, August 9, the quartet will play a diverse repertoire that market goers will be sure to appreciate. “The setting is such fun—the market, the river, the energy—add in a bit of classical music, it’s going to be a great morning.”

In addition to the quartet, the MSO and Morgenroth Music Center will host an instrument “petting zoo” by the brass fish sculptures. “The idea is that kids and their families can test out instruments and then go and hear the quartet,” explains MSO Executive Director, John Driscoll. “We’ve got lots of enthusiastic volunteer musicians excited to share their instruments.” The petting zoo will run from 10 a.m. to noon.

For more information on the Missoula Symphony Orchestra call 721-3194 or go to www.missoulasymphony.org.

Press Release: July 29, 2015
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193

—Channel Your Inner Conductor— Missoula Symphony Orchestra Raffles Off Opportunity to Conduct
7/30/2015 11:46:55 AM

—Channel Your Inner Conductor—
Missoula Symphony Orchestra Raffles Off Opportunity to Conduct

(Missoula, Montana) The Missoula Symphony Orchestra is offering those who have ever dreamed of wielding the maestro’s baton the opportunity to conduct a piece at the Symphony in the Park. The winner of the “Conductor Raffle” will receive a one-hour conducting lesson with MSO Music Director Darko Butorac, and then will conduct “The Stars and Stripes Forever” at the concert on Sunday, August 9.

“Folks can buy raffle tickets for themselves if they want the chance to conduct the orchestra, or they can also buy raffle tickets in someone else’s name – a friend, a family member, whoever!” says MSO Executive Director John Driscoll. “The only catch is, if the person you named is unwilling or unable to conduct – the purchaser is on the hook!” Tickets are available through August 1.

For more information on Symphony in the Park and the Missoula Symphony Orchestra or to purchase tickets for the conductor raffle, call 406-721-3194 or visit www.missoulasymphony.org.

Press Release: July 28, 2015
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193

Missoula Symphony Orchestra Presents Eleventh Annual “Symphony in the Park”
7/30/2015 11:13:53 AM

Missoula Symphony Orchestra Presents Eleventh Annual ’Symphony in the Park” 

—Missoula Symphony Orchestra Presents Eleventh Annual “Symphony in the Park”—

(Missoula, Montana) For the eleventh year in a row, the Missoula Symphony Orchestra will take to the stage in downtown Missoula for the ever-popular “Symphony in the Park.” Known for its “something for everyone” repertoire, music director Darko Butorac describes the concert as including movie scores, musicals, light classics, and romantic music. “Let’s just say this is our most hummable concert of the year,” he says. The concert takes place on Sunday, August 9 at 7 p.m. at Caras Park.

Butorac says he chooses music for this concert with appeal to young and old alike. “We buck every stereotype of a ‘stuffy symphony,’” he says. For kids? There’s “When You Wish Upon a Star” from the Disney movie Dumbo. Want classic Hollywood scores? How about Ben Hur with its famous brass fanfares, and Casablanca complete with “As Time Goes By.” The romantic in us all will appreciate excerpts from the Out of Africa score, and, for those of us whose youth involved the ‘70s, there’s music from the soundtrack to Grease. “Summer Lovin’? Just try not singing along to that one,” he says.

Although not ‘fessing up to anything this year, Butorac has in past years ended the show with a spectacular encore. In past years the audience has been wowed by Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Abba’s “Dancing Queen” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” “You might want to consider staying until the very end,” he says. “I do love my encores.”

Executive Director John Driscoll has been involved with Symphony in the Park since the beginning, and shares Butorac’s enthusiasm for the event. “This concert is our ‘thank you’ to the community, which is incredibly supportive of the MSO. We started this free event back in 2005, hoping we’d get a thousand people to show up. And now, 11 years later, it’s one of Missoula’s most popular events—we couldn’t be more thrilled,” he says.

For those who have secret conductor aspirations, the symphony is offering a “Conductor Raffle.” The winner receives a one-hour conducting lesson with Butorac, and then will conduct “The Stars and Stripes Forever” at the concert. “Folks can buy raffle tickets for themselves if they want the chance to conduct the orchestra, or they can also buy raffle tickets in someone else’s name – a friend, a family member, whoever!” says Driscoll. “The only catch is, if the person you named is unwilling or unable to conduct – the purchaser is on the hook!” Conductor Raffle tickets are available through August 1.

As in previous years, concert-goers have the option of purchasing dinner, cocktails and treats from on-site vendors or, of course, bringing picnics. Regardless, Driscoll recommends getting to the concert early to get a good spot, and bringing a lawn chair or blanket to sit on.

For more information on Symphony in the Park and the Missoula Symphony Orchestra or to purchase tickets for the conductor raffle, call 406-721-3194 or visit www.missoulasymphony.org.

Press Release: July 28, 2015
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193

WELCOME OUR SUMMER INTERN!
6/8/2015 8:57:55 AM

Welcome Our Summer Intern!

Please welcome our new summer intern, Sam Carl! Sam grew up in Billings, Montana, and currently studies viola performance at the University of Montana under our Concertmaster Margaret Baldridge. Being a violist, Sam has the natural ability to listen and support people with a positive and determined attitude.

Welcome Our Summer Intern!

Sam started to learn the violin when he was five years old. He attended Suzuki group classes until he was ten, when he switched to the viola. Sam played as much as he possibly could throughout high school, creating a deep-rooted appreciation for the orchestra. By the end of high school, he knew he needed to make music the most prominent thing in his life.

Sam has told us:

“Being a violist is the luckiest position. You get to sit immersed in the orchestra and hear all the beautiful, melodious sounds of each instrument independently. You get to support and nurture every instrument in the ensemble. It’s what makes the job worthwhile. Because of this experience, it makes me want to help as much as I can behind the scenes of the music. If wasn’t for all the dedicated, hard-working and lovely people back stage and behind the scenes, I wouldn’t be able to play on stage. It’s fulfilling and enriching to learn and help with all that needs to be done to produce and execute a successful performance.”

Sam is also a recipient of one of five scholarships the Missoula Symphony Association gives annually to the University of Montana School of Music. Welcome, Sam!

Missoula Symphony Orchestra’s Season Finale: “Earth, Wind and Fire” Features Native American Flutist, Nakai and Pines of Rome
4/13/2015 4:48:11 PM

Missoula Symphony Orchestra’s Season Finale: “Earth, Wind and Fire” Features Native American Flutist, Nakai and Pines of Rome 

Missoula Symphony Orchestra’s Season Finale: “Earth, Wind and Fire” Features Native American Flutist, Nakai and Pines of Rome

The Missoula Symphony Orchestra takes the stage for their season finale on April 24 at 7:30 p.m. and April 25 at 3 p.m. “Earth, Wind and Fire” celebrates Earth Day with a nature-themed concert, and features Native American Flutist, R. Carlos Nakai.

Music Director Darko Butorac describes Nakai as the voice of contemporary Native American music. “This is the first time the Missoula Symphony Orchestra has ever worked with a Native American artist, so it’s long overdue,” he says. “Nakai is a virtuoso of his instrument, his performances are haunting—I’m very excited about this collaboration.” This ‘collaboration’ is also of note as it is a melding of the Native American flute with European classical music, an unprecedented combination before Nakai.

The composer and performer has had an incredibly successful career (he has released more than 50 albums, sold over five million records, earned two Gold records and a Platinum record, and received 11 Grammy nominations) and has a huge fan base. “I’m excited to consider the potential of this concert and the audience we will reach,” says Driscoll, “I think we will attract some first time concert-goers, but, more important, I hope we will connect with our audience in a meaningful and different way.”

In addition to Nakai, the concerts’ repertoire includes three other pieces with natural themes, Bedrich Smetana’s From Bohemia’s Forests and Meadows, Jean Sibelius’s The Swan of Tuonela, and Ottorino Respighi’s Pines of Rome. “We’ve got forests, meadows, swans, trees—we’ve got Earth Day covered. But in all seriousness, it’s going to be a phenomenal concert,” Butorac says.

The concert, and season, concludes with Pines of Rome, which Butorac describes as one of the great, large orchestral pieces, and includes an additional 12 brass instruments. “This is definitely one of the ‘bucket list’ pieces of orchestral music,” he says. The highly evocative piece begins with a carefree, festive scene of children playing under the pines at a villa in Rome. The second movement, which Butorac describes as beautiful and haunting, takes the audience to the entrance of a catacomb and a Gregorian-chant style melody. The third, ‘The Pines of Janiculum,’ involves a ‘moonlit’ melody of hushed strings and woodwinds, which ends with a recording of an actual nightingale. And finally the fourth movement, which, according to Butorac starts with a markedly darker mood, but transforms from menacing to heroic and ultimately climaxes in a breathtaking fashion. “It seemed fitting that we would end a huge season, our 60th season, with a huge piece. This is it,” he says.

Tickets for “Earth, Wind and Fire” can be purchased online at missoulasymphony.org, by phone at 721-3194, or in person at the Symphony office at 320 East Main Street.

NOTE: In addition to the concerts, R. Carlos Nakai will be presenting a public talk and performance on Thursday, April 23, at 2 p.m. at the Payne Family Native American Center on the U of M campus. This event is free and open to the public and is a collaboration between the Kyi-Yo Native American Student Association and the Missoula Symphony Association.

Press Release: April 10, 2015
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193

Have No Fear, Fortissimo is Here! Ninth Annual Family Concert Engages Young and Old.
1/20/2015 3:37:33 PM

Have No Fear, Fortissimo is Here! Ninth Annual Family Concert Engages Young and Old. 

Have No Fear, Fortissimo is Here! —Ninth Annual Family Concert Engages Young and Old—

The Missoula Symphony Orchestra returns to the stage on January 30 at 7 p.m. for its annual Family Concert, this year helping superhero Fortissimo regain his superpowers. The show, now in its ninth year, provides a unique opportunity for kids to learn about dynamics, rhythm, harmony, and instruments. Don your superhero cape, and join the show!

This year Symphony Music Director Darko Butorac plays the role of musical superhero Fortissimo, whose superhero power is to rid the world of bad music. Unfortunately for him, (and the world in general), dastardly Dr. Dissonance has defeated him, the treble maker that he is, and Fortissimo needs the help of the audience. “The kids in the audience help by demonstrating their musical prowess while learning a little bit along the way,” Butorac explains. “This show is very interactive and fully engages kids, which really amps up their level of understanding.”

“And,” he adds, “it’s going to be hilarious.”

Sharing the stage again this year is singer and performer Creighton James, aka the devious Dr. Dissonance. James is no stranger to the family concert nor the audience, as he has starred in past shows as characters such as Detective Pinot Noir investigating a crime on the Symphony Express, the remote-control wielding “Spaceman,” and Pirate Captain Darkbeard’s double-crossing sidekick, Billy Five Toes. This year, according to Butorac, the audience can expect an equally entertaining performance. “Creighton’s energy and creativity adds to the show tremendously,” he says, “and kids love him. It’s going to be another fantastic evening.”

The show is also performed earlier in the day as part of the Symphony’s ongoing community outreach, to approximately 2,000 fourth graders representing over 40 schools from Missoula and the surrounding region. “Kids bus in from as far as St. Regis and Philipsburg. It’s a great opportunity for us to do outreach to kids who might not have the exposure to classical music in their community,” says Symphony Executive Director, John Driscoll. The focus on fourth graders is intentional, he adds, as the fall semester of fifth grade year is when children in Missoula County Public Schools select an instrument to play. “For some kids this concert is the first time they’ve ever even heard certain instruments—if we can inspire a future trumpet player, we’ve done our job,” he says.

The concerts, which take place at the Dennison Theatre, run about one hour. According to Butorac, this year’s repertoire includes recognizable and kid-friendly music including excerpts from well-known pieces such as the Beethoven's Ode to Joy, Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird and Jean Sibelius’s Finlandia. “You may not be able to pull the name of the piece out of your head,” he says, “but I guarantee it will be familiar to you.” To add to the super hero theme, music from Batman and Superman will also be featured, but that, he says, is a secret. (shhhhhhh!)

To get kids excited about the concert, the Symphony is also sponsoring a Fortissimo coloring contest, with the winners to be announced at the concert. Artwork can be viewed the month of January at Bernice’s Bakery, 190 South 3rd Street West, which will be selling Fortissimo-themed cookies in honor of the show. Young artists can find the picture to color on the Symphony website, the Symphony Office or at Bernice’s Bakery. Another local eatery is joining in on the fun, and Biga Pizza will be featuring a Fortissimo! pizza the last week of January.

Tickets for the 7 p.m. Family Concert can be purchased online at missoulasymphony.org, by phone at 721-3194, or in person at the Symphony office at 320 East Main Street. All tickets $8.

Press Release: January 14, 2015
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193

Missoula Symphony Orchestra & Chorale to Perform Fifteenth Annual “Holiday Pops”
12/2/2014 10:47:41 AM

Missoula Symphony Orchestra & Chorale to Perform Fifteenth Annual Holiday Pops 

Missoula Symphony Orchestra & Chorale to Perform Fifteenth Annual “Holiday Pops”

(Missoula, Montana) The Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale return to the stage for “Holiday Pops” on Saturday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 7, at 3 p.m. at the Dennison Theatre on the University of Montana campus.

Now in its fifteenth year, the “Holiday Pops” is one of Missoula’s most beloved holiday traditions and has grown to play for a sold out house every year. “I am thrilled this concert has become so popular,” Music Director Darko Butorac says. “I’m truly honored that the Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale have become such an integral part of kicking off the holiday season for the community.”

According to Butorac, there’s a reason this concert continues to be so popular. “We get the best arrangements of holiday selections for orchestra and chorus, which keeps it fresh.” he says. “You will have heard many of these pieces before, but I guarantee you haven’t heard these particular arrangements – it’s going to be a fabulous show.” He adds that the program is great for the whole family. “Young or old, we truly have something for everyone.”

As is tradition, the 100 members of the Chorale join the Orchestra for the second half of the concert. Butorac promises both new and old, secular and sacred. “I’m going to apologize right now to all those who will have Let it Go from the movie “Frozen” in their heads the entire month of December,” he says. In addition to the instant Disney classic, the audience can expect music from the movie “Home Alone,” Carol of the Bells, selections from The Nutcracker, I’ll be Home for Christmas, and Jingle Bells, to name a few. Santa Claus will again make an appearance, handing out candy canes and spreading holiday cheer.

Another tradition, now in its fourth year, is the “Encore Auction.” Popular with symphonies nationwide, this fundraising technique allows the audience to put their money on their collective favorite holiday piece for an encore. “This year we’re bringing back the Halleluiah Chorus, which handily won the first two years, and pitting it against another perennial favorite, Sleigh Ride,” he says. Whichever piece raises the most through individual donations, small and large, will be performed as an encore. Butorac reminds people to bring their wallets, as only cash and checks are accepted.

“Holiday Pops” tickets, which sell out fast, are available online at missoulasymphony.org, by phone at 721-3194, or in person at the Symphony office at 320 East Main Street. For more information on “Holiday Pops” and the MSO, visit missoulasymphony.org.

Press Release: November 23, 2014
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193

Missoula Symphony Orchestra Presents Veterans Day Concert
11/3/2014 8:50:59 AM

Missoula Symphony Orchestra Presents Veterans Day Concert 

Missoula Symphony Orchestra Presents Veterans Day Concert
“Red, White and True”

(Missoula, Montana) The Missoula Symphony Orchestra presents a Veterans Day Concert, on November 8 at 7:30 pm and November 9 at 3 p.m. in the Dennison Theatre. The concert is titled “Red, White and True,” and Music Director Darko Butorac assures a concert that will bring out the patriot in us all.

The show features what Butorac describes as a “bucket list” piece. “This is the symphony’s 60th season, and in honor of this, each concert we’re playing something huge—a piece everyone should hear live in their lifetime,” he says. “This show we’re performing Ravel’s “Bolero”—one of the most beloved and popular works for orchestra of all time.” For the musical novice, look to pop culture for a preview. The 1979 movie “10” featured a young Bo Derek, bedecked with corn-rowed hair, who had a penchant for, ahem, ‘performing’ to Ravel’s “Bolero,” which has a rather climactic ending. “It’s no wonder ‘Bolero’ is often described as the sexiest, most seductive piece of music ever written,” he says. “Pop musicians have nothing on Ravel.”

The show also starts off with two Aaron Copland pieces, “Fanfare for the Common Man” and “Rodeo.” “These are two of the greatest works by one of America’s greatest composers,” says Butorac, “I can’t think of a better way of honoring this country and our veterans.” For those who think they’re unfamiliar with the pieces, look no further than to pop culture and the American Beef Council’s “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.” commercial. “’Hoedown’, the final movement from ‘Rodeo,’ was made immortal by that commercial,” he says. “It really is quintessentially American.”

In addition to honoring veterans with an inspirational and patriotic program, the MSO also offers veterans a free ticket to the show. “It’s a small token of gratitude to those who have given so much for this country,” says MSO Executive Director John Driscoll. Because he anticipates this show to be a popular one, Driscoll recommends calling soon to reserve the free ticket.

Red, White and True is the third of seven concerts in the season. Next up is the ever popular Holiday Pops on December 6 and 7. For more information go to www.missoulasymphony.org , call 721-3194, or stop by the office at 320 E. Main St. in Missoula.

Press Release: October 28, 2014
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193

2014 Donor Appreciation Party at The Loft
10/21/2014 1:12:55 PM
2014 Donor Party

Peter McKenzie, Director of Operations with Diana and Mark Carpenter probably talking about Ovando Gran Fondo.

2014 Donor Party

Laura Balboa Butorac, Dorothea Lambros and Deirdre Swanson sharing travel stories.

2014 Donor Party

Dan Lambros and Phyllis and Louis Whitsell enjoying each other’s company.

2014 Donor Party

John Driscoll, Executive Director and Linnea Stanhope of Patron Services enjoying time away from the office.

2014 Donor Party

Tom Boone and Caryl Klein taking a moment for a picture.

2014 Donor Party

Bartenders Linnea Stanhope and Laura Henning, Ovando Gran Fondo Ride Director.

2014 Donor Party

Darko and Bob Seim most likely chuckling to one of Doug Klein’s many one-liners.

2014 Donor Party

Don Snavely, bartender extraordinary ensuring everyone is having a great time.

2014 Donor Party

A wonderful picture of Peter McKenzie, Director of Operations and Pete and Gingy Heyler.

2014 Donor Party

Sharon Snavely, Board President doing what she does best, engaging with patrons.

Missoula Symphony Chorale Returns to Center Stage
10/14/2014 11:35:01 AM

Missoula Symphony Chorale Center Stage 

Missoula Symphony Chorale Returns to Center Stage
—Annual Concert Features Four Seasons of Choral Music—

(Missoula, Montana) – The Missoula Symphony Chorale, sans orchestra, performs its stand-alone concert on Sunday, October 26 at 3 p.m. at the Dennison Theatre. The concert, which is the second show in the Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale’s 60th season, is a revived tradition, popular throughout the history of the Chorale.

According to Chorale Music Director Dean Peterson, this concert is a favorite with singers and audience alike. “Although we always love working with the orchestra, this gives the Chorale a chance to showcase choral concepts and pieces we don’t have the opportunity to do when we’re together.” When performing with the orchestra, he explains, the Chorale sings a more limited repertoire. When performing alone, the possibilities are endless. “We’ll be performing fourteen different pieces— it really allows us to explore a wider range of styles and composers.”

The program, which Peterson says is made up of all North American music, follows the seasons beginning with fall and Pete Seeger’s To Everything There is a Season (Turn, Turn, Turn) and ending with Summer Time from George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. “This is one of the most accessible programs we’ve ever done,” he says. “We’re doing lots of familiar music—whether you’re a choral aficionado or not, this concert’s for you.” Also on the program is the all-male chorus tune Frobisher Bay, which Peterson says is about a crew of whalers stuck on a whaling ship, knowing they’re going to freeze to death, (“It’s really dramatic!” he says); the spiritual Dem Bones; and the all women chorus piece Loveliest of Trees based on the A.E. Houseman poem, to name a few.

Tickets for the Missoula Symphony Chorale concert are $17, $11 for seniors and students, and available online at missoulasymphony.org, by phone at 721-3194, in person at the Symphony office at 320 East Main Street, or at the door the day of the concert.

Press Release: October 12, 2014
Media Contact: Lucy Beighle (406) 239-3193


320 East Main Street
Missoula, MT 59802
(406) 721-3194