The 2017 Pacific Northwest Conducting Institute Brings the Orchestra World to Whidbey Island

Posted in Community News, Music

For six days, conductors from all parts of the country will be in residence at the first annual Pacific Northwest Conducting Institute held July 31 through August 5. The PNWCI was conceived and developed by Saratoga Orchestra’s music director, Anna Edwards, and executive director, Larry Heidel.

Internationally acclaimed conductor and composer Diane Wittry will be leading the conducting sessions. “Being able to bring Diane to the Northwest is quite exciting. She is one of the foremost teachers of orchestral conducting and is in high demand around the world for these types of workshops,” says Edwards.

Wittry maintains a dual career as a music director and guest conductor throughout the world and has led performances by, among others, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Buffalo Philharmonic, Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Milwaukee, San Diego, Houston, the Sarajevo Philharmonic in Bosnia, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Russia’s Maikop and Sochi symphony orchestras, Italy’s Sinfonia Dell’Arte di Firenze, and Japan’s Osaka Symphony Orchestra. Wittry has been a guest lecturer at the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Curtis Institute of Music, as well as other universities and colleges; she is a frequent guest speaker at national conferences such as the League of American Orchestras and the Conductor’s Guild. An award-winning author and scholar, her book, “Beyond the Baton”, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and has become a standard, both nationally and internationally, in the field. Her most recent book, “Baton Basics—Communicating Music Through Gestures,” is being utilized by conducting classes across the country.

Wittry has been a guest lecturer at the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Curtis Institute of Music, as well as other universities and colleges. She is also a frequent guest speaker at national conferences such as the League of American Orchestras and the Conductor’s Guild. An award-winning author and scholar, her book, “Beyond the Baton,” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and has become a standard, both nationally and internationally, in the field. Her most recent book, “Baton Basics—Communicating Music Through Gestures,” is being used by conducting classes across the country.

The culminating concert of the six-day workshop will be held on Saturday, August 5, at 2 p.m. at the South Whidbey High School Auditorium. PNWCI’s 2017 Conducting Fellows will lead the Saratoga Orchestra in a program to include Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” Wittry’s own composition titled “Mist,” and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. A pre-concert chat with the participating conductors will begin at 1:15 p.m.

“The orchestra has always wanted to have some type of summer presence, so this is the best of both worlds,” says Heidel. “Not only do we get to showcase the orchestra for the community, but also highlight this beautiful island for the workshop participants. We are thankful to so many community members for housing, volunteering, and helping create something very unique. A special thanks goes to Whidbey SeaTac Shuttle for providing workshop transportation and Langley United Methodist Church for hosting the classroom sessions. Local residents curious about what conductors do aside from waving their arms may register to be day observers.”

General admission tickets for Saturday’s concert are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors/military. Students under 18 are admitted free. Premium seating tickets are available online for $50 and include seating in the Conductor’s Circle as well as a post-concert reception with the participants. General admission tickets are available at Moonraker Books-Langley, bayleaf-Coupeville, and Click Music-Oak Harbor, and online. Cash/check/CC accepted at the door. For workshop, concert information and online tickets, please visit www.sowhidbey.com or call 360-929-3045.

General admission tickets are available at Moonraker Books in Langley, Bayleaf in Coupeville, Click Music in Oak Harbor, and online. Cash/check/CC accepted at the door.

For workshop, concert information and online tickets, please visit www.sowhidbey.com or call 360-929-3045.

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