O’Neill and Crotty

O’Neill and Crotty

The West Valley Symphony has a busy calendar for Northwest Valley residents throughout the early months of 2011. 

“We have an active schedule of events starting in January, a little something for everyone,” said Barbara Lashmet, president of the West Valley Symphony Board of Trustees. “Our always informative and engaging Maestro Cal Stewart Kellogg will be quite visible at a variety of events, including concerts, special events and lifelong learning classes. We hope everyone will find something to enjoy in our offerings.”


The symphony’s concert season continues Jan. 16 with Music For All Ages. On stage at the newly constructed Valley Vista Performing Arts Auditorium in Surprise, the orchestra will be joined by media personality Michael Dixon, host of KTAR’s “Arizona Morning News Saturday” and “Around the World in 60 Minutes,” who will narrate Prokofiev’s timeless tale “Peter and the Wolf.” Rounding out the program is Rossini’s “Semiramide Overture” and Mendelssohn’s “Symphony No. 3 (Scottish).” With its stirring first movement and grand finale, the Mendelssohn symphony is a treat for music lovers of all ages.

Wrapping up the concert season March 20, Memorable Masterpieces will feature guest artist Thomas Landschoot performing what many consider the greatest cello concerto ever written, Saint Saëns’ “Cello Concerto No. 1.” The orchestra will close the season with Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 2” as a grand finale. The location is Faith Presbyterian Church in Sun City.

West Valley Symphony concerts are on Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m.  All seating is general admission.   Tickets are on sale for $25 adult and $15 youth. Visit the West Valley Symphony at www.westvalleysymphony.org or call 623-236-6781 to order  tickets or for information.


• The symphony will take the stage at the Sundial Auditorium Feb. 13 for a special event concert titled “Growing Up With TV.”  Joined by Deater O’Neill on vocals, Mike Crotty on saxophones and trumpet, and the Nick Manson Trio, the symphony will wend its way through music from TV’s golden era 1950-1965. Enjoy those catchy TV show theme songs, unforgettable commercial jingles and songs for performance by top variety show entertainers.  Listen, laugh and recall an era rich with talent, creativity and humor. The event starts at 3 p.m., and all seating is general admission. Tickets are on sale for $25 adult and $15 youth.  Visit www.westvalleysymphony.org or call 623-236-6781 for tickets or information.

• On April 2, the symphony will present “Springtime In Paris,” a special evening of dinner, auctions and entertainment at Briarwood Country Club in Sun City West. The evening’s master of ceremonies is Kiel Klaphake of Arizona Broadway Theatre. Symphony supporters will have the opportunity to bid on both silent and live auctions, including a chance to “Be a Conductor — Maestro Magic,” an opportunity to conduct the orchestra on stage during the 2011-12 season.  Enjoy dinner while being serenaded by the West Valley Symphony String Quartet. Later, vocalist Amber Carson will entertain with a performance reminiscent of a cabaret in the City of Lights. Carson recently appeared in Arizona Broadway Theatre’s production of “My Way” and will be appearing at the Theatre in “The Full Monty” in April. 

Individual tickets for this benefit event are $125, and sponsorships are available. Contact the symphony at 623-236-6781 for reservations and details.


In addition to concerts and special events, the symphony is partnering with Sun City Grand’s SCG Grand Learning and Rio Salado College’s RISE Learning for Life to present three educational events. The education events are free and open to the public, however registration is required.

• Education Event 1: SCG Grand Learning will sponsor the first of these 2011 community events at Sun City Grand’s Chaparral Center, 19753 N. Remington Drive in Surprise. The program, titled “From Classics to Television,” is from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 27. Kellogg will discuss the composers and pieces performed during the upcoming West Valley Symphony concerts, including Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” Saint Saëns’ “Cello Concerto No. 1,” Popper’s “Hungarian Rhapsody” and Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 2.” In addition, Kellogg will lead a conversation about the symphony’s collaboration with Crotty and O’Neill, who will perform with the symphony in the nostalgic review “Growing Up With Television.” Attendees must have or establish a SCG Grand Learning account. Register and enroll for the session at www.grandlearning.org.

• Education Event 2: Rio Salado College/RISE will sponsor two events in a continuing collaboration with the symphony. On Feb. 4, Kellogg will present “Improvisation — How We Do It.”  Take advantage of this opportunity to discover how musicians express their creativity and share their talents. A break after the morning discussion will offer participants an opportunity to support the community with lunch at Birt’s Bistro, located next door at Benevilla. At 1 p.m., participants will reconvene to hear a performance by “Maestro and Friends,” when Kellogg will be accompanied by Jeff Quamo on clarinet and Matthew Coleman on percussion. These classically trained musicians, who also happen to love and play jazz, will show off their talents and musicianship. Rio Salado/RISE campus is at 12535 W. Smokey Drive in Surprise. Seating is limited; to sign up, call RISE at 480-377-4251. 

• Education Event 3: Rio Salado College/RISE wraps up the education events of the 2010-11 season. Attendees March 4 will see the members of the symphony’s percussion section in “Percussion Makes Music.” Hear about the history of percussion, the instruments commonly used in classical compositions, ethnic music and Hollywood sound effects. Learn about the compositions by Vivaldi, Bach and Mozart to be featured in their afternoon performance. Rio Salado/RISE campus is at 12535 W. Smokey Drive in Surprise. Seating is limited; to sign up call, RISE at 480-377-4251.

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