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Brevard Philharmonic Returns Nov. 7 At BC's Porter Center


Last updated 9/29/2021 at 10:16am

Conductor James Fellenbaum is ready to lead the Brevard Philharmonic again in performance.

Broadway is back and so is the Brevard Philharmonic. What has felt like an endless intermission will finally be over at 3 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 7, at the Porter Center on the campus of Brevard College.

Sensational Strings is the theme of the first of five concerts in the new season.

The afternoon’s offer-ings will feature the Philharmonic’s chamber ensemble playing works by Holst, Tchaikovsky, Handel and Still. And, like Broadway, for the safety of the audience and the musicians, in addition to spaced out, limited seating, masks and proof of vaccine will be required.

“One thing that became evident during the pandemic was not only did we miss performing, but we needed to perform,” said James Fellenbaum, the orch-estra’s conductor and artistic director. “And we found out that our audience also needed that live concert experience – that exhilarating sense of coming together as one, big musical family.”

The opening piece is Handel’s “Concerto Grosso in G Major.”

These movements were written in 1735 to be played as intermission features during per-formances of Handel’s oratorios and odes. With clear, rapid musical movement, the composer displays a constant interplay of textures between the soloists and the full orchestra.

Next is a work by William Grant Still, considered one of the most remarkable yet underperformed com-posers in the history of American music.

A contemporary of George Gershwin, Still was known as “The Dean of African-American composers,” and was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance. His frequent thematic use of folk melodies inspired Danzas de Panama, the second of the Philharmonic’s afternoon works.

Tchaikovsky takes over after intermission.

The Andante Cantabile from String Quartet No. 1, Op. 11 is the first of his three string quartets. In the melodic second move-ment, the composer found his inspiration in Russian folk music.

Woven throughout the piece is the recurrent theme of “The Song of the Volga Boatman.” It is said that this movement brought Tolstoy to tears.

The concert concludes with Gustav Holst’s “St. Paul’s Suite, Op. 29, No.2.” Each movement was inspired by a different English folk song. Written just after Holst’s best-known work, “The Planets,” the composer was at the time musical director of St. Paul’s Girls’ School, where he devoted his nonteaching time to composing.

Maestro Fellenbaum continued, “After being away for so long, that shared need of community and music-making is what will make this concert such a joyful event for both musicians and audience alike.” Sensational Strings is sponsored by The A. Stuart Fendler Family Trust.

The mission of the Brevard Philharmonic is to inspire, educate and enrich our audiences through exceptional, professional musical performances and community outreach.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be limited, distanced seating. Requirements for admission are masks, proof of vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test within the past 72 hours.

Single tickets, general admission for Sensational Strings are on sale now for $37.

Call (828) 884-4221 or buy them online at And check the website often for news of the rest of the five concert season to come.


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