Gala features Moscow Symphony

Orchestra to play holiday concert

members will offer classes

December 10, 2006|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Sun Reporter

The Russians are coming, and they will be bringing musical instruments.

The Moscow Symphony Orchestra will take the stage Wednesday at Carroll Community College's Scott Center Theater for the CCC Foundation's Partners Campaign Starry Night gala.

"The college is very excited to be bringing this cultural experience here because it is part of the strategic plan to bring cultural offerings to the college for the whole community," said Sylvia Blair, Carroll's community relations coordinator.

Billed as "an elegant, festive event," the fundraiser will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a black tie optional cocktail reception in the Great Hall, then continue with the 40-piece symphony performance at 8 p.m., Blair said.

The performance will feature a 45-minute set of selections from The Nutcracker, an intermission, then a Holiday Pops set, including the "Harry Potter Concert Suite," "Christmas Festival," "Celebrate Christmas," "Sleigh Ride," "Russian Sailors Dance from the Red," "Fantasia on Green Sleeves" and "Phantom of the Opera."

At the conclusion of the concert, coffee and desserts will be served.

The cocktail reception also includes a silent auction of "about 22 very nice, upscale-type items, like jewelry and vacations to beach resorts," said Steve Wantz, the foundation's executive director.

The college also will highlight its music program during the reception when students from the college jazz combo, chamber choir and several pianists perform, said Elijah Wirth, the college music director.

Close to 350 tickets have been sold to the event, which costs $100 for both reception and performance, or $60 for the concert only. Limited tickets remain, Wantz said.

In addition to the concert, several orchestra members will hold a master class for 25 to 30 students from Carroll Community College, McDaniel College and Peabody Conservatory at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Wirth said.

"We'll have four classes in violin, flute, trumpet and percussion," Wirth said. "The musicians will come in and talk to the students through a translator and do a demonstration on their instrument, then the students will play for them and get feedback on their playing from the Moscow musicians. That should be a good experience."

Wirth said symphony musicians who are scheduled to hold the classes are Ilya Lundin, flute; Vladimir Rogozhin, percussion; Igor Vasilev, violin; and Mikhail Pchelyakov, trumpet.

With the class as part of the symphony's visit, the college offered to underwrite the cost of the concert, "so we can generate a larger profit base on our fundraising event," Wantz said. "It's a win-win situation for the college and community."

The Partners Campaign, the college's first such major fundraiser, was launched last year to raise $4 million in four key areas, Blair said.

The idea for the symphony concert came through a partnership with the Westminster Ballet, which brought a Russian ballerina to the county for a master class and performance at the college last summer, Wantz said.

"An entire committee has been working for months on this and we think we have a really great event for our community, and to start it off with this high a caliber group is a dream come true," said Sara Jacoby, event chairwoman. "We just haven't had an orchestra of this caliber in the county for some time."

Wantz said the foundation is hoping to raise $40,000 from the concert, to add to the $2.5 million raised so far. The campaign is expected to wrap up sometime in the first half of 2007.

"We're asking people to make a commitment up to five years and pay it back over a five-year period," Wantz said.

The $4 million will be divided as follows: $750,000 for near-term financial needs and $1.4 million for endowed scholarships; $800,000 each for nursing and allied health equipment, and instructional technology; and $250,000 for a library and learning resources endowment fund.

The key to the campaign "is that our college tries to be affordable and accessible to everybody in the community," Wantz said. "The money is important and is nice, but more important is showcasing the college to people who may not be familiar with us."

Although the campaign will be a short-term project, the foundation wants to make Starry Night an annual event with different entertainment each year.

"We hope to hold a really nice, elegant event to be a kickoff to people's holiday activities," Wantz said.

For ticket information, call Tanya Martin at 410-386-8152.

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