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50 Years of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra

Oct 13, 2011 10:21PM ● By Anonymous
The schedule of events planned for their 50th anniversary season will be dedicated to their first board president, Philip Richebourg, who died this past April.

“This year we are going to take the opportunity to make sure everyone in the community recognizes the quality of our music,” Maestro Novo says. It is hard to believe that the ASO had its first season 50 years ago after a group of young musicians approached Kenneth W. Page, the Annapolis High School band and orchestra director at the time, and asked him for his support in forming a community orchestra. The Annapolis Civic orchestra, as it was then called, had its first full season in 1962-1963 and with the support of a passionate community, has been thriving ever since.

In commemoration of its 50th anniversary season, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra is looking forward to bringing the Annapolis community a schedule of special events, outstanding guest artists, and extraordinary musical performances as they highlight the past, present, and future of the organization. “I am looking forward to sharing with our community what the orchestra has accomplished, celebrating 50 years of work and life,” says Maestro Novo. In October, the ASO will present an historic panel on 300 years of music in Annapolis. Topics will include music during the colonial period and the War of 1812 and music at St. John’s College, which will be presented by a panel of experts including worldrenowned pianist and ASO Former conductor Leon Fleisher. James Cheevers will moderate the event, and also speak about the musical history of The Naval Academy. Pat Edwards, ASO board member and member of the 50th anniversary committee, says she is so passionate about the symphony because of the “excellence of the music…that is the first thing.” Edwards says the goal of the panel discussion is to reach out and emphasize the strong relationships that the ASO has with the community. Maestro Novo will also speak on the panel about the orchestra today and his vision for the future.

Executive Director Katharene Snavely says Maestro Novo has raised the bar on all levels, with both the musicians and the community. “His influence goes beyond our stage,” Snavely says. “[Maestro Novo’s] ability as a musician, his fine ears and his experience as a violinist,” are a few things that have helped Novo take the ASO “to unsurpassed levels,” Edwards says.

The 50th anniversary season brings several celebrated guest musicians to Annapolis. Mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, one of the most sought-after vocalists in the country, will be performing at the ASO’s Gala Concert on May 6, 2012. Ms. Graves has performed with such companies as The Washington Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Opéra National de Paris. Maestro Novo describes Graves as an “opera superstar,” and says “it is going to be a real thrill for the orchestra to work with her and for our audience to listen to her artistry alongside the ASO.” Concert pianist Rachel Franklin, who Edwards describes as “very volatile and charming with an excellent sense of humor, and an accomplished musician,” has been working with the ASO for years as a pre-concert lecturer, but will join the ASO on May 4, 2012, at Maryland Hall performing her work on the piano. Franklin is a Pro Musicis International Award winner, and gave her solo debuts in Carnegie Recital Hall,

New York and Jordan Hall, Boston. “[Franklin] has been working with the orchestra for some time, and this is a great opportunity to feature her,” MaestroNovo says. He is particularly proud of the opportunity to bring in a composer-in-residence for the 50th anniversary. Latin Grammy Award winner Gabriela Lena Frank will create two new works over the 2011-2013 seasons to help celebrate the 50th anniversary. “Having a composer-in-residence is an excellent sign that music is more alive than ever,”

Novo says. “People think that orchestras only perform dead people’s music.” Since its earliest days, the ASO has done more than just delight audiences. The education and outreach program is focused on bringing music to children in the Annapolis community. The 50th anniversary season provides an excellent opportunity to engage the community in the symphony’s music. On October 29, the ASO will present a family concert entitled “Peter and the Wolf & Dr. Suess’ Green Eggs and Ham,” along with opportunities for families to meet the musicians. Additionally, the ASO will perform a free Labor Day Concert in Quiet Waters Park on September 4th. “ASO greatly contributes to the quality of life in this community,”

Maestro Novo says. “This season, we’re making sure that we share our music with as many types of people as possible.” The ASO is offering 50 percent off subscriptions for new subscribers in honor of their anniversary. For more information about subscriptions and the 50th anniversary season of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, visit or call 410-269-1132.






@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }@font-face { font-family: "Frutiger-LightItalic"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } Philip Richebourg, who passed away last April at the age of 91, was a co-founder of the ASO and first Board president. This year the 50th Anniversary season is being dedicated to the memory of Philip Richebourg. A trumpet player in high school, college, and during his years in the U.S. Navy, Richebourg was instrumental in helping the ASO to grow and build a solid foundation, generously sharing his time, resources, and business acumen. He and his wife of 41 years, Bernice Montgomery Richeboourg, never missed an ASO performance.









The Skinny

October 29, 2011 at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Family Concert with Michael Boudwyns, Actor & Kimberly Schroeder, Soprano
Performing Peter and the Wolf and Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham

November 18–19, 2011 at 8 p.m.
Classic Series 2 with Roberto Diaz, Viola
Performing Beethoven, Frank, and Mussorgsky/Ravel

December 16, 2011, 8 p.m.
Holiday Pops with Steve Lippia, Vocalist
Performing “Simply Sinatra Christmas”

February 17–18, 2012 at 8 p.m.

Classic Series 3
Performing Debussy, Ginastera, and Brahms

March 23–24, 2012 at 8 p.m.

Classic Series 4
Performing Dymiotis, Martin, and Mendelssohn

Friday, May 4, 2012 at 8 p.m.
50th Anniversary Concert with Rachel Franklin, Piano
Performing Dvorák, Beethoven, Frank, and Ravel

Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 5 p.m. at University of Maryland
Gala Concert with Denyce Graves, Mezzo-Soprano
Performing Dvorák, Wagner, Massenet, Frank, and Ravel