Classical FEVER with Benjamin Zander and United Way

Empty chairs in anticipation....
Empty chairs in anticipation....

SMOR volunteer musicians set up for the evening's concert at St Michael Catholic Church

SMOR banner
SMOR banner

Our banner is in place to welcome guests.

Ben arrives
Ben arrives

With no rehearsal, Ben and the musicians make some final adjustments to the music that will be performed.

Wait, where do we play?
Wait, where do we play?

THANK YOU to VCU for providing much of the sheet music for our concert.

Making new friends
Making new friends

Ralph Skiano and Ben meet the incoming chair of the board of directors of United Way.

Percussion arrives
Percussion arrives

THANK YOU to the University of Richmond for donating percussion instruments for us to use.

Harp arrives
Harp arrives

Lynette, our harpist, arrived form NYC just in time to play a crucial role in Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet.

Ben arrives
Ben arrives

The concert begins, and Ben meets the musicians of the Richmond Symphony for the first time!

Beethoven's Coriolan Overture
Beethoven's Coriolan Overture

Ben asks to start the concert with no conductor at all...on a piece the orchestra has not played before! Thank goodness for our new concertmaster, Dice, who lead us through a respectable first performance.

Teamwork
Teamwork

Dice and Adrian lead us through the Overture without Ben!

The role of a leadrer
The role of a leadrer

This demonstrates that a team CAN do it without a leader! "There is more power in this orchestra than has been demonstrated, and the role of the leader is to find it, and release it!"

Leadership
Leadership

With a conductor on the podium, the power of the orchestra is released, and the room and FEEL the difference.

Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet

The music of WAR - brass, and percussion. The music of love - "The sexiest of all instruments, the English Horn and the violas!"

Religious Music
Religious Music

Clarinets and bassoons demonstrate two ways to play religious music - like an organ, and like a Russian men's choir!

Opera in Mozart
Opera in Mozart

There is Opera everywhere in the music of Mozart. Weeping, sighing, then joyful!

Second violin fun
Second violin fun

"Play it like you are really enjoying yourself"

Hearing 7 voices in Beethoven 5
Hearing 7 voices in Beethoven 5

"How many of you could hear 7 distinct voices at the same time?"

Beethoven 9 Ode to Joy
Beethoven 9 Ode to Joy

And the entire audience is singing along...IN GERMAN!!!

Brotherhood of all mankind
Brotherhood of all mankind

"Beethoven's music reminds us we are all brothers and sisters. In the spirit of Living United, we need to live more generously than we ever imagined we could." Donations for united way totaled nearly $3000.

Enigma Variations
Enigma Variations

Nimrod variation from Elgar's Enigma Variations was played with so much tenderness and power that it moved many in the room to tears - audience and musicians alike.

Inspiring
Inspiring

We hope the concert sparked a love of classical music in the hearts of some unsuspecting new friends in the audience.

Reception
Reception

Alana Carithers and a team of volunteer musicians created an amazing reception for our guests.

SMOR treats
SMOR treats

In honor of SMOR, we decided to do a Smores-themed reception. Musicians sure can bake yummy treats!

Donations benefit the United Way
Donations benefit the United Way
Post concert reactions
Post concert reactions

Ben leads a discussion after the reception for the audience and musicians to share their reactions to the experience. We could have talked all night long.