Arts and Entertainment

Sunday performance is finale for Bainbridge symphony conductors

Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra director David Upham and Reid Blickenstaff will lead a collaboration between the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra and Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestra Sunday at The Island School.  - Connie Mears/Staff Photo
Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra director David Upham and Reid Blickenstaff will lead a collaboration between the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra and Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestra Sunday at The Island School.
— image credit: Connie Mears/Staff Photo

Timing is the essence of music said Reid Blickenstaff, director of the Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestra.

“The youth have to internalize the rhythm, drive, precision,” he said. “If it’s only notes, it’s not music. It’s got to express, has to speak of and to the human spirit.”

This Sunday, they’ll get the chance to discover the essence of music when they participate in the third annual collaboration with the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra. In other words, the big time.

“We take an informal poll after the performances. The adult orchestra puts out a big sound, a rich sound, Blickenstaff said. “The kids are right in the middle of it. They experience it viscerally.”

Timing, and frankly, human drama, are the essence of music, and Sunday’s performance will have it in spades. Guaranteed.

For both Blickenstaff and Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra director David Upham, Sunday’s performance will be their last on Bainbridge.

Upham, who has been with the Bainbridge orchestra for five years, three as conductor, has accepted a dream position with the University of New Hampshire. He will conduct the orchestra and teach classes, something he’s doing now, but for separate entities. The university position will give him a program of his own to shape and develop. Creatively, it’s a gem.

Blickenstaff, is also heading east. To the Far East. He will be moving from unincorporated Silverdale to Shanghai, with a population of 19 million.

Sunday’s farewell performance, “A Musical Heritage,” at The Island School on Day Road, features works transcribed from their original forms for keyboard instruments. The program begins with Edvard Greig’s “Wedding Day at Troldhaugen,” followed by BIYO students Evelyn Byer and Katie Gildner as soloists on Richard Meyer’s energetic “Bailes para Orquesta” (“Dances for Orchestra”).

The program continues with a selection of Hungarian dances, including the famous Hungarian Dance No. 5, and a transcription of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ organ prelude, “Rhosymedre.”

The combined orchestras will then tackle the finale of Beethoven’s epic Symphony No. 5 in C minor with its exuberant and joyful finale to close the concert, and effectively, Upham and Blickenstaff’s tenures on Bainbridge.

Grand finale

“A Musical Heritage,” the third annual collaboration between the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra and the Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestra” is at 3 p.m. Sunday at The Island School, 8553 NE Day Road. Tickets, $18 for adults, and $15 for seniors, students, youth, military, and teachers, may be purchased online at www.bainbridgeperformingarts.org, by phone at 842-8569.

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