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music education and performance

Music This Week: February 18 - February 24

Get those concert reports done sooner rather than later. This is a sampling of upcoming events in Knoxville and Maryville. Other concertgoing tools: Facebook events (LINK), my Twitter lists (LINK), and the Do's and Don'ts of Concert Attendance (LINK).

Check back throughout the week because I constantly update the blog as I learn of events. All events without specific ticket information are FREE. Remember that some venues have an age restriction; I will post this info when I have it.

Monday, February 18

6:00 pm UT School of Music (LINK) - Faculty and guest artist recital: Adam Cordle, viola
Adam Cordle performs works written 100 years ago, in 1919.
Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall, Natalie Haslam Music Center - 1741 Volunteer Boulevard, 37996

Tuesday, February 19

8:00 pm UT School of Music (LINK) - Ensemble event: UT Brass Choir: Concert 1
The UT Brass Choir presents a varied program of engaging music.
Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall, Natalie Haslam Music Center - 1741 Volunteer Boulevard, 37996

Wednesday, February 20

6:30 pm Knoxville Opera presents Lucia di Lammermoor (DRESS REHEARSAL)
In 16th century Scotland, innocent Lucia falls in love with her clan’s enemy. Forced by her brother into an arranged marriage to save the family from financial and political ruin, the distraught girl murders her husband on their wedding night. Donizetti’s Gothic masterpiece, based on Sir Water Scott’s The Bride of Lammermoor, is filled with thrilling vocal fireworks, including the glorious Sextet and opera’s greatest Mad Scene, which has made sopranos into legends!
More info: https://www.knoxvilleopera.com/lucia/
Tennessee Theatre (LINK) - 604 S Gay St, 37902

Thursday, February 21

6:00 pm Maryville College Senior Recital: LaKwan Bain
A recital featuring Maryville College senior music major LaKwan Bain.
Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall, Clayton Center for the Arts (LINK) - 502 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, 37804

8:00 pm UT School of Music (LINK) - Ensemble event: UT Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Concert Band
All UT Bands concert.
James R. Cox Auditorium, Alumni Memorial Building - 1408 Middle Drive, 37996

Friday, February 22

7:30 pm Knoxville Opera presents Lucia di Lammermoor (Performance 1 of 2)
In 16th century Scotland, innocent Lucia falls in love with her clan’s enemy. Forced by her brother into an arranged marriage to save the family from financial and political ruin, the distraught girl murders her husband on their wedding night. Donizetti’s Gothic masterpiece, based on Sir Water Scott’s The Bride of Lammermoor, is filled with thrilling vocal fireworks, including the glorious Sextet and opera’s greatest Mad Scene, which has made sopranos into legends! More info: https://www.knoxvilleopera.com/lucia/
Tennessee Theatre (LINK) - 604 S Gay St, 37902
TICKETS: $23 and up

Saturday, February 23

I will add events as I learn of them.

Sunday, February 24

2:30 pm Knoxville Opera presents Lucia di Lammermoor (Performance 2 of 2)
In 16th century Scotland, innocent Lucia falls in love with her clan’s enemy. Forced by her brother into an arranged marriage to save the family from financial and political ruin, the distraught girl murders her husband on their wedding night. Donizetti’s Gothic masterpiece, based on Sir Water Scott’s The Bride of Lammermoor, is filled with thrilling vocal fireworks, including the glorious Sextet and opera’s greatest Mad Scene, which has made sopranos into legends! More info: https://www.knoxvilleopera.com/lucia/
Tennessee Theatre (LINK) - 604 S Gay St, 37902
TICKETS: $23 and up

8:00 pm UT School of Music (LINK) - Joint junior recital: Bailye Hendley, horn & Elliot Rose, trumpet
Bailye Hendley will be playing multiple horn solos such as Robert Planel's Legende, Sinfonia from Rob Van De Laar's Tre Pezzi, two melodies from Gounod's Six Melodies for Horn and Piano, and Keyy Turner's horn Quartet, Fanfare for Barcs.
Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall, Natalie Haslam Music Center - 1741 Volunteer Boulevard, 37996

Recap: Whose Live Anyway

Okay, give me a minute.

*screams*

robyn-whoselive-020919.jpg

Y'all. I splurged and bought myself a front row ticket to Whose Live Anyway (a live version of Whose Line Is It Anyway) a couple weeks ago. I'd known about the event for a month or two but decided I shouldn't spend the money. Two of my favorite cast members (Chip Esten and Jeff B. Davis) were in the lineup. I'd seen it once before years ago with some girlfriends, in Raleigh (I think), in the nosebleed seats. I checked the website several more times over the course of a few weeks and there were these two, non-adjacent front row seats staring back at me. I figured "Why not?" I bought a ticket for myself. [DISCLAIMER: Most of the quoted dialogue is probably not 100% accurate, as my memory isn't that good. But the last quote in the 11th paragraph is exact. You'll see...]

Next, I impatiently counted down the days until February 9 at 8:00 pm. Earlier in the evening I asked my Instagram followers to help me choose an outfit that would make me stand out so that I could get called on (see photo). I decided to throw in a bold red lip as well.

I took an Uber because I can't stand driving or parking downtown. But I didn't allow enough time for downtown traffic (I forgot that post-game in Knoxville means PEOPLE EVERYWHERE) and we sat on Gay street, two blocks away from the Tennessee Theatre, for what seemed like forever. I finally got out of the car at 7:53 pm. 

After they checked my bag, ran the metal detecting wand over me, and scanned my ticket, I finally got in. The first two ushers I encountered were helping other people but it worked out perfectly because the third one was a friend of mine (Hi, Zach!). He showed me to my seat--they had created three sections of seats in the Pit and I was on the left end of the middle section. I sat down and the woman next to me pointed out that a stage monitor was directly in front of me. I thought she was concerned about sound, so I explained that the sound would be going toward the performers because it was a monitor and not a speaker. Turns out she was worried about my not being able to see! There was an open seat next to her husband and she said that, if no one showed up, they'd move down so I could move one over. How sweet! No one showed up, so she moved to the empty seat and I sat next to her hubby. I always meet such kind people when I go to the Tennessee and the Bijou.

The show started a little late, then Greg Proops came out and warmed up the crowd. He then introduced the rest of the gang (Joel Murray, Charles [Chip] Esten, and Dave Foley [standing in for Jeff B. Davis]) and the bandleader (who was celebrating his birthday). Then they jumped into their first game and Greg asked people in the audience for an action for Chip to perform. And guess who he came to first? The woman with the crazy shirt, of course!

I. Totally. Froze. Suddenly I couldn't think of anything. What's an action? What are words? OMG THEY'RE ALL LOOKING AT ME. I wanted them to call on me and when they did, AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF THE SHOW, I froze like T'Challa in the jungle. I even went through random words in my head on the ride there in case they called on me... I turned to the couple next to me and asked for their help but they were coming up empty as well. So I said "Teaching!" Greg was like Are you serious? (not in a mean way!) Then he went to the other side of the stage to get an action for Dave. That person's suggestion was sitting. So they needed two actions and they got teaching and sitting. Welcome to Knoxville, boys! They did the best they could with our lame suggestions and were hilarious, of course.

Several other games were played, but that's not why I'm departing from this blog's regular material and telling you about this non-introduction to music related topic. I am here to tell you that I GOT A CHANCE AT REDEMPTION. They'd asked for volunteers multiple times and I chickened out. But later in the show, Dave Foley asked for some and I said to myself "Do it. This is why you're here on the front row." So I raised my hand and hollered. Dave smiled at me and welcomed me on stage. I didn't even know what the game was but I didn't care.

I got up on stage and Chip (my fave, in case you missed that earlier) told me to turn sideways. I didn't know which way sideways was so he lightly maneuvered me so I was facing the audience and proceeded to air play the keys on the left side of my shirt. Somehow I didn't die right then and there... I think at that point Chip got a mic from Dave then shook my hand, asked me my name, and gave me the mic. The game was Sound Effects. For those unfamiliar with Whose Line, two cast members act out a story; they do all the dialogue but the volunteers have to provide all the sound effects. I was dying inside, especially when they did a practice run and I was laughing so hard that I couldn't follow along. Chip kept smiling at me and saying "You can't laugh now!" I didn't know if he was serious or not so I tried my best to contain myself. It was so difficult because the other woman was as bad at this as I was! At the end there was supposed to be gun shot. I was so busy laughing that Chip just kept making the shooting motion over and over and I'm stage right, doubled over, dying laughing!

After the practice run, Chip gave me a hug for encouragement (or the hug might've been earlier; it's all a blur) and we did the real thing. Chip and Greg were construction workers, so we had to make noises like a work whistle (I stink at whistling so Chip said "the whistle must be broken"), jackhammer, saw, etc. It. Was. Hilarious. Then Chip said "I'm gonna pull up my Spotify.” Oh boy, I thought. This is perfect. “You know who I really like?” Oh no, please pick someone I know, Chip. “Whitney Houston." YAS. This was my moment, you guys. I steeled myself, dramatically threw one arm out, and belted "AND IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII-EE-IIIIIIIII..." The guys were totally taken aback and the audience erupted with applause. *aaaaaand scene* Chip gave me a huge smile as he walked over, took the mic, and said to me "And I will always love you." He hugged me again, I turned and shook Dave Foley's hand (I'm sure I looked like a deer caught in headlights), and walked off stage.

Several people congratulated me as I walked back to my seat, and I got a couple of high fives. There were a few moments during the sketch where I wanted to motion to my new friends (the couple I was seated next to) and ask them to take pictures. I'm glad I didn't, because I mentioned it to them afterward and they said they probably would've gotten in trouble, otherwise they would've taken a ton of pics. The wife said they asked twice to make sure and were told no photography or recording of any kind, and that it was the casts' policy. I'm sure glad I didn't get in trouble cuz I totally took a few pictures--I read all the info that the Theatre sent and it said no flash photography or video recording. Then they said that again as an announcement before the show began. To me, that means you can take photos with no flash. Oh, well. I’ll always have the memories!

Anyway, the rest of the show was great (duh). The second best part--I did mention that I got TWO hugs from Chip, right?--was how many people came up to me afterward and said how great I was. Like, a LOT of people. Some complimented my overall performance while others specifically complimented my singing chops. One guy asked me if I was giving autographs! Then when my Uber showed up I was chatting with two other women and I didn't wanna cut them off even though I knew I shouldn't keep my driver waiting. An older gentleman went to the car and the driver told him my name. The man then called out "Robyn?" I said that was me and he went "Ah, she was the star of the show!" I was on cloud 9,999.

I joked with my Uber driver that I wish I could've said my last name while I was on stage with the mic. "I should've handed out business cards to everyone who complimented me!" I might change all my social media pictures to a shot of me in this crazy shirt so people can find me...

So there you have it: that was my amazing evening. All because I bought a front row ticket on a whim, as a treat to myself. I thought about walking around downtown afterward (I bought new walking shoes today) and maybe getting a bite to eat. But my head was buzzing and, although I was super excited at the moment, I knew that I'd crash soon. I'd rather do that in the comfort of my home. Plus I didn't need to spend any more money!!! I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed writing (and living) it. Now back to concerts! Thanks for reading!

Music This Week: February 11 - February 17

Get those concert reports done sooner rather than later. This is a sampling of upcoming events in Knoxville, Maryville, and Oak Ridge. Other concertgoing tools: Facebook events (LINK), my Twitter lists (LINK), and the Do's and Don'ts of Concert Attendance (LINK).

Check back throughout the week because I constantly update the blog as I learn of events. All events without specific ticket information are FREE. Remember that some venues have an age restriction; I will post this info when I have it.

Monday, February 11

5:00 pm UT School of Music (LINK) - Guest artist recital: Dr. Li Kuang, trombone
Dr. Li Kuang is an Adjunct Professor of Low Brass at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. He is an international, award-winning trombonist, having won awards at competitions like the 2011 International Frank Smith Trombone Solo Competition and 2014 American National Solo Trombone Competition. Dr. Kuang has recorded many commercial and movie soundtracks with the Sichuan Film Orchestra and has performed with other orchestras such as the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Perrysburg Orchestra, Lima Symphony Orchestra, and Detroit Chamber Orchestra.
Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall, Natalie Haslam Music Center - 1741 Volunteer Boulevard, 37996

7:00 pm KSYO (Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra) Concerto Concert (LINK)
The top youth orchestra will perform, conducted by Maestro James Fellenbaum, and include concertos performed by the winners of the 2018-19 Concerto Competition.
Tennessee Theatre (LINK) - 604 S Gay St, 37902
TICKETS: $5 for adults, free for students (K-12). Tickets may be purchased at the door.

8:00 pm UT School of Music (LINK) - Faculty recital: Beethoven's Violin Sonatas with Miroslav Hristov, violin and Chih-Long Hu, piano
As part of Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th anniversary celebrations, Miroslav Hristov, violin and Chih-Long Hu, piano present an integral performance of Beethoven's Violin Sonatas on three consecutive Mondays in February. More about this series at http://music.utk.edu/beethoven250.
Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall, Natalie Haslam Music Center - 1741 Volunteer Boulevard, 37996

Tuesday, February 12

7:00 pm Maryville College: Student Repertoire Recital
A performance featuring Maryville College music majors.
Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall, Clayton Center for the Arts (LINK) - 502 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, 37804

8:00 pm UT School of Music (LINK) - Ensemble event: Choral Arts Concert
An annual celebration of the Choral Arts featuring UT Chamber Singers, UT Concert Choir, and outstanding selected area high school choirs.
James R. Cox Auditorium, Alumni Memorial Building - 1408 Middle Drive, 37996

8:00 pm KJO (Knoxville Jazz Orchestra): Jazz Is For Lovers with Jazzmeia Horn (LINK)
Vocalist Jazzmeia Horn has a name that speaks for itself, capturing her very essence. Still in her twenties, this Dallas native already has a list of awards and honors too long to mention. Her performance at the 60th Grammy Awards in New York brought down the house, signaling the arrival of a true force to be reckoned with. This special concert will feature music from her Grammy-nominated debut CD, A Social Call, as well as selected standards from the Great American Songbook. Sure to be the perfect Valentine's treat for your special someone.
Bijou Theatre (LINK) - 803 S Gay St, 37902
TICKETS: $16.50 and up

Wednesday, February 13

6:00 pm UT School of Music (LINK) - Joint junior recital: Zane Winchester and Darbi Flaherty, trumpets
Featuring music from Haydn, Hansen, and Debussy.
Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall, Natalie Haslam Music Center - 1741 Volunteer Boulevard, 37996

Thursday, February 14

6:00 pm UT School of Music (LINK) - Faculty recital: A Valentine
An evening of music inspired by love. Geoffrey Herd, violin and Esther Park, piano; accompanied by other notable guests.
Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall, Natalie Haslam Music Center - 1741 Volunteer Boulevard, 37996

7:30 pm Timeless Romance: Swan Lake & More (LINK), Performance 1 of 2
Spend Valentine's Day with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. This program opens with a 'walk in the garden' scene from Frederick Delius’ opera, 'A Village Romeo and Juliet.' The romance continues with a performance by the Appalachian Ballet Company for “El Amor Brujo (Love, the Magician): Ballet Suite.” The evening concludes with symphonic selections from Tchaikovsky's beloved Swan Lake.
Tennessee Theatre (LINK) - 604 S Gay St, 37902
TICKETS: $13 and up, free for K-12 student with purchase of one adult ticket (Penny4Arts*)

Friday, February 15

6:00 pm Alive After Five: Cheryl Renée & Wendel Werner Band (LINK)
Live jazz in downtown Knoxville!
Knoxville Museum of Art (LINK) - 1050 Worlds Fair Park Dr, 37916
TICKETS: $15 General Admission, $10 with Membership or college student ID. Free for ages 17 and under. All tickets sold at the door.

7:30 pm Timeless Romance: Swan Lake & More (LINK), Performance 2 of 2
Spend Valentine's Day with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. This program opens with a 'walk in the garden' scene from Frederick Delius’ opera, 'A Village Romeo and Juliet.' The romance continues with a performance by the Appalachian Ballet Company for “El Amor Brujo (Love, the Magician): Ballet Suite.” The evening concludes with symphonic selections from Tchaikovsky's beloved Swan Lake.
Tennessee Theatre (LINK) - 604 S Gay St, 37902
TICKETS: $13 and up, free for K-12 student with purchase of one adult ticket (Penny4Arts*)

Saturday, February 16

7:30 pm UT School of Music (LINK) - Ensemble event: Symphony Orchestra and Choirs
Program includes music from Bruckner's Symphony No.7 and Beethoven's Choral Fantasy. This is the part of a 2-year series of concerts and events as Beethoven's anniversary approaches in 2020. More information: http://music.utk.edu/beethoven250
James R. Cox Auditorium, Alumni Memorial Building - 1408 Middle Drive, 37996

Sunday, February 17

2:30 pm Young Pianist Series - Concert No. 2: Ray Ushikubo (LINK)
The program will feature works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and Liszt.
Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall, Natalie Haslam Music Center - 1741 Volunteer Boulevard, 37996
TICKETS: $25

5:00 pm Concert for Choir and Two Organs
Featuring Messe Solennelle, Op. 16 by Louis Vierne; and Messe, Op. 36 by Charles-Marie Widor.
The Episcopal Church of the Ascension (LINK) - 800 S Northshore Dr, 37919
TICKETS: Unknown at this time.

6:00 pm UT School of Music (LINK) - Senior recital: Zachary Jerome, viola
Program includes music of Bach, Grovlez, and Shostakovich. Assisted by Eileen Downey on piano and harpsichord.
Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall, Natalie Haslam Music Center - 1741 Volunteer Boulevard, 37996

7:30 pm Inner Voices String Quartet: Classic and Modern (Facebook event LINK)
Program includes String Quartet Op. 59 No. 1 by Beethoven and Impressions by Jennifer Higdon.
First Presbyterian Church of Oak Ridge (LINK) - 1051 Oak Ridge Turnpike, 37830

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*All students grades K-12 can attend this concert FREE with purchase of one adult ticket as part of the Penny4Arts program. Up to 3 students per adult ticket; some restrictions apply. Must redeem by visiting or calling the KSO Box Office at (865) 291-3310 prior to the day of the concert (M-F, 9-5). Offer not available online or at the door. Questions: boxoffice@knoxvillesymphony.com.

Music This Week: February 4 - February 10

Get those concert reports done sooner rather than later. This is a sampling of upcoming events in Knoxville, Maryville, and Oak Ridge. Other concertgoing tools: Facebook events (LINK), my Twitter lists (LINK), and the Do's and Don'ts of Concert Attendance (LINK).

Check back throughout the week because I constantly update the blog as I learn of events. All events without specific ticket information are FREE. Remember that some venues have an age restriction; I will post this info when I have it.

Monday, February 4

12:00 pm Tennessee Theatre: Mighty Musical Monday
Enjoy Mighty Wurlitzer organ performances by Freddie Brabson and special guests, vocal finalists from the ACE Awards (competition for area middle and high schoolers with singing, acting, dance, and writing categories). Brown bag lunches consisting of a sandwich, chips, and a dessert may be purchased in the lobby for $5.00 while supplies last. Soft drinks, bottled water, popcorn, and candy will also be available for purchase.
Tennessee Theatre (LINK) - 604 S Gay Street, 37902

6:00 pm UT School of Music (LINK) - Graduate recital: Emily Johnson, soprano
Featuring works by Franz Schubert, Claude Debussy, and John Harbison
Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall, Natalie Haslam Music Center - 1741 Volunteer Boulevard, 37996

Tuesday, February 5

8:00 pm UT School of Music (LINK) - Senior recital: Clara Johnson, cello
Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall, Natalie Haslam Music Center - 1741 Volunteer Boulevard, 37996

Wednesday, February 6

I will add events as I learn of them.

Thursday, February 7

7:00 pm Pellissippi State Faculty Recital
This recital showcases the varied talents of some of the music faculty at Pellissippi State Community College (including yours truly)!
Clayton Performing Arts Center - 10915 Hardin Valley Rd, 37932

7:00 pm Maryville College: MC Choirs with Paul Phoenix
A performance featuring the Maryville College choirs and Paul Phoenix, a Grammy Award-winning singer and former member of the internationally acclaimed ensemble The King’s Singers.
Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall, Clayton Center for the Arts - 502 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, 37804
TICKETS: $10 (free for MC students, faculty and staff, although a printed ticket is required for admission). For tickets, please call the Clayton Center Box Office at (865) 981-8590.

Friday, February 8

6:00 pm UT School of Music (LINK) - Joint junior recital: Vicki Nguyen and Claire Terrell, composition
Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall, Natalie Haslam Music Center - 1741 Volunteer Boulevard, 37996

8:00 pm UT School of Music (LINK) - Graduate recital: Kathryn Shepas, soprano
Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall, Natalie Haslam Music Center - 1741 Volunteer Boulevard, 37996

Saturday, February 9

7:30 pm ORCMA presents Cumberland Piano Trio (LINK)
Players will introduce the audience to beautiful and captivating carbon fiber string instruments supplied by Pulcir Music. Come early for the pre-concert talk when guest ORNL carbon fiber scientist Dr. Amit Naskar joins the musicians on stage to talk about carbon fiber and its many applications.
Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church - 809 Oak Ridge Turnpike, 37830
TICKETS: $25 adults, $10 young adults, FREE to students under 18

Sunday, February 10

3:00 pm KSYO (Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra) Winter Concert (LINK)
The following youth orchestras will perform: Preludium, Philharmonia, Sinfonia, Youth Chamber Orchestra.
Tennessee Theatre (LINK) - 604 S Gay St, 37902
TICKETS: $5 adults, free for students (K-12). Tickets may be purchased at the door.

3:30 pm Oak Ridge Community Band (LINK): Celebrating Cities Across America
Performance will include Warren Barker's "New York 1927," John Kander's "Selections from Chicago," Alfred Reed's "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," and even a tune called "Atomic City" written for the City of Oak Ridge.
Oak Ridge High School Performing Arts Center - 1450 Oak Ridge Turnpike, 37830
TICKETS: $5 adults, free for students 18 and under.

4:00 pm UT School of Music (LINK) - Faculty recital: Katie Johnson, horn
Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall, Natalie Haslam Music Center - 1741 Volunteer Boulevard, 37996