As 2016 draws to a close, we are so grateful to all of our supporters - old and new. Our music-making has even more meaning when we are connected with you, our enthusiastic audiences, advocates, and friends. We wish you peace and joy in the new year.
As you may have heard by now, a tentative agreement has been reached between the Musicians and Management. The Musicians will be voting on this proposed contract in the next few days, and we will let you know the results as soon as we are able.
Thank you for your patience...and, as always, thank you for your support!
December 13: A Baroque Christmas
Broadway Baptist Church, 7:00pm
305 W Broadway Ave, Fort Worth, Texas 76104
The Symphony Musicians of Fort Worth present A Baroque Christmas, highlighting compositions of Bach and Corelli. Featured soloists are Jennifer Corning Lucio, oboe; Michael Shih, violin; Pam Adams, flute; and Kyle Sherman, trumpet. View the Facebook event here. Donations gratefully accepted for the Musicians of the FWSO Fund.
December 22: Baroque Holiday Concert White's Chapel United Methodist Church, 7:00pm
185 S White Chapel Blvd, Southlake, Texas 76092
On December 22, the Symphony Musicians of the Fort Worth will present a concert of Christmas music at White's Chapel United Methodist Church. Associate Concertmaster Swang Lin will perform Winter from Vivaldi's Four Seasons on the concert. Swang joined the Fort Worth Symphony 25 years ago, in 1991. While many of you may feel you know Swang well after seeing him on stage for so many years, we hope you'll learn something new in our interview, below.
Swang Lin, Associate Concertmaster
What's your hometown?
How old were you when you began violin studies?
I was six. My father was an amateur violinist. I'm the fourth of six kids, and all of us studied an instrument as children. Three of us studied piano and three studied violin.
Where did you study violin?
I studied at the National Taiwan Academy of Arts, then did two years of military service. I came to the United States in 1984 to study at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. I earned my Bachelors and Masters degrees from Eastman.
What can you tell us about your family?
My wife, Amy, is also a violinist; she plays in the Dallas Opera orchestra, and has been a frequent substitute violinist in the Fort Worth Symphony. Our twins, Ian and Ivy, are 22 months already! My oldest daughter, Megan, is in school at UC San Diego, studying computer science; my son Ryan is at the University of Rochester.
What do you like about the Four Seasons?
The music is so descriptive, whether you hear the accompanying poems or without them. Vivaldi works in so many colors and techniques that make the piece both very accessible and very interesting. The Four Seasons is also special to me because it was the first concerto I played in Fort Worth as a soloist.
You've been spotted with earbuds on the picket line: what are you listening to?
I frequently listen to solo Bach (the unaccompanied sonatas and partitas for violin by Bach). More recently, I have been playing some Bach on the picket line - along with some Christmas tunes!
Swang Lin is pictured above with his wife, Amy Faires Lin, and their twins, Ian and Ivy. Photo credit: Brandie Phillips.
Musical Chairs Musicians perform around the country
We are so lucky that we belong to such a generous extended family of musicians! Not only have countless members of orchestras from around the world sent us donations and words of encouragement to help with our Growth Not Cuts campaign, but many have offered several of us opportunities to perform with their orchestras. Such collaborative opportunities are a financial blessing as we work to bring music back to our own stage. A BIG thank you to the following orchestras: Dallas, Dallas Opera, Houston, San Antonio, Nashville, St. Louis, Seattle, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Austin, Colorado, Atlanta, Minnesota, Baltimore and Florida. Also, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Hollywood Chamber Orchestra, and the Louisiana Philharmonic. We are so grateful!
FWSO musicians Bill Clay, Leda Dawn Larson, Sorin Guttman, and Swang Lin are pictured backstage at the Houston Symphony with former FWSO principal cellist Brinton Smith.
Seth McConnell, principal timpanist of the FWSO, is pictured on stage at the Meyerhoff with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's percussion section.
Music Education FWSO Musicians volunteer to perform in-school educational concerts
Over the years, countless studies have been published proving the importance of music and music education in a child's development, which carries through to adulthood. Not only has it been shown to improve language and mathematical skills, but it also improves general intelligence, memory, organization skills, flexibility and concentration, among a long list of other brain enhancements. These are findings that cannot be ignored and we, as musicians, feel strongly that it is part of our job to help with the education of our community's children.
Last season, the FWSO reached 70,000 school children through various education programs. Although we do not currently have the means to reach the same numbers while on strike, we have not lost sight of this commitment to our community as we continue to go into schools to engage and educate the minds of young members of our community. Violinist Qiong Hulsey has been the spearhead of this outreach effort for us, and she shared the following about what we have been doing in this realm since September.
Why are the Symphony Musicians of FW still going to perform in schools while on strike?
Music education is an integral part of our job. My personal experience tells me music has such a positive influence on kids that will help them establish many great qualities for the rest of their lives. Our unfortunate situation at our workplace should not deprive our young children of the opportunity to explore the greatest creation of humankind - music.
How many schools have you visited since the strike began?
We have been trying to get to one school per week and will continue to do so. We are going all over Fort Worth and surrounding cities, including to some schools which we have never visited before. We are going out in varied groups from string duos to trumpet duos to string and wind quintets. Beyond schools, we are also performing at local library story times and other family friendly events.
How many children have you performed for?
We will have performed for approximately 500 children in these outreach concerts between September and the end of this year.
18 months to high school.
How do you choose which schools to go to?
Some music teachers approached us because the concert their students were going to attend in Bass Hall in September got canceled and kids were still asking after a month. Some are through concerned parents. I also reached out to some ISDs that have strong music programs.
How many musicians from the orchestra have participated?
About half of our musicians have volunteered their time so far.
Above, Jennifer Betz, Molly Baer, Allan Steele, and Dmitry Kustanovich perform at St. Paul Lutheran School. Marilyn d'Auteuil and Jane Owen perform at the Lil Goldman Early Learning Center.
Flutist Pam Adams gets into the holiday spirit before the "Fort Worth Family Christmas Concert". You can join us for two more holiday concerts this season on December 13 and December 22. Click here for more information on these Baroque Christmas concerts.
Hall Ensemble, a chamber group founded by and consisting of FWSO musicians, will perform a holiday concert on December 6 at the BRIT (Botanical Research Institute of Texas) Atrium. You can find more information here.
Have you gotten your T-shirt yet? These shirts were beautifully designed by our principal violist Laura Bruton. They are $20 each, adult sizes S-3X, and can be purchased online by emailing orders to us at email@example.com. We are also selling yard signs with the same design for $10 each.
T-shirts and yard signs will also be for sale at select venues, so stay tuned to our Facebook page to find out when and where we'll be!
Pictured left are Seth McConnell, timpani, and Keira Fullerton, cello. Right, violist Aleksandra Holowka stands behind a yard sign with her daughter, Ela, and neighbors, violist Dan Sigale and Samson.
Harmony in the Kitchen Recipes
This month, we have two holiday recipes for you: Kutia, a Polish dessert from violist Aleksandra Holowka, and Italian Beer Battered Cauliflower from clarinetist Ivan Petruzziello. Enjoy, and happy holidays!
A Traditional Polish Christmas Eve Dessert
from Aleksandra (Ola) Holowka, viola
1 cup of steel cut oats
1 cup poppy seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup rasins
Other nuts and dried fruit as desired (example: 4 dates, 4 figs, almond slices).
Put 1 cup steel cut oats and 2 cups water in a rice cooker (or regular stove top pot). Add a tsp of salt. Rice cooker will turn off when the oats are cooked. If making in a pot, after the water with oats boils, turn down heat to low. Oats will be ready when all the water is gone (do not stir).
Boil poppy seeds in 1 and 1/2 cups water. Turn off heat and let soak and cool for a couple of hours. Strain the poppy seeds, then grind in a meat grinder 2-3 times (use the smallest replaceable metal strainer on the meat grinder).
Rinse raisins and soak in warm water for 20 min. Strain well afterwards.
Lightly roast the nuts, then chop. Bigger dried fruit should be chopped too.
Split vanilla stick and with a tip of a knife remove seeds to mix with other ingredients.
Mix all the ingredients together and place in the fridge. Ready to serve.
Zeppole di Cavolfiori
Beer Battered Cauliflower
This recipe was shared by clarinetist Ivan Petruzziello, who comes to us from Italy. He tells us that the family tradition is that usually the cauliflower usually didn't make it all the way to the table in the Petruzziello household!