Playing to a Wider Audience

By Beacon Staff

From free bus rides to half price season tickets, the Glacier Symphony and Chorale is doing what it can to bring newcomers to the show. Once there, music director John Zoltek is confident people will like what they hear.

“I often have people from bigger cities who have moved here tell me they are surprised at the quality of our program,” Zoltek said. “People don’t expect this of a small community, but I invite those who haven’t attended to come out; I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised.”

GSC’s 25th season kicks off Oct. 13 and Oct. 14th with performances of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring guest pianist Grace Nikae, and Schubert’s Symphony No. 9. The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday in the performance hall at Glacier High School.

The high school is one of three new venues for GSC this year. Performances will also be held in the refurbished Whitefish Middle School auditorium and the new theater at Flathead Valley Community College. “New venues provide a unique challenge because you aren’t familiar with the acoustics, but it’s obviously exciting to have new locations.”

GSC expanded the free bus service that began last season to include shuttles from Bigfork and Whitefish this year. The buses are open to everyone, including those who plan on buying tickets at the door, and are handicap accessible. GSC is also continuing it’s “First-Timers, Half Off” promotion, offering anyone who has never purchased a GSC season ticket, half price on general admission tickets for the basic season concert series.

Adult season tickets are $139 for general seating. Individual concert prices vary by show.

Brahm and Schubert are a “strong start to set the tone of a season full of ambitious works,” Zoltek said. He described Brahms Concerto as more of a “symphony with piano,” rather than a piano concerto, that will highlight both the symphony and Nikae’s technical playing. Nikae, who will be performing in Kalispell between stops in Japan and Spain, made her debut as an orchestral soloist at age 8 with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra.

Zoltek said highlights of this year’s performances include the usual seasonal shows, a first-ever opera performance of Carmen including both the symphony and chorale and a concert-version of West Side Story pairing the symphony with the Alpine Theatre Project. “It’s a great way to bring area forces together to showcase talent, such as opera voices and acting, that isn’t always presented during the other shows.”

For the season’s schedule and ticket information go to the GSC Web site, www.gscmusic.org, or call the GSC office at 257-3241.

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