[ skip to content ]

More Information about this image

You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU and Virginia Symphony Offering Opportunity to Learn about Inner Workings of the Orchestra

By Jon Cawley

Old Dominion University's College of Continuing Education is partnering with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra to provide the community an opportunity to gain a greater appreciation for the processes and methods used to bring the music to the stage.

JoAnn Falletta, the Grammy Award-winning music director of the renowned Virginia Symphony Orchestra, as well as other selected VSO musicians will lead 10 engaging musical conversations in the Center Stage with VSO series at the University's Diehn Center for the Performing Arts.

"What does a conductor do anyway? Are the musicians really watching? And why has an orchestra become a paradigm for the business world?," Falletta said. "Come and hear about the symphony orchestra - and its musicians - from the inside."

Participants in the non-credit course will learn about the background and preparation of each musician, and discuss the various styles and eras of the music and instruments evolved. Join other music lovers in gaining a deeper understanding of how each instrument makes its unique contribution and how the ensemble works together under the conductor's leadership to interpret and convey a composer's meaning.

"We are excited to have the opportunity to offer this new course to the Hampton Roads area," said James Shaeffer, founding dean of the College of Continuing Education and Professional Development. "We feel it fits our mission of promoting an appreciation and understanding of music and the arts for people of all ages, musical levels and diversities."

Center Stage with VSO will focus on music to be performed by the symphony in their current season. Many aspects will be discussed, including musical styles and periods and performance preparations. Individual instrumentalists themselves will have the opportunity over the ten-week course to speak on their contributions as well.

This course is similar in format to CMD's "Opera for Everyone," which has followed current seasons of the VOA and has been popular with our adult lifelong learning community for over 25 years.

Classes take place on the following Mondays from 1:30-3:30pm:

  • Jan. 15, 2018: JoAnn Falletta, music director;
  • Jan. 22, 2018: Rachel Ordaz, piccolo;
  • Feb. 5, 2018: Laura Leisring, principal bassoon;
  • March 5, 2018: Michael Laubach, principal timpani;
  • March 12, 2018: Beverly Baker, principal viola;
  • March 26, 2018: Amanda Gates, assistant concertmaster;
  • April 9, 2018: David Vonderheide, principal trumpet;
  • April 23, 2018: Peter DuBeau, principal tuba;
  • May 7, 2018: Rodney Martell, bass trombone; and
  • May 14, 2018: Sherie Aguirre, principal oboe.

Specific musicians are subject to change. If any reassignments are necessary, The Community Music Division will let registrants know well in advance. Class titles and summaries will be provided in advance.

The courses are open to the public and fees for the nine-week course are as follows:

$170- discount rate for VSO subscribers

$199- regular rate

$249- includes both the VSO series and ODU's Opera for Everyone spring class.

Tuition includes ODU parking and 10 tickets per student for various VSO performances. The first 25 students will receive VIP parking for the class next to the Diehn building, pending lot availability.

Old Dominion students may purchase a $10 student ticket to attend the Jan. 15 class with JoAnn Falletta.

Community Music Division group classes and lessons, including the Hampton Roads Youth Wind Ensemble - a spring concert band for middle and high school students now in its 19th season - focus not only on supporting the arts with understanding and attendance but also strive to foster and encourage friendships with other like-minded individuals.

For more information about the Center Stage VSO series or other educational opportunities, contact Sally Wright, director of the Community Music Division at swright@odu.edu or 757-683-4075.

Site Navigation

Experience Guaranteed

Enhance your college career by gaining relevant experience with the skills and knowledge needed for your future career. Discover our experiential learning opportunities.

Academic Days

Picture yourself in the classroom, speak with professors in your major, and meet current students.

Upcoming Events

From sports games to concerts and lectures, join the ODU community at a variety of campus events.