Mid-Atlantic Symphony an undiscovered musical jewel

by Michael Short on March 30, 2011

Elena Murphy

Soloist Meng Su

By Michael Short, March 14, 2011

This is not your father’s classical music.

The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra will perform in Ocean View on Saturday, March 19, part of its’ annual series of  four concerts held  in Easton, Ocean Pines and Ocean View.

This isn’t The Lincoln Center or Carnegie Hall.  It’s inviting and unpretentious, but the performers still bring exquisite skills to an appreciative audience. The music director, Julien Benichou, loves to chat with the audience.

Benichou is known for his joy when he picks up his baton.

The Symphony is 15-years-old now and it draws most of its’ members from the Baltimore area.  The mission of the group is “to enrich life across the Mid-Atlantic region through the power of classical music.”

But it’s considered something of an undiscovered jewel in cultural circles, providing first class entertainment in a somewhat unlikely setting.

While the Mid-Atlantic Symphony has a steady following and attendance is on the rise, many still do not know about the symphony, according to Area Vice President Anne Rogerson.

Her advice is simple. Just come and enjoy.

 “You get so caught up in the music. It’s beautiful. It’s just unbelievable music,” she said. “Come experience . . . You may be amazed that you leave really liking it.”

There are four concerts held each season, with each having a distinctly different feel. “It’s a nice afternoon to go and sit and listen to the music,” Rogerson said.

This weekend’s mid-season concert “Refreshing Nouveau”  includes two young soloists on clarinet and on guitar. Elena Murphy, only 17-years-old, will perform Mozart on her clarinet.

Soloist Meng Su is a classical guitarist. “The rich sounds she sends your way will delight your ears and your heart,” according to the season’s brochure for the Symphony Orchestra.

The Mid-Atlantic Symphony hosts an hour-long discussion before most shows. Meant to explain and enlighten, the discussion is about the music to be performed, the composer, the tempo and some of the things to listen for as the music is played.

The Symphony website features a “letter to a neophyte” meant to attract new listeners to a concert. “Just look at the musicians, one by one, so intent on interpreting their score, giving it their utmost attention, putting their heart and soul in their performance . . . you are witnessing how great music is made, how real people make it come alive before your eyes. . . If you listen carefully, you can distinguish the input of every instrument, the sound of every nuance, you feel the energy . . . So, just sit back, get comfortable in your seat and be prepared to hear, watch and listen. You probably will appreciate the concert beyond any expectation.”

 Tickets are available at 1-888-846-8600 and cost is $35 for adults.

Concerts this weekend will be held Thursday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Easton Church of God in Easton, on Saturday, March 19 at Mariner’s Bethel Church in Ocean View at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, March 20 at 3 p.m. at Community Church in Ocean Pines, MD.

More information is available at midatlanticsymphony.org. Brochures can be downloaded from the website. Tickets can also be bought online.

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