checkOn Nov. 19, the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra will perform the concert Czech it Out! This concert is part of the five concerts this season that are interviews for the five finalists vying for the position as the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra’s conductor next season. “The guest conductor for the November concert is Stefan Sanders, who is currently the assistant conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic and the music director of the Round Rock Symphony in Texas,” Christine Kastner the president and CEO explained. “He began his career playing trombone and then decided to pursue a career as a conductor.”

The season’s concerts are a strong reflection of each guest conductor’s style. “The guest conductors were asked to submit several concert programs as a part of their interview process. The programs they are conducting are ones they submitted,” Kastner said. This month, the theme chosen by Sanders is “Czech it Out!” which features Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8. It is described as cheery and inspired by Bohemian folk music. Scott Marosek will  perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat Major. 

To get an even better look into what makes the guest conductors tick, there will also be a preconcert  talk featuring the guest conductors and the FSO Music Nerd. “The music nerd is interviewing the guest conductors this season. He asks them some personal questions, but also they discuss the music that will be performed on that evening’s concert,” Kastner said. These preconcert talks allow everyone in the audience to learn not only about the conductor, but also about the music. They offer fun insight into the evening’s entertainment. 

The beauty of these interview concerts is the variation and talent that it showcases. It is not often that a single season will feature five such impressive artists. For Kastner, this is one of the most exciting aspects of the entire season. “We get to experience five different conductors with different backgrounds, personalities and styles,”she said. The conductor guides the orchestra and provides the audiences with a unique interpretation of music. It is a vital role in a concert and this season truly highlights how influential this guidance can be.

Another important part to the concerts is that they allow for community participation in the selection of the next conductor. Audience members will receive surveys following the performances to gauge the most popular candidate. One does not have to have a degree in music to give a valuable opinion. Kastner advises, “attend as many of the concerts as possible and be sure to give us your email so that you will receive a link to the online audience survey. You do not need to know conducting or even music, just let us know what  you think as an audience member. Did you enjoy their concert? Would you come see them again?”

Czech It Out! starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Seabrook Auditorium located at 1200 Murchison Rd. on the Fayetteville State University campus. The preconcert  talk begins at 6:45 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.fayettevillesymphony.org/2016-2017-concerts/. 

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