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Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra

May 5, 2017 Mainstage
$25 adult/$18 Active-duty Military & Youth

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The Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra's 30th season finale concert on Friday, May 5 will feature the dramatic and soaring “Lord Nelson” Mass -- also known as the “Mass for Troubled Times” or Missa in Angustiis -- considered by many to be Franz Josef Haydn’s finest work. Winners of the 30th annual Concerto Competition for youth will also appear.

The concert, “Stars of Tomorrow Meet Hayden”, is at 7:30 pm in the Mainstage Theater of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville. The "Lord Nelson" Mass portion of the program features internationally acclaimed soprano Suzanne Rigden of Montreal as guest soloist, along with Monika Cosson, mezzo soprano of Pensacola; Thomas Rowell, tenor; and André Chiang, bass, both of Mobile, along with the entire 50-voice Northwest Florida Symphony Chorale, under the direction of Michael Dye.

“The Orchestra, Chorale and soloists will all provide a truly unforgettable finale to our 30th concert season,” said Jeffrey Rink, NFSO music director and conductor, who noted that the “Lord Nelson” Mass will be sung in Latin with English translation provided.

Rink explained that the work was written in 1798 when Haydn’s Austria and the world were in turmoil as Napoleon won four major battles against Austria in less than a year and had also invaded Egypt to destroy Britain's trade routes to the East. Haydn named the work Missa in Angustiis (Mass for Troubled Times) but it became nicknamed the “Lord Nelson” Mass because the day of its first performance coincided with news that Napoleon had been dealt a stunning defeat in the Battle of the Nile by British forces led by Admiral Horatio Nelson.

Also at the May 5 NFSO concert, the remarkable talents of the youth winners of the NFSO’s 30th annual Concerto Competition will appear as guest artists in the orchestra’s annual “Stars of Tomorrow” feature. The NFSO Guild sponsors the prestigious Concerto Competition for talented young musicians from 17 North Florida Counties and awards generous cash prizes to winners who perform with the NFSO at the orchestra's annual concert for area 5th grade students as well as the public “Stars of Tomorrow” concert. This year the youth winners who will perform at the May 5 Stars of Tomorrow concert include:
• Junior Division winner Filippo Aldrovandi-Reina, Violin, of Tallahassee, age 13, who will perform the Haydn Violin Concerto in G Major, first movement.
• Senior Division winner Skyler Covert, Violin, age 17 of Gainesville, a home school student/dual enrolled at the University of Florida, who will perform Brahms Violin Concerto in D Major, first movement.
• College Division winner: Hank Landrum, Clarinet, of Pensacola, age 19, a student at FSU, who will perform the Crusell Clarinet Concerto No. 3, first movement.

Tickets for the “Stars of Tomorrow Meet Haydn” are available from the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box Office either in advance or at-the-door for $25 adult and $18 for active duty military and youth (age 18 and younger). Contact the Box Office at (850) 729-6000 or purchase online at The Box Office is open Monday to Friday 10 am to 4:00 pm and from 6:00 to 7:30 the night of the concert for at–the–door tickets.

SPOTLIGHT ON GUEST SOLOISTS FOR “Lord Nelson” Mass: Canadian soprano Suzanne Rigden is making her mark on the International stage with her “remarkable gift for stratospheric coloratura” and witty “comic genius”. Equally at home in both the operatic, symphonic, operetta, and musical theatre repertoire, Rigden has been praised by Opera World for "her effervescent approach and her strong and confident singing in the most difficult coloratura parts.” In concert, she has been heard recently with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Orchestra London, Symphony Nova Scotia, and Ústí nad Labem Orchestra, Czech Republic.

Monika Cosson of Pensacola has performed roles with New Orleans Opera, New Orleans Philharmonic Orchestra, the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans and many others. Recent engagements include alto soloist for Handel’s Messiah with the Choral Society of Pensacola, Handel's Judas Maccabaeus with the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, and the role of La Badessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica with Mobile Opera. In addition to performing Ms. Cosson directs the Protestant Chancel Choir at Eglin Air Force Base. Cosson is also an alumnus of Northwest Florida State College and was a charter member of the college’s Soundsations Showchoir in the 1990’s.

Dr. Thomas L. Rowell, tenor, is the Coordinator of Vocal Studies and directs the University of South Alabama (USA) Opera Theatre. He teaches studio voice, vocal pedagogy and song literature. He also maintains a very active performing schedule as a recitalist, soloist and roles with regional opera companies; appearing with the Nashville Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Mobile Pops, Baldwin Pops, University of Alabama Orchestra, and the Choral Society of Pensacola. Rowell regularly performs with Mobile Opera, having sung over 30 roles with the company.

Baritone André Chiang brings his lyrical voice to repertoire spanning from Handel to Glass. Touted by the Oregonian as “vocally commanding” Mr. Chiang’s recent engagements include Virginia Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, Portland Opera, Shreveport Opera; Opera Birmingham; Virginia Opera; The Washington Idaho Symphony; Mobile Opera; and the Manhattan School of Music and many more.

The Northwest Florida Symphony Chorale is made up of some of the region’s finest student and community vocalists. Members who will present the “Lord Nelson” Mass on May 5 include:
Baker: Cameron Gordon; Crestview: Karen Boisjolie, Keith Holcombe; Destin: Linda Post; Fort Walton Beach: Jamie Brown, Emily Christopherson, Justin Koch, Richard Montague, Janette Powell, Peggy Rice, John Zirpola; Holt: Della Goodson; Niceville: Chelsea Anderson, Kara Bell, Madilyn Carlson, Christa Cloutier, Kim Daniels, Allison Everitt, David French, Kirk Herzog, Suzanne Herzog, Elisa Ibarra, Uma Jolly, Hannah Kibler, Melissa Kibler, Wesley Krist, Phyllis Lake, Kelly Langsten, Sarah Leaman, Lin Loughlin, Gilbert March, Richard McWhorter, Chris Pecore, Zachary Pecore, Gabriel Preston, Gabrielle Schrack, Isabelle Schrack, Paul Tessier, Karrie Thompson, Arin Walker, Gina Walker, Darby Wolfgram; Valparaiso: Jennifer Boudette, John Hencinski.

The Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra (NFSO) is the Emerald Coast’s premier, fully professional orchestra - since 1987! The NFSO performs in residence at the magnificent $30 million Mattie Kelly Fine & Performing Arts Center, located at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville. NFSO concerts are held in the center’s 1,650 mainstage theater where a custom orchestra shell provides the optimum in acoustics for symphony patrons. The NFSO is a non-profit organization operated under the auspices of Northwest Florida State College.

The NFSO relies on tax-deductible donations, corporate underwriting and season subscriptions to continue the orchestra’s musical excellence and the symphony’s numerous longstanding educational endeavors for youth. Tax-deductible donations are administered through the NW Florida State College Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization.