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By Caryl Huffaker
For the Journal Register News Service
Last weekend a full house at the Kennett High School heard a concert by the Kennett Symphony that was so magnificent people were stunned. As audience member Dave Mooberry said, “When you write about this concert, no one is going to believe what you say.” And he was right. The Kennett Symphony Children’s Chorus directed by Eileen Keller were the best ever with a lovely tonal quality as they sang with great precision some of the carols in Serenade of Carols by Morton Gould. Under the direction of Maestra Mary Woodmansee Green the orchestra played as though inspired musically, and with a sense of playfulness and joy that was palpable.
The big excitement of the evening was guest soloist Kimberly Christie, winner of the Kennett Symphony Vocalist Competition. This tiny soprano with the big voice has it all; she sings like an angel hitting high C with no apparent effort, and with her vocal excellence is beautiful and a superb actress, particularly while singing the amusing but difficult” Glitter and Be Gay” by Leonard Bernstein. Already having been given a standing ovation, Christie endeared herself to the audience as she chatted with them during intermission and then sat in the audience still in costume for the second half of the program. She came back on stage for the finale, leading everyone in the traditional closing, “Silent Night.”
The music for the second half was the music for the Second act of “The Nutcracker” by Peter Tchaikovsky. With the audience being given permission to applaud whenever they particularly liked a section, the applause was frequent and enthusiastic. The music was exile rating with the orchestra obviously having a good time playing with such vigor and excellence.
This will be the final Christmas program planned and directed by Maestra Mary Woodmansee Green before she retires at the end of the season. What happy memories this program will leave for her and the audience.
Symphony Board President Paul Merluzzi showed the audience the “thermometer” displaying the progress made in the Symphony Fund Drive. They are trying to raise $108,000 and have two generous people who have given matching funds to aid contributions. Everyone knows Symphonies are suffering during this economic downtime. All you have to do is list the number of orchestras that have gone bankrupt. So if you have any money you could spare, this would be a good place to put it. Checks can be sent to the Kennett Symphony of Chester County, P.O. Box 72, Kennett Square, PA 19348.