NH Symphony Orchestra bids farewell to Keefe Auditorium

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A 21st Century Approach to Live Performance Music

Farewell Keefe. Photo by Keith Spiro
The season finale takes place in Keef. Photo | Keith Spiro

Nashua, New Hampshire – More than 900 people attended the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra’s final concert at Keefe Auditorium on Sunday. The season finale on June 9 ended on a high note with a work by John Williams and a work by the next generation of composers influenced by his music.

The music conductor wearing a Gryffindor scarf. Photo by Keith Spiro
Master Calia wears a Gryffindor scarf. Photo | Keith Spiro

With music from Jurassic Park, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Star Wars, I was delighted to see conductor and music director Roger Callea take the time to address those in the audience with children. Family thanks. He himself has acknowledged the influence of Harry Potter on his formative years and the iconic trumpet part in Raiders of the Lost Ark that inspired him.

Special thanks to principal trumpet Richard Watson, who wowed us with his performance in Lincoln’s The People’s House. In fact, every section of the orchestra has a chance to shine in the 12 works performed in the show. The musicians were ecstatic and excited to see many teenagers, young children and families attending the final show at Keefe Auditorium. Joy, laughter and a standing ovation rounded out the concert.

Picture of trumpeter accepting honors. Photo by Keith Spiro
Special thanks to standing principal trumpet Richard Watson. Photo | Keith Spiro

music of john williams

John Williams composed music for more than 100 films. Best known for his artistic partnership with director Steven Spielberg, he has received 5 Academy Awards and 54 Oscar nominations, making him the most Oscar-nominated living person and the second-most nominated person (after Hua Hua) Disney). In 1980, he was appointed the 19th Music Director of the Boston Pops, succeeding Arthur Fiedler, and after his retirement at the age of 92, he continued to compose.

Goodbye Keefe

The event is more than just a tribute to the famous film’s subject. It might be better classified as a series of farewells. Farewell to Keefe Auditorium, longtime home of the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra. Unfortunately, this is the only stage in Nashua large enough to accommodate a full orchestra. Although performances will be performed next season at the Nashua Arts Center, the stage there is too small for large symphonic works.

Farewell to Concert Master Elliot Mako

Photo of Elliot Markoff receiving a signed poster. Photo by Keith Spiro
Maestro Roger Kaliya (left) and SNH Executive Director Deanna Hoying (right) present a signed poster to concertmaster Elliott Markoff after the concert. Photo | Keith Spiro

Elliott Markow has been associated with Symphony NH for 24 years. He was recognized for his years of hard work and dedication to mentoring and teaching. He made it clear that he was not retiring from performing, just from his role as concertmaster. Conductor Roger Kalia said: “Makov has been here since I was appointed music director and has helped the orchestra in many ways. I thank him for his leadership, his Generosity and his music.

Everyone signed the poster. Photo by Keith Spiro
Outgoing concertmaster Elliott Markow provided much help and information. Photo | Keith Spiro

As a gift to celebrate this milestone, all members of the orchestra signed a remaining 100th anniversary poster that was presented to Markoff after the show.

Farewell to Master Kallia as the 2024-25 season begins

Executive Director Deanna Hoying and Maestro Kalia both announced to the audience that the 2024-25 season will be Roger Kalia’s farewell tour, which can be heard in the audience moans. For an organization as well-respected and cohesive as Symphony NH, it’s not unusual for key leaders to give more than a year’s notice. This atmosphere created space for several guest conductors and an assistant concertmaster to explore paths of continued development.

The upcoming season will be carefully curated by Music Director Roger Kalia, blending historic treasures with lesser-known gems. Next season begins with Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and ends with Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, strengthening the New Hampshire Symphony’s connection to its growing audiences across the state.

The road to a new generation

The New Hampshire Symphony will perform concerts in September at the Nashua Arts Center, the Rex Theater in Manchester, the New Hampshire Bank Stage in Concord and the Stockbridge Theater in Delhi.

As they begin their second century, they continue to show great interest in delighting audiences with familiar tunes while also educating us all on the backstory of the works’ long history of incorporating symphonic sounds.

The Mandalorian’s theme song is the only one not composed by John Williams. In a brief description, Maestro Kaglia explains how composer Ludwig Göransson represents the next generation of composers who grew up with and were influenced by the vast body of work written by John Williams. He feels it’s important to include this representation of influencers in the world of music creation.

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The New Hampshire Symphony is an Ink Link community partner, helping to expand access to the arts and create more educational opportunities for our community’s youth. We share a similar view that the arts, especially the performing arts, can improve human communication and help bring joy and healing during these interesting times. The one-hour and forty-five-minute concert featured nothing but music and laughter. The phone has no ringtone. No viewers checking emails.

Try a concert. See what live performance can do for your day.

Keith Spiro Communications. Good people do great things
Stories of good people doing great things.

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