Director's Message

What do you do for an encore after just having finished our celebratory 15th season? I guess we just keep celebrating, and remain ever so thankful that we can make music for ourselves and for our appreciative audiences. 

We begin this year with a rather unusual concert. For the first time we will be performing (premiering) an historical concert musical. The original musical theatre work was performed twenty years ago in September of 1997. “Lincoln and Booth” is our American story about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by infamous actor John Wilkes Booth. 

The original 28 person cast has been cut down to 11, and the ten-piece pit orchestra has been rearranged for full symphony orchestra. The two-hour musical has been condensed to roughly 50 minutes, or half the length of our typical symphony concert. This unique program kicks off our season along with Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait,” his “Hoe-down,” and the much loved “Ashokan Farewell” from the Ken Burns movie “The Civil War.” Lastly there is the honor of hearing the “Gettysburg Address” read by Connecticut radio icon Brad Davis, accompanied by the orchestra. 

In December the lovely and talented Timatha Kasten, the leader of the TKO Orchestra of New York City will be our featured Holiday Concert soloist. Our March 4th concert will include inspiring pieces, such as Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” and Benjamin Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra,” appreciated by young and old alike. Our annual Pops Concert on Armed Forces Day in May will feature another New York soloist, vocalist Carrie Wechsler who’ll be performing famous songs from Broadway. 

I would like to personally thank all of you for your continued support. When we began the orchestra there were people who said it couldn’t be done. With the strong commitment of our orchestra members and, you, our faithful audiences, we have thrived and grown into an orchestra the Town of West Hartford can be proud of.

Welcome to our 16th season!

Richard Chiarappa
Music Director, WHSO