Director's Message

What Goes into Creating an Orchestral Season for the WHSO?

First of all, thank you for joining us for our 18th season……..

Many considerations go into planning a season for the WHSO. The very first issue is the calendar. Before we settle on the dates, we must check the holidays and local school vacations. We have to be aware of other events going on at Town Hall and Kingswood Oxford’s Roberts Theater. We can’t get too close to Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter or Passover because of the many holiday events happening throughout the state.  Weather is always a consideration. Too far into December or too early in March can cause complications with snow. Amazingly, in seventeen years of concerts we had to postpone only one concert as a result of Storm Alfred (Oct.29, 2011) which knocked out electrical power for much of Connecticut.

Now that you have an idea of what goes into laying out a season, we can start to consider what goes into choosing the music. A looming question is always the difficulty of the music and how many rehearsals we have to prepare for each concert. The answer to these questions helps determine what pieces we will perform. The next question is cost. Do we own the music, or do we have to rent it or buy it? Also, do we have to hire a soloist, an instrumentalist or vocalist to perform the music? Another question easily overlooked is whether all sections of the orchestra get to actually play. Do our brass players get to perform, or our percussionists? Lastly, I always keep in mind advice given me by conductor Moshe Paranov, founder of the Hartt School of Music: “You have to keep the people in front of you (orchestra members) engaged and happy, and you also have to entertain the people behind you (the audience) who have paid money to hear you play.”

After answering these few questions, we’ve got a season!


Richard Chiarappa
Music Director, WHSO