Local Orchestra Has New Music Director / Conductor – Times-Standard
The All Seasons Orchestra will have a new face behind the baton when it begins rehearsals in person on Saturday after more than a year of virtual music creation.
Garrick Woods joins All Seasons Orchestra (ASO) as Music Director / Conductor. Woods takes on what were previously two roles in his new role, succeeding former conductor Jeremy Cotton and former music director Val Phillips.
“Former ASO Music Director Val Phillips has passed away (earlier this month),” said Woods. “He has been a leading contributor to the local music community for many years and had expressed a desire to step down as Music Director. I looked forward to his mentorship and experience with the band, and I know many are touched by his loss.
Woods added, “The music director plans the music selections for each program and the conductor organizes and directs the rehearsal activities,” said Woods. “… I am fortunate with ASO to have the support of a librarian, personnel manager, CEO, board of directors, etc. who manages all the other parts of the organization that are not necessarily my strong points. With this arrangement, I can focus on selecting the music I believe in and working with the orchestra to make it as effective as possible.
Woods comes from a family of professional musicians and studied music extensively from an early age. He holds a BA and MA from the University of Arizona and a PhD in Musical Arts from the University of Utah. He is currently a full professor at Humboldt State University.
“When I was young, I wanted to be a producer / musical engineer and I dreamed of writing the soundtrack for a movie. I’ve always been fascinated by the way sounds come together, but my family culture and training have provided me with most of my opportunities in orchestral music. During my doctoral studies, I began to study conducting and came to see it as the musical engineering of live, unamplified, unprocessed acoustic music, ”said Woods. , who has conducted orchestras at HSU since 2016.
Woods is also a multi-instrumentalist who has performed as a member of the Tucson Symphony and as a substitute for the Utah and Hawaii Symphonies. He has also performed as a studio musician on television, game and film soundtracks. Locally, he has performed with the North State Symphony, the Symphony of the Redwoods and the All Seasons Orchestra, and is the principal cellist of the Eureka Symphony. He has also performed in ensembles for the Trinidad Bay Arts and Music Festival, the Fortuna Concert Series, and various faculty concerts at Humboldt State University, as well as other local and regional venues.
Under Woods’ direction, the All Seasons Orchestra – a community orchestra open to musicians of all ages and abilities – will get back to work next weekend to prepare for a concert originally scheduled for March 2020 which has been long delayed by COVID. 19 health crisis. The concert, now scheduled for September, will focus on women in music, with pieces by seven female composers, two concertos performed by female instrumentalists and a female conductor for two of the selections.
“The All-Seasons Orchestra is a model of artistic organization that will always have a place in our society: people of all ages with varied backgrounds who enjoy playing orchestral music coming together to celebrate a beautiful tradition and create something special. meaningful together, ”says Woods. “I believe there is something similar in all great works of art and I love the experience of illustrating these elements to the players and the audience. I have played in several community orchestras in the past, including this one, and I love the bond it creates with the community.
Over the past year, members of the All Seasons Orchestra have been busy rehearsing for two virtual performances. The first was Leroy Anderson’s “Sandpaper Ballet”. The second, Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of Flowers” from the Nutcracker Suite, was recently completed and can be viewed on AllSeasonsOrchestra.org.
The two virtual performances have enlisted musicians from the All Seasons Orchestra and the Eureka Symphony, as well as other local musicians, as well as members of the All Seasons Orchestra of York, a town in North Yorkshire, England.
“I took part in a virtual choral concert – one which is quite famous – by Eric Whitacre called ‘Sing Gently.’ He had over 17,000 votes! You can see it on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InULYfJHKI0“said Susan Bicknell, Managing Director, Librarian and Head of the Percussion Section of ASO, who also directed, coordinated and edited the All Seasons Orchestra videos based on her” Sing Gently “background.
“It was very satisfying to produce these videos and give the musicians an ensemble that they could be a part of while they waited for the opportunity to get back together,” said Bicknell. “Virtual performances have a certain magic of making a whole out of disparate parts. … But live musical ensembles have their own magic that cannot be replicated in cyberspace. Musicians respond to each other when they share the same space, and they blend together and build music together in a way that they can’t duplicate when just playing with a guide video.
When the orchestra resumes in-person rehearsals on Saturday, all musicians must be registered in advance. Registration details are available at AllSeasonsOrchestra.org. For more information on joining the All Seasons Orchestra, contact Don or Susan Bicknell at 707-599-4691 or [email protected] Rehearsals begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 19 and will continue most Saturdays at Eureka Woman’s Club, 1531 J St., Eureka.
“Our concerts are free and we don’t hold auditions,” said Woods. “I want talented young players and skillful readers who want additional opportunities outside of their school programs to participate. I want that person who played viola years ago and wants to come back to know that it’s an option. I am also working on the integration of prospective Humboldt State Orchestra students into the group as part of their ensemble credit. I believe this can bring an even broader sense of community and purpose to the orchestra. “