The Billings Outpost

Superb voices brighten symphony’s concert

By SHARIE PYKE - For The Outpost

“How many of you set the alarm for 3:30 so you could watch the royal wedding?” asked Anne Harrigan, conductor of the Billings Symphony. My hand went up. AND I bought the commemorative People Magazine issue.

I was in good company. In April 2011, more than 1 billion people watched Prince William and Catherine Middleton say “I do.”

Last Saturday, with “A Royal Celebration,” the Billings Symphony and Chorale performed music from the 2011 wedding as well as other imperial events.

Not only was the concert a royal celebration, it also showcased the miracle of the human voice.

Under Maestra Harrigan, every word sung by the chorale came through clearly. The quartet of soloists for Mozart’s “Celebration Mass” also was a joy to hear: four virtuoso voices who created a perfect blend of sound.

Special thanks go to Doug Nagel, who stepped in at the last moment as baritone.

Lisa Lombardy’s soprano solo was, as always, brilliant. Her voice reminds me of, well, what can I say? Is she a songbird? A silver flute? The vocal version of a crystal chandelier? The sound was clear, rippling and seemingly effortless.

The concert ended with William Walton’s “Crown Imperial” (Coronation March.) The piece features brass and percussion and provided a rousing end to a memorable evening. Like any good performance, we were left with a sigh and a wistful wish for more.

The final symphony of the year is Saturday, April 20, and features pianist Michael Chertock. The Boston Globe describes his playing as “unmannered, zestful and lovely.”

Mr. Chertock will be performing Gershwin’s quintessentially American “Rhapsody in Blue” and Rachmaninoff’s flamboyant Symphonic Dances.

Copyright 2012 Wild Raspberry Inc.

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