January 20, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Katharene Snavely, Executive Director, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra

Phone: 410-269-1132

Email: ksnavely@annapolissymphony.org

Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Illustrates 50 Year Anniversary In Unique Ways For General Public To See

Annapolis, MD – January 17, 2012 - A pop of color and a touch of history now greet passersby along the stretch of West Street sometimes referred to as downtown Annapolis’ “uptown” area. The street side banners adorn West Street from Spa Circle to Church Circle, each showcasing one of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra’s (ASO’s) six distinguished Music Directors who have presided over the Orchestra during its 50 years as a cultural treasure in the community. It’s all part of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra’s 50 year anniversary celebration – a celebration that began in September 2011 and culminates in May 2012 with two extraordinary musical performances.

Featured on the banners are: Kenneth Page – one of the ASO’s “founding fathers” who served as conductor from 1962-1969, Leon Fleisher who served as the ASO’s conductor from 1969-1982, Peter Bay who served from 1983-1990, Gisele Ben-Dor – the ASO’s only female conductor - who served from   1991 - 1997, Leslie B. Dunner who served from 1998- 2003, and José-Luis Novo who was appointed Music Director of the ASO in 2005 and continues in that role today. Each brought his/her own unique flavor and expertise to the ASO. Each has left a legacy, and together, they have created an organizational masterpiece that has earned the ASO a reputation as a true gem in the region’s performing arts arena.

To further illustrate the history of this first-class musical organization, a roaming retrospective has been created. This graphically-exciting exhibit depicts the ASO’s 50 year history through a series of eight colorful 6’ X 3’panels featuring historical photos, newspaper clippings, performance programs and more. This display is currently available for public viewing at the Miller Senate Office Building located at 11 Bladen Street in Annapolis. “I want to congratulate the Annapolis Symphony on their 50th anniversary,” said Speaker Michael E. Busch. “As a central cultural institution to the City of Annapolis, I applaud their continued outreach and exposure to the residents, and especially young people, of our region. I look forward to another 50 years of superb musical experience for Annapolitans and Marylanders.”

From the State Building, the display will be relocated to the Westfield Annapolis Mall in February and will stay through mid-March. The display will then reside at MD Hall for the Creative Arts from mid-March through its Anniversary Concert on May 4. The exhibit will then debut at the ASO’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Grand Finale – a concert at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park that will include a performance by internationally-renowned opera singer Denyce Graves.

Underwriting support for the ASO’s 50th Anniversary Season comes from Elizabeth Richebourg Rea who made one of the largest single gifts in the history of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra to honor the memory of her father, Philip Richebourg – an instrumental figure in the creation of the ASO. It was the combined vision and efforts of Richebourg, Kenneth Page (who was serving as the Annapolis High School band and orchestra program director), and John Bornhoeft, a retired violinist from New York, that served as the driving force in the creation of the ASO in 1962. Richebourg served as the organization’s first Board president. Bornhoeft managed the organization’s business affairs, and Page served as its first conductor.

Today, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra features 70 professional musicians who perform a variety of symphonic music for audiences of all ages. Additionally, the organization provides educational programs through its partnerships with local schools, as well as various other community outreach efforts. The ASO’s vision is to be the best regional orchestra in the country, recognized as a jewel in the Washington/Baltimore area. For more information on the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, visit www.annapolissymphony.org or call 410-269-1132.