‘Shall We Dance?’ theme of Manchester Symphony season opening Friday night

Manchester Symphony Orchestra
The Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale will open its 59th season Friday night.

By Karen Greer
For the Journal Inquirer
November 1, 2018

MANCHESTER — The Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale opens its 59th season on Friday evening, Nov. 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the SBM Foundation Auditorium at Manchester Community College.

Manchester Symphony Orchestra
Orlando Cela
guest conductor

Guest conductor Orlando Cela will lead the orchestra in “Shall We Dance?,” a program of music composed to move people.

Manchester Symphony itself is constantly on the move, and this season is no exception. An exciting change is that the orchestra is offering more concertgoers free admission to its concerts. In addition to young people younger than 18 years old, students of any age and active or retired military personnel will be admitted without charge.

Christopher Ladd

Audiences at this season’s concerts will be hearing and seeing the start of a significant change — the selection of the next orchestra
orchestra’s music director.

Manchester Symphony’s previous orchestra director, Joseph Hodge, stepped down at the end of last season to pursue his doctoral degree. During the summer, a search committee was formed to find the most talented applicants and to narrow the field down to two candidates. The final choice will be made next spring, after each of these two candidates has prepared and conducted the orchestra in a concert.

Orlando Cela, who will be conducting Friday’s concert, is a native of Venezuela. Cela has conducted orchestras throughout the U.S. and the world. He is an accomplished flutist and teaches at Berklee College of Music and at Middlesex Community College.

The program includes ballet music by Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky, Brahms’ “Hungarian Dance No. 5,” Strauss’ “Thunder and Lightning Polka,” and “Danzon No. 2,” a recent work by Mexican composer Arturo Marquez.

Guitarist Christopher Ladd, an internationally-known performer and recording artist, joins the orchestra for Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez.”

The second candidate selection concert will be in February, when Luca Antonucci conducts “There’s Something About Love,” a concert of romantic music with guest violinist Alison Shively. When the next orchestra music director is chosen, he will join Carolina Flores, Manchester Symphony chorale music director since 2017, for orchestra and chorales’s 60th season.

Manchester Symphony won’t be slowing down between these two concerts, with two holiday appearances the first week of December. On Saturday, Dec. 1, the chorales will present Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria.”

On Thursday, Dec. 6, the orchestra, led by former orchestra director Lewis J. Buckley, will be guest artists at The Travelers Chorale holiday concert at The Bushnell.

Tickets for “Shall We Dance?” can be purchased at the door. Prices are $18; $15 for seniors; and free for youth younger than 18, students of any age, and active or retired military personnel.

For more information, call 860-646-0047, email: Music Six (at) cox.net, or visit the Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale on Facebook or at its website: