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Meet Conductor, Kevin Class, Candidate For Music Director Of The Oak Ridge Symphony


The Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra continues the search for its next Music Director with a concert led by candidate, Kevin Class, this Sunday, September 18th at 3pm. Once again, the performance will be given at First United Methodist Church, Oak Ridge.

Maestro Class is no stranger to Knoxville audiences. A collaborative pianist, he frequently performs with Knoxville Symphony Orchestra concertmaster, William Shaub, on the concertmaster series. Class is professor of Collaborative Piano at the University of TN and in that role, he performs with UT School of Music faculty members and guest artists in recitals presented throughout the year. And as if that isn't enough to keep him busy, he is also Music Director and Conductor of the UT Opera Theatre. Kevin is active as a solo pianist as well, with more than fifteen recordings to his name. What audiences may not be as familiar with is his extensive symphonic conducting experience, which goes back to his first conducting lessons when he was just a teenager.

Kevin will lead the symphony and chorus in a program of his own design titled "Pictures Worth a Thousand Words." Every piece on the program is inspired by words. The "pictures" part of the title comes from the community engagement activity Class has created to coincide with the concert. Kevin has sent out a "call" for visual art inspired by the music on the concert. Listen to a short excerpt of any piece on the program (which you can find here: https://www.facebook.com/OakRidgeCMA ), and create a piece of art inspired by the music with a medium of your own choosing (pencil, crayon, finger paints, etc.). Bring it to the concert so that it can be displayed (anonymously, if you so choose!) Maestro Class explains that he just wants the audience to listen actively to the music and to respond in whatever way is authentic to the individual.

The diverse program will include music by Joseph Bologne, George Frideric Handel, Hugo Wolf, Frank Ticheli, Gian Carlo Menotti, Jessie Montgomery, and the US Premiere of a choral piece by Filipino composer, Ryan Cayabyab. The central work on the concert, Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, will feature violinist, William Shaub, as soloist.

Tickets and additional information about this performance can be found online at https://orcma.org/

Melony calls the beautiful mountains of Boone, N.C., home, although she was born near Greensboro, N.C. There’s just something about those Blue Ridge Mountains that got in her blood and never left after she moved there to attend Appalachian State University (ASU). While at ASU, she majored in piano performance and music therapy and began to cultivate a love for accompanying and for collaborating with other musicians. This soon led her to earn a master’s degree in collaborative piano at the University of Tennessee, which she attended from 2006-2008.
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