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September 24, 2008 > Fremont Symphony season opens Saturday

Fremont Symphony season opens Saturday

Ignite your passion

By Eman Isadiar, contributor

If you are a fan of American music and live anywhere between Hayward and Santa Clara, Saturday September 27 is your lucky day. This is when Fremont's very own symphony orchestra opens its 45th season with a pops extravaganza, featuring ageless tunes from the golden age of Broadway and highlights from Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess." The program's guest stars are soprano NaGuanda Nobles, tenor Trente Morant and baritone Brian Keith Johnson.

In addition to its extensive Baroque to modern repertoire, the Fremont Symphony has a tradition of featuring orchestral music by American composers in a well-attended pops concert every year. This year's pops program is rather unique in that it is the season opener and features not just one or even two, but three guest vocalists.

The first half of the program includes such classics as Jerome Kern's "All the Things You Are" and "Ol' Man River", "Blue Moon" by Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter's "Night and Day" and "Anything Goes" and an excerpt from Kurt Weill's "Lady in the Dark" among others. Distinguished guests Brian Keith Johnson and Trente Morant will sing selections accompanied by the orchestra.

The evening's main attraction, however, will be the second half of the program with highlights from arguably the greatest American opera of all-time, George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess", with such unforgettable arias as "Summertime", "I Got Plenty o' Nuttin'", "O Lawd, I'm On My Way" and "My Man's Gone Now" to name just a few. Award-winning soprano NaGuanda Nobles and tenor Trente Morant will be featured in this portion of the concert.

Each of the three guest vocalists has an impressive musical career. This year alone, lyric soprano NaGuanda Nobles has won first place in both the Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation and Shreveport Opera's Singer of the Year competitions. She sang the part of Mimi in Fremont Opera's production of "La Boh¸me" in 2007, and has performed in the US and abroad since 2000. Baritone Brian Keith Johnson has appeared frequently in productions of Cleveland Opera On Tour and has sung numerous opera and musical theatre roles across the country. A Bay Area resident of more than 20 years, conductor and tenor Trente Morant is a three-time recipient of the Artist in Residence Grant of the California Arts Council, has conducted in the San Francisco and Monterey Jazz festivals and recently appeared with the East Bay Symphony and the Alameda Civic Light Opera.

Often labeled as the Bay Area's best-kept secret, the Fremont Symphony boasts a fully-professional orchestra, whose members are highly accomplished musicians in their own right. The symphony is led by music director David Sloss whose achievements include establishing Fremont Opera in 2007, an Emmy nomination for the WGBH television series "A Roomful of Music," professorship at Sonoma State University and conducting more than 30 productions with West Bay Opera. He proudly states, "The artistic level of Fremont Symphony musicians is at an all-time high, and the orchestra enjoys growing recognition as one of the leading regional ensembles in the Bay Area."

The symphony's future performances include Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet with Yoko's Dance and Performing Arts Academy on December 5-7, a program of Wagner, Brahms and local young composers on February 7 and Schumann's Piano Concerto in A Minor with guest soloist Roy Bogas on May 9.

For tickets and information visit www.fremontsymphony.org or call (510) 659-6031.

Eman Isadiar teaches piano at the Peninsula Conservatory and serves on the Board of Fremont Symphony Orchestra.

Fremont Symphony Opening Night
Saturday, September 27
8 p.m.
Smith Center of Ohlone College
43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont
(510) 659-6031
www.fremontsymphony.org

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