The N.C. House of Representatives and the Senate officially honored the North Carolina Symphony on its 80th Anniversary season this past Tuesday, July 26. Before what appeared to be a full complement of representatives and a well-attended gallery, House Resolution 12 22 was read and it was officially resolved and proclaimed that this would be North Carolina Symphony Year in recognition of the orchestra’s statewide education service.
Following the reading of the resolution were supportive statements by Rep. Nelson Dollar, Rep. Ray Rapp, and Rep. Alice Bordsen. Each of the three focused on a different aspect of the orchestra’s history. Rep. Dollar, primary sponsor of the resolution, spoke about the Symphony’s contributions to the citizens of North Carolina and its role in making our state a richer one through its outstanding performances. Next, Rep. Rapp read a remembrance of NCS founder Lamar Stringfield and his vision of an orchestra for all of North Carolina. Finally, Rep Bordsen relayed a brief history of Benjamin and Maxine Swalin’s efforts to develop a statewide program of music education and performance that would serve citizens and schoolchildren in every corner of North Carolina.
House Majority Leader Skip Stam introduced and offered “Privileges of the Gallery” to Board of Trustees Chair Catharine Arrowood, President and CEO Sandi Macdonald and Resident Conductor William H. Curry. Following the unanimous vote in the House, the Symphony was similarly honored by the Senate and Sen. Richard Stevens spoke in support of the organization and its milestone anniversary. Although the Senate no longer offers resolutions, the proclamation was entered in the Senate record.
The North Carolina Symphony’s 80th Anniversary Resolution:
• Whereas, the North Carolina Symphony played its first concert under its founding conductor Lamar Stringfield on May 14, 1932, at Hill Hall on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and
• Whereas, the tireless efforts of Dr. Benjamin and Maxine Swalin and then-First Lady Alice Broughton led to passage by the North Carolina General Assembly of the historic “Horn-Tootin’ Bill” in 1943, thus establishing a 69-year partnership with the State of North Carolina and forming the basis for the most far-reaching music education program in the United States; and
• Whereas, the North Carolina Symphony has, since that day, traveled more than 500,000 miles by bus to present concerts throughout the State of North Carolina, delighting and entertaining generations of citizens by demonstrating the highest level of artistic quality and performance standards, and embracing its dual legacies of statewide service and music education; and
• Whereas, the North Carolina Symphony offers 45 yearly education concerts for schoolchildren across the State, as well as professional development workshops for teachers that support North Carolina curriculum standards in education and supplement the North Carolina Symphony education concerts, and through its Ensembles in the Schools program, visits classrooms for an interactive performance and learning experience; and
• Whereas, the North Carolina Symphony further enhances music opportunities for young people in North Carolina through programs such as the Instrument Zoo, an opportunityfor young people to see instruments and try them out; Young Strings of the Triangle, a private lesson program for string students created to nurture and develop the musical potential of minority and underserved players; and North Carolina Symphony Youth Sinfonietta, a chamber orchestra of talented young musicians selected by audition; and
• Whereas, the North Carolina Symphony recognizes excellence in young musicians and helps them launch their careers through its annual Kathleen Price and Joseph M. Bryan Youth Concerto Competition, and in music educators through its annual Maxine Swalin Award for Outstanding Music Educator; and
• Whereas, the North Carolina Symphony, celebrating its 80th concert season in2012-2013, continues to be artistically inspirational, creative, and vibrant; educationallyessential and relevant; and organizationally excellent and community-minded; Now, therefore, be it resolved that this year is North Carolina Symphony Year.
About the North Carolina Symphony
Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony performs over 175 concerts annually to adults and school children in more than 50 North Carolina counties. An entity of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, the orchestra employs 67 professional musicians, under the artistic leadership of Music Director and Conductor Grant Llewellyn, Resident Conductor William Henry Curry and Associate Conductor Sarah Hicks.
Based in downtown Raleigh’s spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts and an outdoor summer venue at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, N.C., the Symphony performs about 60 concerts annually in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary metropolitan area. It holds regular concert series in Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines and Wilmington—as well as individual concerts in many other North Carolina communities throughout the year—and conducts one of the most extensive education programs of any U.S. orchestra.