Butler Philharmonic Orchestra’s new season begins at local arts festival

The Butler Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2023-2024 season has a big line-up of concerts, which will include “Summer Pops,” the annual “Tillman Concert,” “Holiday Pops,” “Mendelssohn Mania” and a “Family and Educational Springtime” concert.

“This is going to be a fantastic season. It’s a very exciting repertoire, and we are all over the place in terms of locations, and also in terms of repertoire. There’s going to be a little something for everybody this season, and we’re going to take it to places where everybody will get a chance to see us,” said Scott Woodard, musical director and conductor of the Butler Philharmonic Orchestra.

The group’s “Summer Pops” concert will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24 at Pyramid Hill. The concert is free with paid admission to the Pyramid Hill Art Fair.

Angela Crum will be the featured soloist and the Butler Philharmonic Chorus will join the orchestra on three of the songs. The “Summer Pops” concert was also just performed Aug. 24 in Oxford.

“That’s our format in the summer. We do the same program once in Oxford, and we’ll do it again at Pyramid Hill on Sun. Sept. 24 as part of their Art Fair,” Woodard said. “We’ll close the Art Fair, and it’s an outdoor pops concert. It’s all Americana, songs you would have heard in movies, or maybe you sang the tunes as an elementary school student.”

He said, “We hope everyone will come out to Pyramid Hill to get to hear the show.”

The annual “Tillmann Concert” will be held Oct. 27 at First Baptist Church Hamilton. David Zeng, a principal trumpet player for the orchestra, will be featured soloist on “Concerto for Trumpet and String Orchestra” by Johann Neruda. The concert is free and open to the public.

“We are going to open the program with Samuel Barber’s ‘Adagio for Strings.’ It’s a beautiful piece. It’s been used in movie scores, and all over the place. It’s been billed over the years as the saddest piece of music ever written, but I don’t take it that way. I think it’s just a beautiful piece that features strings,” Woodard said.

Butler Phil’s “Holiday Pops” concert will be Dec. 9 at Parrish Auditorium at Miami University Hamilton. The orchestra will also be joined by The Butler Philharmonic Chorus for this program. Jonathan Zeng will be the featured soloist. Tickets will be available online at butlerphil.org.

“It’s our Christmas home, and we really love performing there. There will be all kinds of holiday music,” Woodard said of the event at Parrish Auditorium. “We are partnering again with InsideOut Studio, and we had a great partnership with them last year for the first time, and we just had to do it again. They’ll be coming back for our rehearsal, and hopefully, for the concert that night, so that’s going to be a lot of fun.”

A “Mendelssohn Mania” concert will be Mar. 2, 2024 at Sorg Opera House in Middletown. The performance will feature the music of composer Felix Mendelssohn. Cristian Fatu will be featured on “Violin Concerto” by Mendelssohn.

On Apr. 20, 2024 the orchestra will perform a “Family and Educational Springtime” concert at Hamilton High School. The orchestra will be joined by the Butler Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Pieces the group will perform include “Voices of Spring,” “To Spring,” “Russian Easter Overture” and “Appalachian Spring.”

“This concert is entitled ‘Springtime,’ and all the music involved with it is in some way dedicated to spring,” Woodard said. “So, we’ll usher in spring for Butler County.”

“Our slogan says, ‘A tradition of great music right in your own backyard,’ and we’re grateful for the opportunity to keep bringing great music to a community like Butler County, who really appreciates the arts in all its forms, not just music,” Woodard said.

Planning for a June concert is in the works. A complete concert schedule and related details are also available on the website.

How to go

What: Butler Philharmonic Orchestra to present “Summer Pops”

When: 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24

Where: Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum, 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton

Cost: Free with paid admission to Pyramid Hill Art Fair

Online: butlerphil.org

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