Butler Philharmonic will make annual Fitton Center show a broadcast event

The Butler Philharmonic Orchestra has partnered with the Fitton Center for Creative Arts to present an evening of music that will showcase the orchestra’s string section on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The program will be broadcast on TVHamilton.

“We decided this year with the space allowed, and with social distancing of the orchestra, and that kind of thing, that we would do a string presentation. So, it’s all strings with the addition of one soloist on piano. Our featured soloist is Victoria Fatu. She’s an internationally-known concert pianist,” said Scott Woodard, music director and conductor of the Butler Philharmonic Orchestra.

The performance was recorded live from the Fitton Center and will be available on TVHamilton’s Spectrum cable Channel 24 as well as on TVHamilton’s Facebook and YouTube pages. The Fitton Center and the Butler Philharmonic have partnered for many years to bring an annual concert to the community.

“We are just getting creative in the times of COVID-19. We’re trying to make music, we are trying to do what’s safe, and we are trying to do it with a little bit of force. I have to say, the strings sound absolutely sensational and so does the piano soloist,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director of the Fitton Center.

The broadcast itself, along with a special video segment of the program, will honor the legacy of Maestro Paul John Stanbery, Butler Philharmonic Orchestra’s longtime conductor, who recently passed away in February after a long battle with oral cancer.

“Paul was such an incredible force. There were so many things that he did to bring the arts to Southwest Ohio. There’s just no way to pay a proper tribute, but we’re certainly going to try. There will be some speakers who will talk about their experiences with Paul, and in addition to that, there will be some film clips of the orchestra, playing some of Paul’s pieces. One of the first pieces he wrote for the orchestra will be highlighted in the tribute,” Woodard said.

Community members may view the event at no charge.

“We have a long-standing artistic partnership with the Butler Philharmonic Orchestra, and before that, obviously, the Hamilton Fairfield Symphony Orchestra, and we wanted to see that continue as did they. This was an opportunity to keep that conversation going and to offer a performance, but to take that online. Obviously, we couldn’t have an audience, which is disappointing, but we all understand why, so we still wanted to keep that alive,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

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