The Sunday services on March 22 were veritable extravaganzas! Nothing like filling the entire front of the Sanctuary (the entire floor, dais, “choir area” and even some front row pew seats) with an orchestra and extended choir to make it festive. The music was spectacular. It included not only three movements of Mozart’s Coronation Mass interspersed throughout the service, but we were also delighted by the “Adagio” from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major with soloist Steve Loew, and Nick O’Leary’s “First Movement Cadenza” from Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major. The music was so grand it even brought a few tears to some of the congregation.
This wonderful music day was part of the Asheville Amadeus Festival, conceived by the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, with many participating organizations in Asheville. Prior to the festival, Mountain Express reported, “‘You wouldn’t think of a symphony partnering with a brewery, but in Asheville it makes sense,’ says David Whitehill, executive director of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. In fact, for the inaugural Asheville Amadeus Festival — which runs March 17-22 — the symphony teamed up not only with Highland Brewing Co….but also with local groups ranging from N.C. Stage Company and the Asheville Art Museum to the Blue Ridge Orchestra and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville.”
Our music director, Milton Crotts, is well-connected in the Asheville music community, so when he heard about early plans for the Amadeus Festival, he jumped in with both organizations he leads (the Blue Ridge Orchestra and UUCA). That means that we were listed in all promotional literature for the festival (as well as press releases), which resulted in a high number of visitors to our worship services on Sunday morning, there to experience a UU worship service (unusual though it may have been) and great music.
Thanks to Milt for a most amazing experience this past weekend!
A review was written about the concert and posted on the Classical Voice of North Carolina’s (CVNC) website. You can read it here.