Wednesday, June 7

This week brings some last gasps of the waning season and some enticing summer events. Some are fairly lightweight, but all have certain appeals and charms to offer. We begin with the City of Raleigh Arts Commission’s annual medal of arts presentation. This year, three leading figures in the capital’s arts scene are recognized: Karen Edwards, Randolph Foy and Anne Roberts Packer. It’s a chance to experience some entertainment in Fletcher Opera Theatre for free–and to enjoy a reception that puts most such repasts thoroughly in the shade.

City of Raleigh Arts Commission: 22nd Annual Medal of Arts Awards Ceremony, with Waltye Rasulala, emcee. Fletcher Opera Theater, Raleigh. 7 p.m. Dessert & wine reception. Free. 890-3610.

Friday, June 9

Another neat freebie is the annual “Play with the Pros” concert involving the N.C. Symphony, sponsored by the Town of Cary. These concerts feature short programs by the NCS itself, followed by several numbers in which student and community musicians sit in to play alongside the pros at our state orchestra’s summer home.

Town of Cary: NC Symphony and Amateur/Student Musicians. “Play with the Pros.” Amphitheatre, Regency Park, Cary. 7:30 p.m. Free. 462-2925.

Saturday, June 10

Saturday evening, June 10, brings several appealing events, all overlapping, so you’ll have to pick among them. The Raleigh Ringers hold forth in the N.C. Symphony’s winter home, Meymandi Concert Hall, offering a whole concert without any Christmas carols. This is one of the best handbell groups in the entire country, so they’re well worth a trip. Cary Voices Unlimited, part of the Concert Singers of Cary, offers a “Jazz Meets the Beatles” program at the Cary Senior Center in Bond Park. The Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus presents “Listen to My Heart,” “an emotionally charged journey examining love, loss, hope and promise,” at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh (repeated on June 17 at Binkley Baptist Church in Chapel Hill). And of course Summerfest (previewed in the issue of May 31) continues in Regency Park with the first of this season’s concerts being led by William Henry Curry. H.L. Mencken blasted the South for its lack of culture. Wouldn’t that old Baltimorean be amazed now?

Raleigh Ringers, David Harris, director. Meymandi Concert Hall, Raleigh. 7:30 p.m. In advance $14, seniors/students $12; at the door $16 and $14. 847-7574 or

Cary Voices Unlimited: “Jazz Meets the Beatles.” Cary Senior Center, 120 Maury O’Dell Place, Cary. 7:30 p.m. $15, seniors/students $12. 678-1009 or

Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus. Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, 1801 Hillsborough Street Raleigh. 8 p.m. Suggested donation $15.

Summerfest: Elizabeth Racheva, soprano, Dorrie Casey, mezzo-soprano, and the N.C. Symphony, William Henry Curry, conductor. Music by Williams and Delibes, plus Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and excerpts from Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel. Amphitheatre, Regency Park, Cary. 7:30 p.m. In advance $20, at the gate $22. 733-2750 or

Recommended Reviews

“Brass and Chorus–What a Sound!” by Ken Hoover
On May 20, Maestros Alfred E. Sturgis and Michael Votta Jr. led the N.C. Master Chorale and the N.C. Wind Orchestra through a truly noteworthy concert. All four of the works made good use of this excellent brass and woodwind (and percussion) ensemble and the always-superb chorus.

“A Grand Finale for N.C. Symphony”
by John W. Lambert
Brahms and three short 20th-century works capped the orchestra’s Durham, Chapel Hill and Matinee Masterworks series. The program served as a reminder of why it’s so important to expend the energy, time and resources it takes to keep large symphonic ensembles afloat…. Orchestral music played with dedication and skill is something else again.

At you can find…
Complete classical music and dance calendar listings for North Carolina
Complete series information • Concert and dance reviews
Links to classical music and dance organizations • Feature articles
Reviews of CDs, DVDs and books on classical music
Comprehensive theater coverage–reviews, openings and links