Uncategorized

New Visitors Center on plaza seeks to demystify Chautauqua

New Visitors Center on plaza seeks to demystify Chautauqua

With a primary mission to welcome, assist, educate and demystify Chautauqua for the one-third of seasonal visitors who are on the grounds for the first time, the Institution has opened a new Visitors Center in the Post Office Building on Bestor Plaza.

George Murphy, vice president and chief marketing officer, said research with visitors revealed two main issues which the new Visitors Center is designed to address.

“First, we found there are far more first-time visitors — up to one-third of those on the grounds at any point in the season — than we thought,” he said. “Secondly, these visitors knew less than we thought about Chautauqua. We felt we had to do more to assist them.”

Tewell to reflect on elegant universe

Tewell to reflect on elegant universe

The Rev. Thomas K. Tewell, executive director of Faith-Based Ministries for Atlanta’s Cousins Foundation and Week One chaplain-in-residence, begins his exploration of “Our Elegant Universe” with a sermon on “The Crown of God’s Creation” at the 10:45 a.m. Sunday Service of Worship in the Amphitheater.

An ordained Presbyterian minister for more than 35 years, Tewell will also preach Monday through Friday at the 9:15 a.m. Devotional Hour, also in the Amphitheater. His topics will include, “Why?,” “The Junk Man,” “God’s Price Tags,” “The Two Greatest Days of Your Life” and “The Strange Case of Arabella Young.”

Tewell first heard about Chautauqua Institution while growing up in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mt. Lebanon.

CSO Musicians Brown Bag to shine spotlight on ‘unusual’ instruments

CSO Musicians Brown Bag to shine spotlight on ‘unusual’ instruments

Nobody wants to be the third wheel, but being the third wind has its perks.

A score may call for two flutes and a piccolo, two oboes and an English horn. The third winds are specialty instruments, and for Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra musicians Kathryn Levy and Jason Weintraub, they also open up solo opportunities unavailable to other voices in the ensemble.

String bassist Peter Haas, although not a third wind, will represent an instrument less standardized than other members of the string family, which includes the violin, viola and cello.

At 12:15 p.m. today in Smith Wilkes Hall, the Symphony Partners will sponsor the second Meet the CSO Musicians Brown Bag of the season. The theme will be “Unusual Instruments” and will spotlight the instruments’ sounds and the technique of playing them.

For regret-free writer-in-residence, another shot at life

For regret-free writer-in-residence, another shot at life

Joe Kita didn’t make his high school basketball team.

It’s like the Bruce Springsteen’s song “Glory Days” — he carried around the regret for 20 years, he said, and then it was time to mend what he lost. At age 40, with permission from his editor at Men’s Health, Kita found himself back in a gym and trying not to be dropped from his team.

After two weeks of tryouts, he made the cut, and after the story was published, he got hundreds of letters from all over the country.

That will be the topic of Kita’s, prose writer-in-residence for Week Four, Brown Bag Lecture, “Have a Regret-Free Life,” at 12:15 p.m. today on Alumni Hall porch.

Ethel pushes boundaries of string quartet

Ethel pushes boundaries of string quartet

Ethel means nothing.

“It’s just a name. And it’s very liberating,” violist Ralph Farris said. “There are so many groups that are ‘Such and Such String Quartet,’ and then they are roped in to being a string quartet. We certainly are a string quartet. We look like a string quartet, we play those instruments, but at the same time, we have traveled down a slightly different path.”

The only label Ethel fits is “post-classical string ensemble,” a loose term. Beyond that, the sky is the limit. The quartet will perform at 4 p.m. today in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall as part of the Logan Chamber Music Series.

Ethel formed in 1998 with a commission by John King to play at the Philadelphia Ballet. The group took the same piece outside of the ballet setting and onto a concert stage. They have been moving from space to space ever since, displacing traditions and conventions as they go.

Wolfe recital blends classical and jazz

Wolfe recital blends classical and jazz

Saxophonist George Wolfe and company will play their brass off in “The Angelic Soprano Saxophone,” from 4 to 5:30 p.m. today in the Hall of Christ. This is the 13th year Ball State saxophonists will perform at Chautauqua.

“We’re presenting a new aspect of the saxophone from a classical point of view,” said Wolfe, a Ball State professor who will be accompanied by some of his students.

The program opens with the late Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla’s “Tango Etude No. 3.” It also includes “Canonic Sonata No. 4” and “Sonate,” by Georg Philipp Telemann, and David Stern’s “Lyrical Concerto for Soprano saxophone and Chamber Orchestra,” which was written for and dedicated to Wolfe. All those pieces will be interpreted by the Ball State saxophonists, led by Wolfe.

CTC’s prop shop to show how they ‘make shabby things sparkle’

CTC’s prop shop to show how they ‘make shabby things sparkle’

A couch is not just a couch to Props Master Vicki Ayers.

Dressed in paint-splattered clothes, Ayers recalled her days spent reupholstering the couch so it would match the Georgian and Colonial look of The Philadelphia Story. It now sits completed on stage.

“What I like most are the individual little jobs … like the couch,” Ayers said. “It was a hard job, but I love being able to take something that looks absolutely crappy, put a couple of days’ work into it, and then … I get to say, ‘I did that.’ ”

The props for Chautauqua Theater Company’s The Philadelphia Story are one of many design elements on display during the Behind-the-Scenes tour at 1 p.m. today in Bratton Theater. Production Manager Katie McCreary, with her production team and a few of the design fellows of CTC’s conservatory, will be on hand to answer questions about the show’s production.