South Shore Conservatory’s Evenings Under the Stars concert series kicks off its 20th anniversary season on Saturday, July 9, 7 pm as the Evenings Under the Stars Festival Orchestra and Conductor Nicholas Palmer present Let the Celebration Begin!. Generously sponsored by Hingham Institution for Savings, this is the first of four EUS Saturday evening open air summer concerts in the Jane Carr Amphitheater at One Conservatory Drive, Hingham.
Maestro Palmer, who is celebrating his 20th season conducting the Evenings Under the Stars Festival Orchestra, presents a concert showcasing the best of the orchestra. The celebratory performance opens with Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, complete with offstage brass, then moves to the sublime Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, followed by Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, featuring two-time SSC Concerto Competition Winner Karen Ji of Hingham. The second half continues with the Pops theme an American in Paris (a true orchestra tour de force), the 1812 Overture and of course, Stars and Stripes forever.
Excited about the celebration, Palmer says “I can’t tell you how much this concert means to me! At 20 years it is now the longest ongoing association I’ve ever had with any organization, and one of the most meaningful in my career!” The beautiful Rhapsody in Blue will showcase SSC concerto competition two time winner Karen Ji, student of HuiMin Wang.
This concert begins with an anniversary champagne reception, where guests can mingle with the conductor and Jim Simpson, founder of SSC and EUS. Special amphitheater décor, cake and other surprises await this once in a life time event.
A Hingham native, Palmer is Music Director of the Lafayette Symphony (IN), Dubuque Festival Orchestra (IA), and the recently appointed Music Director of the North Charleston POPS! (SC). A favorite guest conductor in Europe, Mexico and Latin America, Palmer has also led the Europa Philharmonie, Czech Radio Orchestra, San Remo Symphony, West Bohemia Symphony, Sophia Symphony, Milano Classico Orchestra, Lausanne Symphony, the OSSLA and Monterrey Symphony in Mexico, National Orchestra of Bolivia and the Medellin Symphony in Columbia.
Palmer has received rave reviews with the Detroit Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Springfield (MA) Symphony, Tucson Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Salt Lake Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Naples Philharmonic, Jacksonville Symphony and other orchestras across the nation. He has just completed an 18-year tenure as Music Director of the Owensboro Symphony (KY) and prior to that was the Music Director of the Altoona Symphony (PA) and the Dubuque Symphony (IA).
Pianist Karen Ji is a sophomore at Hingham High school. She started her piano studies when she was six, joining HuiMin Wang’s studio at South Shore Conservatory (SSC) at the age of nine. She has been selected to represent the SSC in a variety of musical events including a showcase performance for members from National Guild for Community Arts Education. In 2012 Karen was the second prize winner in the Steinway Society of Massachusetts Annual Piano Competition. She won first place three times at the Talented Young Musicians Association’s Russian Music Competition, each of which included a performance at Carnegie Hall. Over the years, she has not only been awarded several first prizes in both concerto and piano solo competitions at SSC but also earned five overall winner awards. In 2014, Karen was the SSC’s Grand Prize winner of the 26th Annual Concerto Competition which earned her the opportunity to perform a Mozart Concerto No. 21 in C major with the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) under maestro Steven Karidoyanes. Having also won the Grand Prize in the 2016 competition, she performed this March with the PPO, this time the first movement of Schumann’s Concerto in A minor.
Evenings Under the Stars is one of two series in the Conservatory’s diverse Summer Spotlight outdoor summer entertainment. Summer Spotlight also includes fun Wacky Wednesdays family concerts which starts its season on June 29 with Parents’ Choice award winner Karen K & the Jitterbugs. All concerts take place in the Jane Carr Amphitheater at One Conservatory Drive in Hingham, which completely updated its lighting and sound system last year, thanks to Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, a program of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, administered through a collaborative arrangement between MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and individuals who generously donated the matching funds required as part of this grant.
Let the Celebration Begin is sponsored by Hingham Institution for Savings. Conductor Nicholas Palmer is sponsored by Phyllis Godwin/Granite Electric Supply Company.
Other Evenings Under the Stars concerts include Celtic Sojourn with WGBH’s Brian O’Donovan on July 16, The Big Swing: The Music of the Swing Era on July 23, and A Grand Night for Singing: The Music of Rodgers and Hammerstein on July 30.
Tickets for Evenings Under the Stars performances purchased before the day of the concert are $40 for pavilion and $25 for lawn seating. Evenings Under the Stars tickets purchased at the door are $45 for pavilion seating and $30 for the lawn. With the exception of A Celtic Sojourn, cabaret seating for six is available at Evenings Under the Stars concerts for $140 per table, and includes a bottle of wine.
The preconcert champagne reception, at $50 per person, includes onsite parking. Reception attendees who purchase pavilion tickets will sit in a special reserved seating section. There is no charge for children under three. Tickets may be purchased online at www.sscmusic.org/evenings_under_the_stars.html. For more information or to order tickets, visit www.sscmusic.org or call 781-749-7565, ext. 22.
For more information about all South Shore Conservatory programs and events, visit www.sscmusic.org or follow us on Facebook.
About South Shore Conservatory
South Shore Conservatory, (SSC) has been providing access to and enriching the lives of South Shore residents through music and the arts for 45 years. Recognized as a national model for arts education by the National Guild for Community Arts Education, SSC is the largest, not-for-profit, community school for the arts in Massachusetts, serving over 3500 students of all ages and abilities at its two beautiful campuses and in partnership with schools, and social service and community agencies throughout the South Shore. Students participate in more than 50 diverse programs in music, dance and drama, with performance playing an important role in overall education. With more than 100 exceptional musicians on faculty, SSC offers 30 professionally produced concerts annually. Through innovative partnerships, SSC’s Creative Arts Therapies department supports the mental, emotional, and physical health of some of our community’s underserved members, and the ImagineARTS program strengthens pre-reading skills for young learners in Brockton Schools through integrated music and dramatic play. SSC’s campuses are located at One Conservatory Drive, Hingham, (781-749-7565) and 64 St. George Street, Duxbury (781-934-2731). SSC programs are supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. For more information call us, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram or visit www.sscmusic.org.
In keeping with SSC’s inclusive mission to provide access to quality education in the arts for all, the Conservatory offers programs for all segments of the population to enjoy, regardless of age, ability, geography, and financial means. Furthermore, South Shore Conservatory admits students and families of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.