For the ninth consecutive year, the Duke Symphony Orchestra is taking its show on the road to raise money for Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s Healing Arts Program and the Keyserling Cancer Center.
Some 60 musicians from the prestigious North Carolina university will travel to Beaufort to perform a benefit concert March 31 in the Arts Center at Beaufort High School.
“Everybody loves this trip,” said Duke Orchestra Director Harry Davidson. “The only students who miss this concert are seniors who have job interviews.”
During their whirlwind weekend visit, the young musicians stay in the homes of area residents. They have a chance to visit the historic downtown and attend a post-concert reception in the home of an alumnus.
“This is a great event all the way around,” said Beaufort resident and 1966 Duke University School of Law graduate D.C. Gilley, who has served as host to the conductor since the first concert was presented in 2004. “The students love to come to Beaufort, residents enjoy the performance and we raise money for our community hospital.”
This year, Gilley and his wife Nancy were selected to be the first honorary chairs of the event—one of
Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation’s biggest annual fundraisers. It was at a surprise party for Nancy that Foundation Executive Director Alice Moss met Davidson and came up with the idea for the benefit concert.
“It’s been great on so many levels,” Moss said. “The energy these young musicians bring to the community makes it a truly magical event.”
Over the years, the popular fundraiser has generated more than $157,000 for the hospital foundation.
During the two-hour concert, the students will play a repertoire of 18th to 20th century symphonic classical works, including Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 in C major. One of the highlights of the 2012 program will be Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 to be performed by sophomore music major Jameson Kuang, winner of Duke University’s 2011-12 Student Concerto Competition.
Once again this year, Beaufort High School’s The Voices will be joining the orchestra on two of the evening’s selections. Directed by Jordan Norris, the 50-member advanced choral group will perform Mozart’s Ave verum corpus and a medley of three songs from Broadway’s hit musical, “Wicked”.
“It’s a fun performance for the students,” Norris said. “They generally are accompanied by a piano, and maybe a drum and guitar. They enjoy hearing how they sound with a full orchestra.”
General admission tickets to the 7 p.m. concert are $35. Patron tickets are $75 and include premium seating and the conductor’s reception following the concert at the home of 1977 Duke graduate William B. Harvey III.
For more information on the concert or to purchase tickets, visit www.bmhsc.org or call 522-5774.