New Hampshire to Athens to Lebanon - not Lebanon, NH
Between the months of September and May you will find Symphony NH musicians and staff in Nashua, Concord, and across the state. During the summer months, in the midst of preparing for the upcoming season, Symphony NH musicians and staff find time to inspire and uplift through exceptional live music across the globe.
After the season concludes, Symphony NH violist Kathleen Kalogeras and her husband Alex, a composer and Professor of Music at Berklee School of Music, travel to Greece, as she has been for the past 19 years, to direct a summer camp for children on the islands of Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Amorgos, and Chios and on the mainland in Athens and Volos as well as a chamber music series created to encourage travel to small and deeply historic towns while enjoying the concert tour. Children attending the camp participate in general music classes and small group classes to play the violin, guitar, and piano, performing concerts throughout the six week session and a formal recital at the end. Kalogeras looks forward to another summer, saying “our summer program and concert series are a mix of music, culture, history, and education. Sitting and listening to a concert is a wonderful way to spend an evening, but the way our music blends with the rich culture of the area creates a more immersive experience for audiences and performers alike.”
The concerts on the tour are set in sites with ancient Byzantine history and culture featuring a variety of musical styles. Last summer, the series hosted a bassoon music festival, sponsored by Alea III, the new music ensemble in residence at Boston University, which included 52 new works composed for bassoon ensembles and including other instruments. For more information about Alea III’s summer work visit www.aleaiii.com.
A thousand miles further east you will find the YES Arts Academy in Erbil, the Kurdish region of Iraq, and Beirut, Lebanon, where Symphony NH Executive Director Marc Thayer will return for his 10th year as faculty, teaching violin. The diplomatic music organization the Association of American Voices, who organizes the program, describes the YES Academy program, launched in 2007, as a program created “to connect and inspire youth in areas of the world that lack opportunities for cultural exchange and dialogue with the United States. The YES Academy program provides high-quality professional training and performances in some of America's great cultural genres, including Broadway, Jazz, Hip Hop & Breakdance, orchestral instruments, and voice, piano and guitar, to inspire and motivate youth artistically and train future teachers and leaders.”
During his time with the Association of American Voices, Thayer taught and worked across four continents from Fiji to Paraguay to Liberia. Despite his busy summer schedule with Symphony NH, Thayer says, “I look forward to returning for my 10th year teaching with the YES Academy because I feel the importance of representing the United States and our people, and sharing our culture with students around the world. I only speak a little Kurdish, but we’re there for the arts, so the collaborative learning and performing is all that matters.”