May 15, 2019
Buoyed by the strong community response to the orchestral concert that opened its 25th anniversary season in 2018, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay music faculty and UW-Green Bay’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, announced today the establishment of the Weidner Center Philharmonic Orchestra.
According to UW-Green Bay Music Program Chair and Associate Professor Randy Meder, the Weidner Philharmonic will showcase the talents of UW-Green Bay music faculty, as well as other accomplished orchestral musicians who live and work in the region, in the outstanding acoustical environment of Cofrin Family Hall.
“UW-Green Bay is proud to make this investment in the culture of our city and region, said Meder. “It’s a privilege to be able to build upon a decades-long tradition of quality professional classical music in our area. We can’t wait to get started!”
The new orchestra makes its home in the UW-Green Bay’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts and is committed to professional presentations of engaging and creative musical programming. The ensemble will serve to fill the musical and cultural void left in the community when the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra ceased operations in 2015.
“As an extension of UW-Green Bay, the orchestra’s mission resonates with the mission of the University,” noted Meder. “The Weidner Philharmonic will be a driver of cultural enrichment for the campus and surrounding community, serve as a laboratory for collaborative scholarship through the curation, direction, and public performance of musical works, offer valuable educational opportunities to UW-Green Bay students in all areas of study, foster diversity and inclusion by selecting works that represent a wide array of musical genres and voices and by building bridges to new orchestral audiences, and embodies the deep value of community-based partnerships by engaging musicians from across Northeast Wisconsin.”
On Wednesday, the Weidner also announced two performances by the orchestra within the next year, one in September and another in February, as part of the Weidner Center’s 2019-20 season lineup. “Our newly established orchestra opens the 2019-2020 season with a symphony composed by Dvorák in 1893,” shared Weidner Center Executive and Artistic Director Kelli Strickland. “This Czech composer came to the ‘new world’ and discovered Native American music and African-American spirituals, which he wove throughout what was to become Symphony No. 9 or the ‘New World Symphony,’ arguably one of the most famous symphonies today. He built a bridge between cultures and time by celebrating the tradition of the western symphony and the musical traditions of underrepresented voices in the classical world. We will extend that bridge even further by bringing a new orchestra to this community to play it.”
“Georgia and I are extremely pleased and excited about the establishment of the Weidner Philharmonic Orchestra,” shared UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller. “This is an important step in the growth of our music program which we believe and hope will be among the best in the country.”
The Artistic Programming Committee of the Weidner Philharmonic is comprised of UW-Green Bay Music faculty members Randy Meder, Kevin Collins, Adam Gaines, Michelle McQuade-Dewhirst, Bill Sallak and Courtney Sherman.
For more information about the Weidner Philharmonic, https://www.weidnercenter.com/weidner-center-philharmonic/.