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April 18: Israel in Egypt

Guest conductor Roupen Shakarian joins OSSCS and soloists Catherine Haight, Sarah Mattox, Zack Finkelstein, Ryan Bede and Ben Grover for a performance of Georg Friderich Handel’s most famous oratorio next to Messiah: Israel in Egypt. Dominated by choruses, Handel’s 1739 work revels in word-painting, most notably in the set pieces describing the plagues of Egypt: buzzing strings represent flies, brass and timpani herald hailstones, and a leaping violin melody mimics frogs.

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Stacey Philipps’ Breathe Premieres May 17

Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers are pleased to announce the winning entry in the 2014–2015 Composer Competition: Breathe by Portland-based composer Stacey Philipps, which will receive its world-premiere performance on our May 17, 2015, subscription concert. A work for chorus and orchestra, Breathe features lyrics drawn from the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Paul Dunbar’s poem “Sympathy.” Written during the months following protests in response to the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, Breathe “raises the continuing question of how this country, founded on the principles of equality, continues to struggle with questions of social justice.”

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May 9: Spring Gala Dinner and Auction

OSSCS will hold its annual Spring Gala Dinner and Auction at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, 2015, at the beautiful 415 Westlake event space near South Lake Union. This festive, Italian-themed event will feature a delicious Italian dinner, dancing, dozens of items and experiences to bid on, a raffle, a dessert dash, a wine treasure trove—and more!

We’ll enjoy live music throughout the evening and be joined by talented actor, auctioneer and MC Matt Smith, whose screen credits include Spider-Man, Sleepless in Seattle, Almost Live!, Outsourced and Northern Exposure. He’s known in Seattle for his humorous monologues My Last Year with the Nuns, My Boat to Bainbridge, Helium and Beyond Kindness. We’re going all out to make this our most exciting gala to date!

If you have an item, experience or service you can donate as an auction item, please use this form to let us know.

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An Invitation from Clinton Smith

Seen any great movies lately? What was your favorite? Today, we see a trend in entertainment: In the movie theaters, there’s Iron Lady and Lincoln. On TV, it’s Mad Men and Downton Abbey. In the opera house, Silent Night and Heart of a Soldier. These dramas capture a moment in time and deliver it to us so that we may relive it. Our 2014–2015 season brings that trend to the concert stage. Together, we will explore important moments in composers’ lives, events in history, the year 1954 and shifts in human destiny.

This season is our 45th, and to celebrate we have expanded our concert series to nine programs, including the addition of a Holiday Pops performance and an afternoon of chamber music. We’ve created two new initiatives: a concerto competition for students and a nationwide competition for composers, which will result in a world premiere in May.

Join us as you, our loyal listeners and supporters, make history together with our incredible musicians and fabulous roster of soloists in this anniversary season.

Clinton Smith
OSSCS Music Director