Symphony Apparel

For Sale – Cascade Symphony Apparel!

Re-Revised Apparel Order Form Public-050618

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Chamber Music at the Chamber of Commerce (Edmonds)

David Tan, cello, and Helen Lee, flute, performed at the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce on September 12th as part of the Cascade Symphony Orchestra presentation at the weekly Chamber breakfast.

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Program Notes – October Concert

Light Cavalry Overture

Franz von Suppe

Born – April 18, 1819, in Split, Croatia
Died – May 21, 1895, in Vienna, Austria

This overture from the operetta, Leichte Kavallerie, was debuted on March 21, 1866 at the Carltheater in Vienna.   

Born to Belgian and Czech parents in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, Franz von Suppe was raised Italian.  With opera giants Rossini, Verdi, and Donizetti as inspiration, he composed over 30 light operas, nearly one per year during the 1850’s and 60’s.

With its military title and the debut a little too soon after a major Austrian military defeat, this comic opera never became popular, though the overture was a hit.  Featured in a Mickey Mouse cartoon, “Symphony Hour,” in 1942, it has since motivated many similar themes on television.

The overture opens with a triumphant fanfare of trumpets. Muted French horns enter in a minor key, suggesting a darker character.  Harmonic tension and nervous tremolo in the strings leads to a full display of military bravado, although something ominous lingers. Staccato brass and busy strings set a quicker tempo, eventually developing into an exuberant gallop. After a few clashes the tempo winds down and a clarinet cadenza introduces a distinctly Magyar theme. The cavalry marches across the plains of Hungary, and the piece concludes with a victorious restatement of the gallop.


Violin Concerto, Op 47 in D minor

Jean Sibelius

Born – December 8, 1865 in Hämeenlinna, Finland
Died – September 20, 1957 in Järvenpää, Finland

Sibelius conducted the first version of this concerto on February 8, 1904 in Helsinki, with violinist, Victor Nováček, and the Orchestra of the Helsinki Philharmonic Society.

The revised version premiered in Berlin the following year with Czech virtuoso, Karl Halir, and Richard Strauss conducting the Berlin Philharmonic. 

Sibelius dreamed of becoming a great violin virtuoso but realized that he’d begun studying the instrument far too late (at age 14), so he turned to orchestral composition.Perhaps nostalgia for his lost dream contributed to the dark and somber mood of this singular concerto.

Although this is one of the few works by Sibelius that does not reference a specific Nordic scene, it glows with “the sonorous half-lights of autumn and winter”, and the tremulous opening strain of the solo violin against the rustle of wind in the strings evokes the glassy tundra.

Unlike other Romantic concertos, there is not much dialog between the soloist and the orchestra. Sharp contrasts in the first movement accentuate the continuous nature of the concerto, and the cadenza is a pivotal structural moment, not merely an opportunity to demonstrate virtuosity.

The second movement is more serene – though melancholy, with notes of longing in drawn out octave passages.  The jagged, aggressive third movement finishes with a flurry of double stops and ever-present timpani.


Symphony No.1 in G Minor

Vasily Kalinnikov

Born – January 13, 1866, Oryol, Russia
Died – January 11, 1901, Yalta, Ukraine

Kalinnikov established his reputation with this symphony on February 20, 1897 at a Russian Musical Society concert in Kiev, conducted by Vinogradsky. 

The music of Kalinnikov is not often performed outside his native Russia.

Unable to afford the tuition at the Moscow Conservatory, Kalinnikov completed his music studies at the less prestigious Moscow Philharmonic Society Music School.  In 1892, impressed with Kalinnikov’s conducting at the Italian Opera in Moscow,Tchaikovsky secured a conducting position for him at the Maly Theater; but due to deteriorating health, Kalinnikov left after only a few months. Relying on the good will of friends to help with expenses, he moved to the milder climate of coastal Yalta in Crimea and continued to compose. He died of tuberculosis just twodays before his 35th birthday.

Reminiscent of Tchaikovsky and Borodin, the first symphony has a truly Russian sound. With a striking unison of strings at the beginning and a surprising fugue in the development, the first movement bursts withenergy.  A sleepless night, when “the silence itself seems to vibrate,” inspired the second movement, wherein a repeating theme for violin and harp forms a misty backdrop for a simple, lonely melody.  The third movement blends folk-tunes in the style of a Dvorak Slavonic dance; and like a long-awaited homecoming, the finale calls to mind the previous movements, with bits and pieces of melodies masterfully woven together.

Program notes by Caroline Faflak


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Cascade Percussion Ensemble

On a beautiful and warm afternoon on Tuesday, July 17th, the Cascade Percussion Ensemble, directed by Ian Alvarez, performed a one hour concert at the Hazel Miller Plaza in downtown Edmonds 

Ian Alvarez, Curt Cheever, Ryan Templin, Roni Flynn and Storm Benjamin played xylophones, marimbas and vibraphone for the concert.

The Cascade Percussion Ensemble was founded in 1995 by Ian Alvarez. The original members were Percussionists from The Cascade Symphony and Cascade Youth Symphony Orchestras along with outstanding High School Students from The Edmonds and Northshore School Districts. Their concert schedule in the early years had them performing with The University Of Washington, Seattle University, The Olympic Ballet, The Edmonds Percussion Symposium, Musicworks Northwest, The Cascade Youth Symphony, The Cascade Symphony and Live on King FM.

Today the group is based at Edmonds United Methodist Church where they perform an annual Christmas Concert, The Cascade Symphony Chamber Music Concert, and a Summer Concert of New Music with The Octava Chamber Orchestra. The Cascade Percussion Ensembles Performance Schedule usually has them playing with The CSO, CYSO, Sno-King Chorale, Pacifica Chamber Orchestra, Octava Chamber Orchestra, and sharing a Concert with a University Percussion Ensemble. Outstanding High School Percussionists are regularly included in performances with the group to encourage continued leadership in their school music programs.

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David Dolacky, Narrator, Holiday Pops! and Children’s Concerts

David Dolacky will again be the narrator for this season’s  Holiday Pops! and Children’s Concerts.

The role of announcer is familiar territory for Dave. In Seattle he was an on-air personality for KISW-FM, KVI, and from 1980 to 2000 a news and talk show host for KIRO Radio & Television. He continues to use his voice talent as a Master of Ceremony for various performance and fund raising events, as well as doing voice-over work.  Beginning in September, 2004, Dave, an Edmonds resident for over 35 years, spent two years as a technical advisor for the new Edmonds Center for the Arts and is thrilled to have the opportunity to perform on the stage he helped create.

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George Steward, Trumpet Soloist, Holiday Pops!

George Steward, in his 12th year as Principal Trumpet of the Cascade Symphony Orchestra, will perform Rafael Mendez’s La Virgen de la Macarena at this year’s Holiday Pops! concert.

George Steward is a trumpet performer and private instructor. He earned a Bachelor of Music at Wheaton College Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music at Yale University School of Music. While at Yale he received the Keith Wilson Scholarship for Outstanding Wind Player and earned Honorable Mention in the concerto competition. He has studied trumpet with Terry Schwartz at Wheaton, Ross Beacraft of Chicago Brass Quintet, William Scarlett of Chicago Symphony, Robert Nagel of New York Brass Quintet and trumpet professor at Yale, and David Gordon of Seattle Symphony.

George has soloed with a number of ensembles, including Wheaton Summer Symphony (IL), Central Connecticut State University Chamber Orchestra, Clinton Symphony (IA), as well as other high school, college, and community bands. Locally, George has been featured soloist with: Everett Philharmonic, Thalia Symphony, Octava Chamber Orchestra, Rainier Symphony, Skagit Symphony, Sammamish Symphony, Northwest Wind Symphony, Everett Symphony, Cascade Symphony, Mukilteo Community Orchestra, Philharmonia Northwest, Eastside Symphony, Brass Band Northwest, Boeing Employees Concert Band, and Whatcom Wind Ensemble.

He is principal trumpet with Everett Philharmonic, Cascade Symphony, and Octava Chamber Orchestra. He is also a member of North Corner Chamber Orchestra and Lake Washington Symphony. George is a member of the Brass Reflections quintet. He has performed with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Bellevue Philharmonic, Symphony Tacoma, Northwest Sinfonietta, Yakima Symphony, and many other groups throughout the Northwest.

George has been collaborating with other performers in unusual chamber ensembles, notably a trumpet/guitar duet with Meredith Connie. With Jameson Bratcher, he recently premiered Three Inventions for Trumpet and Tuba, written for him by Richard Vitzhum.

Recently, George received training in Sweden to teach the Suzuki method for trumpet. He was in the first group of U.S. teachers to get this training, and the only teacher in Washington State.  He loves teaching beginners to advanced and adult students. This training gives him the tools to work with beginners as young as four years old.

Information on upcoming performances and George’s teaching studio can be found at

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David Brewer, Tuba Soloist, Children’s Concert – February 9, 2019

David Brewer, the Rick Steves Principal Tuba for Cascade symphony for 24 years, will perform Tubby the Tuba at this season’s Children’s Concert.

Since elementary school, David Brewer has played a variety of brass instruments in different types of ensembles, from stage bands to orchestras.  He currently is the Cascade Symphony’s tubist, having played tuba and bass trombone with them for 23 years.  He also is in his 37thyear with Orchestra Seattle and is a charter member of the Olympic Brass Ensemble, a brass quintet, founded in 1995.

Over the years he has played with a number of orchestras including: Bellevue Philharmonic, Federal Way Philharmonic, Philharmonia Northwest, Seattle Philharmonic and Thalia Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with Edmonds and Shoreline community colleges and the British brass bands: Brass Band Northwest and Puget Brass.

David graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in Music, Music Education and Computer Science where he performed with and was the undergraduate assistant for the Husky Marching Band.

He is a retired Software Engineer for The Boeing Company.

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Yesong Sophie Lee, Violin Soloist, October 22, 2018

At the age of 12, Yesong Sophie Lee won First Prize at the 2016 Menuhin International Junior Violin Competition in London.  After her Berlin debut, Kultur Radio, Berlin wrote:

“Yesong Sophie Lee plays with an intense sound, as one who has played Bach for decades. Her seriousness and density of expression is amazing…one is almost reminded of Yehudi Menuhin… a huge talent.”

Her London debut brought praises from major newspapers:

“In Summerfrom Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, she showed poise right from the slow introduction and led the orchestra with remarkable assurance. She displayed a fine sense of line and had all the colours needed for the tone-painting essential in this music.” The Telegraph, London “… her composure was remarkable. Her playing was silk-toned, notable especially for the intensity it maintained even at the furthest tip of the bow, and a real homage to Menuhin in the way her vibrato extended seamlessly from note to note… The Guardian, London

“[I] was very impressed by her performance…she oozed confidence and ability, both musical and technical.”  Early Music Review, London

Ms. Lee’s other accolades include receiving the Composer’s Award at the Menuhin Competition for her performance of the newly commissioned work, Shpigl, by Oscar Colomina i Bosch, winning First Prize in MTNA’s 2015 National Junior Strings Competition, and soloing with the Seattle Symphony at age eight, having made her orchestral debut at the age of seven. She has been featured on NPR’s From the Top, and also played at their fundraiser concert in Boston.

Since winning the Menuhin Competition, she has soloed with London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, Berlin’s Konzerthaus Orchestra, and made a recital tour of the UK in 2016. The following spring, Ms. Lee performed a recital at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival in Switzerland, and participated in the final concert of the Violin Master Classes at the Kronberg Academy in Germany.

Highlights of the 2017-2018 seasons include performing the Bach Double Concerto with Joshua Bell and the Richmond Symphony, soloing with the Seattle Symphony and the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande in Switzerland, giving a recital in Geneva, and in the same festival playing a duo composed by and performed with Henning Kraggerud. In April, she will be appearing in the University of Washington Rising Star Series.

Yesong Sophie Lee is an 8th-grader at Heatherwood Middle School in Mill Creek. She started violin at the age of four with Jan Coleman. She currently studies with Simon James and studio coach, Hiro David. She also feels very fortunate for having worked with Igor Ozim, Ana Chumachenco, Jamie Laredo, Robert Lipsett, James Ehnes, and Augustin Hadelich.

Her other interests include reading, drawing, riding her bike and playing with her brother Benjamin

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Jessica Choe, Piano Soloist, January 14, 2019

Korean American pianist Jessica Choe began her musical studies at the age of 3 in Seoul, Korea where she was a prize winner in several national piano competitions including the Samick National Piano Competition, the Korea Daily Times Piano Competition and the Korean Department of Education Music Competition.  After immigrating to the US at the age of nine, she performed throughout the continental United States in such halls as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, Lincoln Center and the Barns at Wolf Trap.

Jessica has won numerous awards in the US including the Beethoven Society of America Piano Competition, the Baldwin Competition, the Henbest Piano Competition, the Bartok-Kabelevsky International Piano Competition and the Steinway Society Piano Competition.  She was a finalist in the National Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition. Jessica was also the recipient of the 2004 Presser Foundation Career Development Award.

In the 2003, Jessica made her European debut at Fondation Bemberg in Toulouse, France, and her New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall, both under the auspices of La Gesse Foundation.  Jessica has performed solo recitals in France, Italy, Switzerland, San Marino in such halls as Teatro Concordia, I Tatti, and Salle Frank Martin.

An avid chamber musician, she has performed on the Chamber Music series of the Seattle Symphony, Vashon Chamber Series, Mostly Nordic Series, Music of Remembrance and Chamber Music San Juans.   Recently, she has collaborated with Philippe Quint, Alexei Lubimov, Maya Iwabuchi, Joseph Swensen, Eric Jacobsen amongst others.

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Music from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Music from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Herbert Stessin, Benjamin Pasternack and Eleanor Sokoloff.

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Nathan Chan, Cello soloist, March 11, 2019

 Cellist Nathan Chan discovered his talent for music at an early age through conducting. Before he was two, he could emulate the styles of conductors he saw on music videos such as Seiji Ozawa, Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein, using a chopstick as a baton. As a toddler, his imitations were so intuitively musical that he caught the attention of San Francisco Opera Assistant Conductor Sara Jobin. Under her eye, he made his debut as a conductor at age three, leading the San Jose Chamber Orchestra in a set of Mozart variations, despite not yet being able to read music. This was followed by a guest appearance with the Palo Alto Philharmonic a year later, conducting the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Initially drawn to the sounds of low strings, he began formal music lessons with cellist Irene Sharp at age five. He later studied with Sieun Lin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Nathan Chan has performed as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, Albany Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, and Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra, working with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin, James Gaffigan, Donato Cabrera, Alexander Prior, Alasdair Neale, Edwin Outwater, Laura Jackson, and David Allen Miller, among others.

He also participated in the Emmy-award winning NPR program From The Top and NPR’s Performance Today with Fred Child. In 2009, he was featured in The World’s Greatest Musical Prodigies, a three-part British series documenting a global search for talented musicians, in which Nathan and three other performers gave the world premiere of the Velesslavista Quadruple Concerto, composed by Alexander Prior. Mr. Chan has performed benefit concerts for the American Alzheimer’s Association and the Friends of Children with Special Needs, among others. For his contributions to the community, he won the Peninsula Arts Council’s Ray Lorenzato Diamond Arts Award in 2007. In 2006, Nathan Chan appeared in The Music in Me, a documentary that aired on HBO and won the Peabody Award. This program led to a performance in Carnegie Hall and caught the attention of the legendary soul singer Roberta Flack, who invited Nathan to collaborate on her project of Beatles songs for Sony Records.

Nathan Chan was named a 2012 Davidson Fellow for his project entitled, “The Importance of Passion” and was awarded a $25,000 scholarship as part of this prestigious honor. While in New York City, he made his debut in Avery Fisher Hall (now David Geffen Hall) playing Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major and with the Juilliard Orchestra performing Strauss’ Don Quixote as the winner of the 2013 Juilliard Cello Concerto Competition, led by Maestro Leonard Slatkin. In 2015, Mr. Chan was chosen to participate in Classe d’Excellence du Violoncelle with world-renowned cellist Gautier Capuçon in association with Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France. Nathan won the 2015 Aspen Low Strings Concerto Competition playing Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D Major and was a recipient of the 2016 Samuel Mayes Memorial Cello Award at Tanglewood.

Nathan is a strong proponent of using technology and media to attract others into the classical world and is committed to his fast growing Internet presence; to date, he has over 6.8 million views on YouTube. ( He recently joined the Seattle Symphony as their new Third Chair Cello.

Nathan received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics at Columbia University and his Masters of Music with Richard Aaron at The Juilliard School.


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