Warren Gerds – Critic at Large Review: Chanticleer is met with cheers, then earns them

Don’t miss Warren Gerds – Critic at Large 5-star review of Civic Music’s October 4 Chanticleer concert. The review was published the morning after the concert.

Without having sung a note, the vocal group Chanticleer was cheered Friday night as the 12 men walked out on stage at Ralph Holter Auditorium of Green Bay West High School. The cheers were a rarity for a formal concert and certainly for the host Brown County Civic Music Association. It’s a great way to kick start performers. The effect that has on the group, in my imagination: “Whoa, the crowd is ready. We’re liked. Let’s roll.”

And roll Chanticleer did in an exquisite concert (5 stars out of 5) steeped in precision and finesse….

Read the complete review available on WBAY’s We Are Green Bay site.

Warren Gerds, Critic-at-Large

warren-gerdsSince the retirement of Warren Gerds, extended press releases, concert notices and concert reviews of fine arts performances have been noticeably absent from the pages of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. However, we have been informed of some good news;  Warren has accepted a part time position as “Critic-at-Large” at WFRV Channel 5.

You may read his blog at www.wfrv.com by clicking on “Entertainment” and looking for his articles. The first posting was on June 4th and was a review of the Civic Music Brass-E5 concert. Warren will appear on TV on Thursdays during the 6-7 p.m. news and occasionally on Sunday mornings leading into CBS Sunday Morning. We are so pleased to know that the Fine Arts in the Green Bay area will once again get some well-deserved publicity and attention in the media. Thank you, Warren!

Sousa Reigns Triumphant

Unless you searched online, you probably missed Warren Gerds’ review of Keith Brion & his New Sousa Band.  However, if you read the complete article about the St. Norbert football team’s season opener (‘Dublin Friday Night Lights’), you may have caught mention that local concert reviews ran on the Press- Gazette website.  But if you missed it, here is the link. In a nutshell, Civic Music’s season opener was a winner!

Review: Soloists spice New Sousa Band concert for Civic Music
View the contents on www.greenbaypressgazette.com.

Obvious from the buzz and the smiles, audience members were delighted by the retro concert as they conversed with our guest musicians at the post-concert reception at Titletown Brewing Co. Sousa musicians praised Civic Music’s good fortune to have booked the Calefax Reed Quintet for our next concert and raved about the talents of the musicians in the group.

Press Gazette: Zilberstein central in rare set of concerts

Warren Gerds article about this weekend’s concerts:
View the complete article on www.greenbaypressgazette.com.

By Warren Gerds | wgerds@greenbaypressgazette.com | Oct. 28, 2011

Acclaimed pianist Lilya Zilberstein will perform three concerts in three days in a highly unusual arrangement for Northeastern Wisconsin.

Born in Moscow and today a resident of Hamburg, Germany, Zilberstein proved popular in previous engagements in this area.

Brown County Civic Music Association and the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra cooperated in putting together the coming visit.

Press Gazette: Milwaukee Symphony zesty in Russian program

Concert review
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
4 stars out of 4

By Warren Gerds wgerds@greenbaypressgazette.com

“Happy Russian composers” may seem contradictory, but that was the tone of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s concert Sunday night at Ralph Holter Auditorium of  Green Bay West High School. The concert of spirit and zest closed the 2010-2011 season for Brown County Civic Music Association.

From the opening, brilliant moments of Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture” to the aural panoramas of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Capriccio Italien” at the end, the program was dominated by exuberance. Shostakovich’s “Symphony No. 9” playfully scampered in the opening movement. Driving rhythms grew faster and faster in later movements, with conductor Stuart Chafetz driving the frenzy. The program’s style was right down the alley for Chafetz, who likes to interact with the audience and toss hints. In the midst of a piece, he’ll strike a grand, smiling pose as if to tell the audience, “I’m having a great time, and you should, too.”  For Mikhail Glinka’s overture to “Russlan and Ludmilla,” Chafetz lept to the podium and into action. Music often swirled as it bookended passages of regal bearing.

Familiarity was the mark of selections in the second half. Included was the gliding suite from Tchaikovsky’s “The Sleeping Beauty.” Reinhold Gliere’s “Russian Sailor’s Dance” was laced with such boisterous color that it was easy to envision dancers dipping to deep knee bends followed by dramatic kicks. Chafetz introduced “Capriccio Italien” with flair: “A Russian writing about Italy – It’s so good you can taste the clothing.” Indeed, Tchaikovsky got caught up in  majesty, happiness and romance.

Chafetz and the rock solid orchestra immediately received a standing ovation. Chafetz was called back twice. That brought a sweet encore, French composer Maurice Jarre’s “Lara’s Theme.” While not of Russian birth, the music is from the Russian-rooted “Dr. Zhivago” novel and movie. And beautiful.

Press Gazette: New season includes collaboration

by Warren Gerds • greenbaypressgazette.com • April 21, 2011

Action started when Brown County Civic Music Association booked famed pianist Lilya Zilberstein for a concert with her sons.

Zilberstein asked Roger Bintz, who books performances for Civic Music, if any other local organization might be interested in presenting her to make her flight from Hamburg, Germany, more cost-efficient.

Bintz lives four doors away from Mike Stefiuk, executive director of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra. Bingo.

Civic Music will present Zilberstein in concert with her sons on Nov. 11.

The Green Bay Symphony will feature Zilberstein as guest artist in its Nov. 12 concert.

Visit the Green Bay Press Gazette’s site for Warren Gerds’ complete introduction to the 2011-2012 season schedule.

Press-Gazette: Imani Winds to play for Brown County Civic Music Association

greenbaypressgazette.com • March 18, 2011

Imani Winds, a New York-based wind quintet, will make its first appearance before a Brown County Civic Music Association audience March 26 at Green Bay West High School.

Imani means “faith” in Swahili.

The Grammy-nominated group will present repertoire spanning European, American, African and Latin American traditions along with wind arrangements of music composed by Felix Mendelssohn, Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky.

Speaking from the stage, members will introduce their program, their personnel and their projects.

Read the complete article at:

Press Gazette:Tamburitzans stir up splashy swirls of energy

By Warren Gerds • greenbaypressgazette.com • November 7, 2010

Dazzling bursts of energy, songs that haunt, and humor and elaborately costumed folk exotica from Eastern Europe. That doesn’t sound like a collegiate performance group. But it is: The amazing Tamburitzans.

The 32-member pride of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh continues to impress in its 74th year.

The troupe’s 35-state tour this season Saturday night stopped at Ralph Holter Auditorium of Green Bay West High School as part of the Brown County Civic Music Association series.

In 25 sections, the students colorfully brought forth songs, dances, looks and emotions of such countries and regions as Croatia, Serbia, Bavaria, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Poland, Russia, Armenia, Ukraine, Hungary, Greece and Moldavia.

Read the complete article at: http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/201011070407/GPG04/11070675