Allegro Con Brio

About Allegro Con Brio

Allegro Con Brio is a professional orchestra that brings together the Twin Cities' top orchestra musicians who perform in a historically informed style, sometimes on period instruments. Allegro Con Brio performs free concert events that focus on the impact that music has on people¹s physical & emotional health. In addition, the orchestra plays classical and romantic music in the original style that allows the clarity of phrases and musical ideas to come through ­ the way the composers heard it!

Through the Allegro Con Brio concerts, we attempt to make orchestra music more accessible to a wide array of audience members, without presenting a typical "pops" concert. Expect the unexpected when attending an Allegro Con Brio eventŠThe only thing you can count on for sure is that there will be a fabulous professional orchestra on stage! The goal of Allegro Con Brio is to present concerts that help audience members understand how music can impact their daily lives and provide an insight to the energetic world that is within and around each of us.

Information about 2010 Allegro Con Brio Event

Healing Vibrations in Music and Nature
…Symphony #6, "Pastoral" by Beethoven
…watercolor artwork by Kathy Miller, depicting nature scenes
…holistic practitioner, Kay Grace explaining vibrations and energy in the world around us
…and free energy work by volunteer energy healers in the Twin Cities.

Presenting Beethoven Symphony #6 in a style rarely heard in the last century, on original instruments, which includes gut strings instead of metal, and 200 year old wind instruments. Playing in the 19th century style, which includes very little vibrato and bringing out small phrases. It will sound like a new piece, so different and radical - the way the composer intended! This amazing concert also includes a talk by holistic practitioner Kay Grace who uses sound vibrations to heal. She will talk about how sound and music have a physical and emotional effect on the listener. Sound healing is a form of energy medicine or vibrational therapy designed to have a measurable effect on organs and tissues as well as brainwave activity, which changes the way a person feels, functions and responds. It is based on vibrational frequencies. Everything in the universe is made of energy, which vibrates at its own unique speed or frequency. Vibrations of sound naturally exist in nature which will be highlighted by the artwork of nature by a Twin Cities watercolor artist, Kathy Miller, in the lobby. Kathy uses light in her work to depict the 'vibrations' of nature. Beethoven understood the power of nature and its healing attributes as heard in his Pastoral Symphony. Music comes from our natural world and sound frequencies follow the natural laws of physics.

In addition, local energy healers will be available if anyone in the audience would be interested in experiencing energetic vibrations.

Information on Allegro Con Brio 2007
The 5th Annual Allegro Con Brio event explored how music creates magic and what the two art forms have in common. Audience members experienced the thrill of live orchestra music and the wonder of magic throughout the entire evening.

"The Magic of Music"
Friday, June 22, 2007
Wayzata Community Church
William Stuber, conductor and artistic director
Michael Carrington, magician

Mozart: The Magic Flute Overture
Schubert: Symphony #8, "Unfinished"
Mozart: Symphony #41, "Jupiter"

The Magic of Music
by William Stuber & Michael Carrington
Magic is the art of entertaining an audience by performing illusions that baffle and amaze, often by giving the impression that something impossible has been achieved - almost as if the performer had magical or supernatural powers. Yet, this illusion of magic is created entirely by natural means. The British occultist Dion Fortune once said magic is the art of changing consciousness at will. When we listen to music, our conscious minds may be reminded of another place or time in our lives, we may think of a color or smell, or we may just feel ourselves relax without knowing it or knowing why it happened.

Music, as we all need to remind ourselves, is not the notes written on a piece of paper. Tonight's selections are masterpieces composed by two of the most brilliant musicians in the rich history of western music; yet on paper these pieces are dead. Only through the "magic" of live performance in front of an audience do the notes come alive and create music. Yes, the listener plays a crucial role in this trifecta of composer, performer(s) and audience. The audience's relationship to the music is critical because the act of listening is an active role - not passive - and the thoughts and emotions experienced by the listeners directly affect the performers. The music is only created, or recreated, in live performance - each performance creates another magical experience that is unique and can never be repeated. It is lost forever. That is what makes the live art of music so magical - it is truly "in the moment"! It can take on a life and a power of its own, transcending time and transforming lives. You see, the audience's and performers' active influence on the composition is what creates the music - and the magic!

What do music and magic have in common? First of all, they both start with the letter "M" and end in "IC". Both have five letters. They are both considered art forms and require practice and dedication in order to develop the proper skills to perform. They are both art forms that can be pursued as a hobby or profession. Though one can teach oneself in either of these art forms, it is best to study with a teacher. Robert McKee, the renowned creative writing instructor wrote, "Craft (or art) is the sum total of all means used to draw the audience into deep involvement, to hold that involvement, and ultimately to reward it with a moving and meaningful experience."
This quote fully describes what we try to accomplish in both magic and music.

Magic requires the audience to think. Of course their minds are active trying to figure out "How did this just happen?" or "Where did that just come from?". Listening to a classical concert is quite similar in that we do ask the audience to be engaged … think ... listen attentively. "Where did that sound just come from? Aha ... didn't I hear that melody played earlier but by a different instrument? Isn't that a variation on something I just heard in the previous movement ...?" A similarity exists from the visual standpoint. We watch magic with our eyes. Attending a concert is a visual experience as well. We love to watch the performers ... watch their movement … their reactions.

The orchestra conductor is very much like a magician. Nothing occurs until he points his baton .... (the equivalent to the magician's magic wand). The conductor, like the magician, takes control and creates the illusion set forth by the composer.

And of course timing, or tempo, is crucial to both art forms. Speaking of timing, it's time to sit back, listen, watch and enjoy the show that you have to see to believe!

Michael Carrington's interest in magic began at the age of 6 when he received his first magic set as a Christmas gift. Bitten by the magic bug, he continued this interest as a hobby until he was 13. At that point, Michael began performing publicly for his church youth groups, birthday parties, friends and family. He continued honing his craft by studying with magician Eugene Burger in Chicago, who is considered by many to be one of the finest close-up magicians here and abroad. During that time Michael was the magician for the long-running show "Fun Stuff", which was a popular Chicago event for families. He has also performed on cruise ships and worked close-up magic in Las Vegas.

Michael's artistic talents go beyond the realms of magic. In the Chicago area, he is better known to audiences as Michael Folker, percussionist for the past 25 years. He is principal percussionist with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater, and The Joffrey Ballet Orchestra, and is also a member of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta and Lake Forest Symphony. Michael has performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony and the Milwaukee Symphony as well. Additionally, he has performed with pop groups including The Moody Blues, Kansas, and Styx as well as classical performers such as Luciano Pavarotti. Most recently he performed with Grammy-award singer Celine Dion for an ABC-televised special entitled, "Concert for World Children's Day". Michael has degrees from Indiana University and DePaul University. In addition to performing, he is the director of percussion at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn and associate instructor of percussion at Wheaton College.

Information on Allegro Con Brio 2006
On June 23, 2006, Allegro Con Brio presented the 4th Annual Allegro Con Brio event "All That Jazz."
William Stuber, conductor and artistic director
Colton Peltier, 11-year-old pianist
Connie Evingson, jazz singer

The evening featured 11-year-old pianist Colton Peltier and local jazz singer Connie Evingson. The event explored jazz influences found in orchestra music. Colton Peltier is described by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra as a "phenomenal young pianist" and has won numerous awards in competitions across the state including Honorable Mention at the Walgreens National Concerto Competition at Midwest Young Artists and First place in the MN State Fair Preteen Amateur Talent Contest.

"All That Jazz" from Chicago
"They All Laughed" from Shall We Dance?
Gershwin: Walking the Dog
Stravinsky: Scherzo a la Russe
Grofe: Mississippi Suite, joined by Philharmonic from the Allegro Orchestra Camp
Ives: Ragtime Dances
Milhaud: The Creation of the World
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

Information on Allegro Con Brio 2005
On June 17, 2005, Allegro Con Brio Presented the 3rd Annual Allegro Con Brio festival "Mind-Body Connection… exploring what music ignites, not only for audiences, but also for musicians."
William Stuber, conductor and artistic director
Stephanie Wendt, renowned pianist
Matthew Stanford, yoga instructor, author, founder of Mind Body Solutions, a non-profit organization

The evening featured renowned pianist Stephanie Wendt performing the Grieg Piano Concerto. The concert included Brahms' Symphony #1, and a side-by-side performance with the advanced students from Allegro's Orchestra Camp performing Weber's Der Freischutz Overture. Attendees learned about the parallel benefits of music and yoga at event. Using Sanford as the thread linking the music together, the audience was able to incorporate Sanford's health and wholeness teachings into their listening and consciously experience a mind-body connection throughout the concert. Sanford, paralyzed since age 13 in a car accident, helped audience members see how music can serve as a rich part of life.
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