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  • Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra To Host its First Gala: “A Masked Ball” And Award its First PSO Music Educator Award

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    October 10, 2017
    Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra To Host its First Gala:  “A Masked Ball”
    And Award its First PSO Music Educator Award
    A Night of Masked Merriment and Live Symphony to Promote Music Education
     PORTSMOUTH, N.H.--The Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra (PSO) – a community orchestra committed to contributing high-quality, accessible symphonic music to the seacoast  -- will host an evening of masked merriment and live orchestral music to celebrate music education at its first annual gala, "A Masked Ball," on Saturday, October 28, 2017, and present its first 2017 PSO Music Educator Award.  The award will be given to an exemplary N.H. seacoast area music teacher who has positively impacted the community through music. At the gala fundraiser, Music Director John Page will lead the PSO in the fittingly-spooky "Night on Bald Mountain" by Modest Mussorgsky from Disney's film "Fantasia" and "Danse Macabre" by Camille Saint-Saens. The event, held from 7-10 p.m. in The Crystal Atrium at Service Credit Union, 3003 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth, will include a cocktail reception, dinner, PSO performances, raffles, auctions, and PSO and “MyPSO” student performances. Guests can bring their own masks or purchase at the door.  Tickets and a range of sponsorships are available at www.portsmouthsymphony.org:  $50-$75/individual and $850-$1000 for tables of 10. 
    PSO Music Director John Page says, “We are excited to host our first gala and present our first PSO Music Educator Award to a much-deserved recipient who exemplifies excellence in music education and shares our mission of making music accessible to all. This event will help us create awareness of our many programs and performances, such as our 2017 PSO Artist-in-Residence guitarist Randy Armstrong, our many ‘MyPSO’ youth educational outreach programs that reach thousands of seacoast schoolchildren, and our PSO youth virtuoso music competitions.  Although the PSO was established in 1997, many are unaware of our programs and we are taking our mission to the next level, reaching out to educate and engage the seacoast community in enjoying all the PSO has to offer.”  
    The PSO – Entertain, Educate, Engage and Inspire: 
    To aid in its mission to “entertain, educate, engage and inspire” the seacoast community through accessible, affordable live symphony music, the PSO “Masked Ball” will raise much-needed funding to support the PSO’s many enriching educational programs on the N.H. seacoast for audiences of all ages, such as: 
    - “Mainstage Series” 2017-2018 Season at The Music Hall (Nov.-June, including the popular December "Holiday Family Pops Concert")
    - “Get Cozy with the PSO” Chamber Series on Sundays at The Dance Hall, Kittery (Oct-April)
    “MyPSO” (Musical Youth of the Portsmouth Symphony) – Multi-level musical programs to educate and engage students from young virtuosos playing along with the PSO and receiving Master Class instruction, to PSO multimedia performances, such as “Magical Music!” where 1600 schoolchildren in 2017 experienced live orchestral music from “Harry Potter” and “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”  
    - “PSO Young Artist Competitions” – Awards 2 outstanding young artists from the seacoast region via the “Concerto Competition” for high school instrumentalists and the “Young and Emerging Artists Aria Competition” for vocalists (college to 28 years of age)
    - “PSO Artist-in-Residence” – Provides opportunity for performers, artists, educators, comporsers for reflection, research, presentation and/or production exploring their practice within the PSO and seacoast community.  World music guitarist Randy Armstrong is the 2017-2018 PSO Artist-in-Resident.
    Regarding PSO educational outreach, PSO Executive Director Virginia Macdonald says, “We are thrilled with the success of the PSO’s music education outreach programs and the enthusiasm with which our ‘MyPSO’ youth offerings have been received. This “Masked Ball” gala fundraiser is just the beginning of many upcoming events we will use to communicate the joy of live classical music, and how we hope to infuse seacoast music lovers of all ages with the delight and enrichment classical music offers.  From our Sunday ‘Get Cozy” chamber music concerts to the Holiday Pops Concert at the Music Hall or our ‘MainStage’ symphony season performances, we look forward to sharing the delight of this top-notch orchestra’s live classical performances and helping people experience the treasure we have in the PSO, right here on the N.H. seacoast.”   
    About the PSO:  
    Since 1997, the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra (PSO) has delighted seacoast audiences of all ages with live symphonic music and educational outreach programs in its mission to “entertain, educate, engage and inspire.”  A 2017 Spotlight on the Arts Award winner for “Great Contributions to the Seacoast Music Scene,” the PSO comprises over 65 local professionals, educators, dedicated amateurs and advanced students.  The PSO performs four main concerts each season at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH, including the popular Holiday Pops at The Music Hall, numerous chamber music and school concerts throughout the year. Past highlights include performing at Carnegie Hall with Jane Seymour, accompanying Grammy award-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman at the PARMA Music Festival, and releasing the PSO performance of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique by Navona Records on iTunes.  The PSO Music Director John Page is a recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Irish Times Opera of the Year award and has a recording career that includes conducting the platinum disc-winning PBS show, “Celtic Woman.”  A Zander Fellow to the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, John has served as a faculty member of Boston University and resident conductor and faculty member of New England Conservatory of Music.  He has conducted at the Lincoln Center, Boston’s Symphony Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as well as conducting the first “Celtic Woman Symphony Tour” touring 13 U.S. cities.  John is a graduate of King’s College London, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and Harvard University. 
    Virginia Macdonald, Executive Director
    (603) 969-1471