Maestro Jeffrey Silberschlag conducts the world premiere of “Kids”, the last composition of the late William Thomas McKinley on July 17th at SMCM.

Photo credit:  Chesapeake Orchestra

Leonardtown MD – On July 17 the Chesapeake Orchestra will perform the world premiere of “Kids” Symphonic Variations for Orchestra written by Guggenheim Fellow William Thomas McKinley in a concert titled “The Magnificence.” This “grand orchestral performance,” as Chesapeake Orchestra music director and conductor Jeffrey Silberschlag calls it, will be performed with the tone poem Don Juan and the  Rosenkavalier Suite both by iconic German composer, Richard Strauss. The gates open at 5 pm with the concert beginning at 7 pm. A new concert will be held every Friday through July 24th on the Townhouse Green of St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Concert guests are encouraged to bring a picnic or purchase food from various vendors. For more information about the concerts, or to sponsor this local tradition, visit www.chesapeakeorchestra.org or call 301-848-5309.

“This will be the first time I will hear “Kids,” written by my close friend and colleague for over 30 years, William Thomas McKinley.  He wrote it after the previous director of the Maryland Youth Symphony passed the baton to me. This was to honor the new relationship between the Maryland Youth Symphony and the Chesapeake Orchestra. To know that he finished this the day before he died is extremely meaningful to me,” Silberschlag said. “This concert also represents the high point of orchestral performance with Strauss’ use of tone poems for orchestra at its most rich and colorful.”

The program for “The Magnificence,” begins with Richard Strauss’s “Don Juan,” followed by the world premiere  of McKinley’s “Kids,” composed of thirteen movements; “Toys,” “My Best Friend,” “The Marching Band,” “After School,” “Cookies,” “Games,” “Bicycles,” “Sand,” “Animals,” “My Family,” Video Games,” “Running,” and “the Finale, “And Kids Love Music Too.” The concert ends with Richard Strauss’ “Rosenkavalier Suite.”

This new orchestral piece by influential American composer William Thomas McKinley was his final musical work before he died in January 2015. “Kids” was written as a grand orchestra piece to honor the new relationship between the Maryland Youth Symphony and the Chesapeake Orchestra when Silberschlag became the director of the Maryland Youth Symphony. McKinley and Silberschlag worked together previously on “And The President Said…” a tongue-in-cheek look at America with quotes from various presidents. McKinley has composed over 300 works, been commissioned by the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society and won an award and citation from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.


“I’m always fascinated with what people were thinking about before they die and I know McKinley was thinking about how to communicate the sense of being a child again with music,” Silberschlag said. “Though the title is “Kids” this music is sophisticated and will resonate with all music enthusiasts, for its complexity, tonality, and how the thirteen different movements are all tied together.”

German composer Richard Strauss,from the Romantic era, is known for his operas and tone poems, which an orchestra performs to evoke a specific feeling or scene, as  a poem or book would. The success of Don Juan, written in 1889, rocketed Strauss to fame. Don Juan is intended to evoke the image of an ideal woman and the melancholy of Don Juan when he cannot find her. Rosenkavalier Suite is a musical guide through Strauss’ four part comedic opera, Der Rosenkavalier, and intends to make the audience feel the passion, tenderness, discord of love, and pompousness portrayed in the opera. Strauss was regarded as one of the most influential composers of 20th century music and one of the greatest composers of the first half of the 20th century.

On Saturday, July 18 from 7 to 9 p.m.the Chesapeake Orchestra Fellows will partner with Slack Wines for a concert titled “Vienna Night at Woodlawn.” As part of the July Classical and Jazz Series of the Saturday Series at Woodlawn, this concert will be held at the Woodlawn Inn & Estate at 16040 Woodlawn Dr, Ridge. For more information and tickets visit http://www.slackwine.com or call Woodlawn Inn & Estate at 301-872-0555.

“This is an intimate concert series thatfeatures bright new talents with established artists in an exclusive setting that goes down as easily as the wine,” said Silberschlag of the Saturday Series at Woodlawn. This Saturday’s concert features music of Albinoni, Torelli, Scarlatti, and Bach.

The Chesapeake Orchestra Fellows aremade up of young professional musicians, selected through National auditions. Members of the 2015 Chesapeake Orchestra Fellows are violinists Anastasia Dolak from The Juilliard School, Mariya Polishchuck from the Manhattan School of Music, Michael Eby from the the Manhattan School of Music, Victoria Wolf Lewis, from the Cleveland Institute of Music, viola players Lydia Angel from the Maryland youth Symphony Orchestra, Rose Mary Llewellyn from the Maryland Youth Symphony, cellists Olena Dolak from the Manhattan School of Music, Amanda Durst from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, contrabass player Milad Daniari from the Manhattan School of Music, oboe player Alan Morris from SUNY – Stony Brook University School of Music, bassoon player Joey Lavarias from the Juilliard School, horn player Nathaniel Silberschlag from the Juilliard School, and trumpet player Zachary Silberschlag from the Manhattan School of Music and SUNY-Stony Brook.

As director and conductor of the Chesapeake Orchestra, Silberschlag’s broad experience within the musical world brings an understanding of the musical landscape of America to this concert and honors the nation’s cultural diversity. Silberschlag’s accomplishments includes guest conducting the London Symphony, London Philharmonic. St. Petersburg Soloists, Orchestra Filharmonici di Torino, Symphony Orchestra of Rumania, Bulgarian Philharmonic, La Scala Virtuosi, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Salzburg Chamber Orchestra and the Moscow Academy Chamber Orchestra. He has also collaborated with numerous solo artists including pianists Brian Ganz and Bruno Canino, violinists Anne Akiko Meyers and Hilary Hahn, and vocalists Jane Monheit, Vonda Shepard, and Ethel Ennis. He has presented master classes at numerous universities around the world and was named Music Director of the Maryland Youth Symphony Orchestra in Baltimore this past June.

The Chesapeake Orchestra has brought their first-class professional music to over 400,000 people since its creation by Silberschlag in 1994 and has won the Governor’s Tourism Impact Award along with many other accolades.

The aim of The River Concert Series isto provide a family friendly evening of inspiring music through the passion and expertise of the Chesapeake Orchestra and their famous guest musicians in a way that brings world-renowned music to thousands of people in Southern Maryland through July 24th.

Sponsors of this concert are Eagle Systems, Inc, GE Aviation, and Kohls. Corporate sponsors of the 2015 series include American Federation of Musicians Music Performance Trust Fund, Arts Alliance of St. Mary’s College Maryland, BAE Systems, Chesapeake Orchestra Club Members, Maryland State Arts Council, River Concert Series Audience, St. Mary’s Arts Council, Slack Winery, Southern Maryland Publishing, Wyle, and Yamaha Pianos.

For more information about the concerts, or to be a sponsor of this unique Southern Maryland tradition, go to www.chesapeakeorchestra.org or call 301-848-5309.  You may also visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ChesapeakeOrchestra.