APO Art and Music Concert, March 2018, Photo Credit: @2018 Kathleen Messmer Photogrtaphy
The Albuquerque Philharmonic is delighted with new music director Byron Herrington. Byron has been active as a performer, teacher, and conductor in Albuquerque since 1981, but was born and raised in the dusty flatlands near Lubbock, Texas. He attended schools in Port Isabel, Texas, and Ada, Oklahoma. His conducting studies were principally with Guy Fraser Harrison, conductor of the Oklahoma City Symphony.
After a trombone performance degree at the University of Oklahoma (studied with Dr. Irvin Wagner), Byron won a position with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, where he performed and frequently conducted for thirty years until the implosion of the NMSO in April, 2011. He is a founding member of the New Mexico Philharmonic and is Principal Trombonist with the Santa Fe Symphony.
This is a typical orchestra rehearsal. We have been rehearsing on Monday nights since the orchestra began in 1972. Several members of the orchestra were professional musicians at one time, others majored in music, but chose a different field to support themselves, and others chose fields such as science, medicine, teaching, law, science, but also have a love for music. APO is a very high level community orchestra, and we are thrilled to perform for you.
For over 49 years, the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra has brought accomplished musicians together with a mission to bring high quality orchestral music to underserved communities in the Albuquerque area, at no expense to our audience. The Albuquerque Philharmonic is for people of all ages and socioeconomic statuses. We are committed to working with students, not only with the Art and Music concerts, but also with trios, string quartets, and wind quintets performing at local schools. We welcome you to our concerts.
The “Art and Music Concerts” are focused on stimulating student creativity and imagination. The artwork is inspired by actively listening to the music. Emotions, images and more are stimulated when people listen intently to music, and we ask the students to put their feelings into artwork. The students create artwork from a variety of mediums, including acrylics, pastels, oils, photography, pottery, and more. At the March concerts, the artwork is projected overhead during the concert, and is also on display in the lobby at both venues.
The Art and Music concerts began in 2011 and take place annually in March. The first Art and Music concert started with Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” which was composed in response to the artwork of Mussorgsky's close friend, Victor Hartmann, at Hartmann’s memorial service. Here, the students are doing the opposite, they are creating artwork based on the music.
Students have participated from both public and Private Schools.
Albuquerque Public Schools:
- Albuquerque High School
- Chaparral Elementary
- Longfellow Elementary
- Los Ranchos Elementary
- Del Norte High School
- Manzano High School
- Sunset View Elementary
- S.Y. Jackson Elementary
Rio Rancho Public Schools:
- Ernest Stapleton Elementary
- Cielo Azul Elementary
- Colinas Del Norte Elementary
- Lincoln Middle School
- Martin Luther King Jr Elementary
- Sandia Vista Elementary
- V. Sue Cleveland High School
Independent or Private Schools:
- Albuquerque Academy
- The Bosque School
- Explore Academy
Past history of the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra: The orchestra was formed by cellist Jo Kaestner in September 1972, at the suggestion of Bob Wolfe, and given the name “Albuquerque Lesser Symphony Orchestra.” The acronym “ALSO” was fitting for the fledgling community orchestra to separate if from the professional orchestra, the Albuquerque (Greater) Symphony Orchestra (which became NMSO, and is currently the NM Philharmonic Orchestra). Jo admits the name, Albuquerque Lesser Symphony Orchestra, was facetious, so in September 1977 the name was changed to the Albuquerque Philharmonia Orchestra. In 1989, the name changed to the current Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra, during the tenure of music director Willy Sucre.
“An Amateur” says Jo Kaestner, “is one who cultivates a particular pursuit without pursing it professionally, one having a marked fondness for something.” The word comes from the Latin word, “to love.”
Our first conductor, John Gaston, was a violinist in the professional group, The (Greater) Albuquerque Symphony Orchestra which, as stated above, morphed into the NMSO, and currently is the NM Philharmonic. John was also choir director for Trinity Methodist Church at that time. Rehearsals were Mondays at 7:30 PM at the Albuquerque HS. To this day we still have Monday night rehearsals, 4 pairs of concerts, plus the annual chamber concert.
The conductors of the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra are:
The Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra is supported in part by the New Mexico Arts, Art Works, and the Albuquerque Community Foundation.
The March 2018 Art and Music Concert, conducted by Wayne Thelander, at V. Sue Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, one of the finest acoustic concert halls in the southwest. ©2018 Kathleen Messmer Photography
Check out our Concert Season page to find out what is in the works.
Wayne Thelander conducts the APO in the 2018 Art and Music Concert at V. Sue Cleveland High School. Photo Credit: @2018 Kathleen Messmer Photography