Letter: Thanks, Symphony, for a wonderful evening in the ‘Bury

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Bravo indeed! This past Saturday’s Salisbury Symphony production was incredible, and a wonderful addition to this season’s concert series. Presented were standard and lesser-known jazz pieces to a very receptive audience. The 17-person jazz band delivered innovative renditions with crowd-pleasing riffs and improvisations by the talented musicians. Special kudos to the lead alto sax whose stand-out artistry showed attendees what that instrument can really do in the hands of such an accomplished pro.

The concert was hosted at Livingstone College, whose fifth president conceived the Salisbury Symphony and, in collaboration with his counterpart at Catawba College, established it 52 years ago.

Featured vocalist Alexis Greer interpreted several songs to the delight of all. This local teacher and church worship leader performs regularly with Piedmont Players, and it was my honor to hear her again.

The performance also showcased the Livingston Jazz Ensemble, a group of extremely gifted students whose three numbers brought the audience to a lengthy and enthusiastic standing ovation. For me, the outstanding performer/soloist was the keyboardist, playing with an ease, fluency, and improvisational skills demonstrating his virtuousity.

The pros and the students did play together to bring America’s music to those of us fortunate enough to have attended.

Hats off to the Symphony’s music director, David Hagy, and Livingstone Jazz Ensemble’s director, Anthony Jones, for their respective teams’ unforgettable performances. Thanks also to Livingstone for its venue, security, traffic assistance and gracious hospitality. And thanks to the Symphony volunteers who helped with greeting, ticketing, programs, seating and the myriad behind-the-scenes activities necessary to have made this concert the must-see-and-hear event that it was.

A wonderful evening in the ‘Bury!

— John Schaffer