The [Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra] was primed for the opening works, with conductor Daniel Black firm and vigorous on the podium. Williams’ [Cowboys Overture] was exciting and a breath of fresh air. . . Copland’s [Appalachian Spring] was atmospheric and embracing.
Saturday’s audience responded to “Crazy Horse” with open arms and erupting approval, and it was all-around approval – for the orchestra, conductor, composer, individual players…and to be present and experience the excitement of something new, done well.
The Grand Opera House has been around for more than 48,000 nights. Saturday night has to be one of its most momentous.
The orchestra sounded just fine under Black’s firm, decisive beat. As a conductor, Black has a droll sense of humor, both in front of the mic and on the podium . . . The evening ended with a warm glow . . . it was perfect.
The “Waltz of the Snow Flakes” from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” was the impressive opening to the second half. From the front balcony, the voices of the C-U Choir Singers, led by Chester Alwes, blended with the Central Illinois Children’s Chorus down on stage, and the ending of this number was especially beautifully sung and played by the orchestra.