The St. Anthony Civic Orchestra 1979-1980 Grant

In addition to playing horn and other instruments in the St. Anthony Civic Orchestra, Glen Newton was president of the orchestra board of directors from 1978 through 1980. During this time one of his goals was to secure a grant that would fund a performance with Rhadames Angelucci, principal oboe of the Minnesota Orchestra, and a string clinician and soloist. The orchestra received grant #7974 from the Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities. Glen's final report to the council, dated May 1, 1980, summarized the project:

The project was two sets of concerts featuring guest soloists Julia Diner, violin, and Rhadames Angelucci, oboe, together with a set of instrumental clinics conducted by Mrs. Diner, Mr. Angelucci, and Julie Ayer, violin.

By four of our criteria, the project was a definite success. The audience perceived an improvement in the orchestra's playing, orchestra members felt their playing improved, the conductor felt that working with the guest artists improved the orchestra members' playing, and the guest artists felt that the collaboration was a positive exerience. By the fifth criterion, the project was less successful. We had hoped to attract twice as many people to the concerts. We have identified several possible reasons for the small audiences and plan to address those causes within our control for future concerts. (After the first set of concerts, we successfully identified a means of increasing attendance for the second set and were thereby able to increase attendance substantially.)

Julia Diner was the featured soloist on the orchestra's November 11, 1979, concert in the St. Anthony High School cafetorium and on the November 18, 1979, concert in the Alexander Ramsey High School (which has since become the Roseville Area High School) auditorium. She performed the Vivaldi Violin Concerto in A Minor.

The program opened with a wind octet playing the Mozart Minuet and Finale from Serenade No. 11 in Eb Major, then continued with the Vivaldi, followed by Strauss' Die Fledermaus and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C Minor.

Volume 1, No. 1, of the St. Anthony Civic Orchestra newsletter, written by Jan Peterson and Glen Newton and published in the fall of 1979, announced the first pair of concerts along with the orchestra's December 20 Christmas Pops Concert at Apache Plaza in St. Anthony.

Rhadames Angelucci was the featured soloist on concerts March 9, 1980, at the Presbyterian Home of Minnesota in Arden Hills and March 16, 1980, at the St. Anthony High School Auditorium, performing Barlow's The Winter's Passed, Schubert's Ave Maria, and Joplin's The Entertainer. The first of these concerts was originally to be held at Ramsey High School but was moved due to a conflict with availability of the high school auditorium.

The orchestra accompanied Mr. Angelucci and performed Borodin's Symphony No. 2 and Sibelius' Finlandia.

By then the orchestra's newletter had been renamed "notes For Members and Friends of the St. Anthony Civic Orchestra". Volume 1, No. 2 (Winter 1980), announced the second pair of concerts along with performances by string and brass ensembles from the orchestra and the March 30 performance of Dubois' The Seven Last Words of Christ at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in New Brighton by the orchestra with chorus and soloists. The newsletter included these followup articles by Glen:

BRAVISSIMO, ANGELUCCI!

Oboe playing should not be attempted by one who is easily discouraged. The embouchure alone has been known to send neophytes whimpering back to their flutophones and ukeleles. Add to this the difficulties of breathing, reed care, and fingering and you can see why a fine oboist, like a good cigar, is hard to find. Yet those who persevere find that once the technical difficulties are overcome, the oboe is eminently suited to the production of beautiful music. Rhadames John Angelucci persevered. Having mastered the techniques of oboe playing long ago, he has devoted his professional career to the sensitive performance of fine music.

This January and February Mr. Angelucci worked with the St. Anthony Civic Orchestra's woodwind and brass players, conducting four clinics, using the pieces for the upcoming concerts as focal points for the discussion of a variety of aspects of musicianship. From him we learned techniques of breathing and fingering, mental images to help us shape phrases, and approaches to interpretation. We were entertained by anecdotes of professional orchestras and had his expert help in adjusting our balance and intonation.

Mr. Angelucci's introduction to the oboe came at age eleven, when his father, a professional horn player whose credits included playing with the Sousa band, brought home an oboe, a bassoon, and a horn for the three boys to try. For a couple of weeks, Rhadames tried the horn, but he wasn't happy with it. He then tried the oboe; he was happy with it. His brother Ernani took up the horn and has played in the Cleveland Orchestra shince 1938. Their older brother, Adelchi, plays bassoon in the Philadelphia Orchestra. Rhadames (named after the leading role sung by Caruso in Verdi's opera Aida) was appointed to play English horn in the Minneapolis Symphony in 1936. He held that position for two years, then was appointed first oboist, a position he has held for forty-two years.

The era of the Angelucci brothers in major orchestras is drawing to a close. Although Adelchi has not yet announced his retirement, Ernani plans to retire in September and Rhadames will retire from the Minnesota Orchestra in August. His retirement plans include relaxing at his home in New Brighton, devoting more time to spectator sports (particularly baseball), teaching, and playing chamber music with friends.

JULIA AND THE STRINGS

Julia Diner, who soloed with us November 11 and 18, returned to conduct three string sectionals in preparation for the upcoming concerts. Julia, a free-lance violinist, continues to teach violin at home and recently played in the orchestra which accompanied the American Ballet Theater's Twin Cities performances.

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Thursday, October 01, 2015.


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