NC CHAMBER ORCHESTRA TO FEATURE
TRUMPET VIRTUOSO

BY PAUL MANZ, MUSIC DIRECTOR

The North Carolina Chamber Orchestra (NCCO) will be showcasing Ashley Hall, trumpet, during their upcoming concerts Saturday, April 6 at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem and Sunday, April 7 at Main Street United Methodist Church in Kernersville. Both performances begin at 7:30pm.

Ashley will perform the Telemann Trumpet Concerto with the NCCO. She will also be joined by the orchestra’s trumpeter, Richard Blakemore, as they perform the Vivaldi Concerto for Two Trumpets. John Fair, the ensemble’s keyboardist, will play the organ during the Albinoni Adagio.

Other works include the Air & Simple Gifts by John Williams and Mozart’s beloved Eine Kleine Nachmusik.

Grieg’s Holberg Suite will conclude the performance. Since the group’s inception, the most requested piece of music has been the Holberg.

Last year the NCCO presented their premier concerts to enthusiastic audiences, resulting in rave reviews. Harold Weller, Conductor Emeritus of the Las Vegas Philharmonic said, “This is definitely a recording quality orchestra… Second movement of the Tchaikovsky is an absolute gem … Beautifully done!” 

According to William T Walker, head reviewer for the Classical Voice of North Carolina, “Manz ended the concert with a breathtaking, magnificent performance of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, Op. 48. As each of its four ripe, melodic movements went by, the depth of talent in each section was revealed. What lovely and varied pizzicatos! How tonally rich the low strings and how soaring the violins! One could hardly ask for a more artistically promising debut.”

Ashley Hall, soloist, is the principal trumpet of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. She also held the position of third trumpet with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra from 2003-2012, and has performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, Winston-Salem Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, Asheville Symphony, New World Symphony Orchestra, and Sinfonia Gulf Coast.

Her work as a soloist and recitalist has taken her around the globe including performances in Taiwan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Mexico and China. Recent career highlights include solo appearances in Taipei, Taiwan with the Grace Orchestra, multiple performances of B Minor Mass, and cornet solos with the North Carolina Brass Band, Atlantic Brass Band and the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band. As Concert Master of the North Carolina Brass Band, acting Principal Trumpet with the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, and founding member of the electro-acoustic trumpet quintet Fifth Bridge, Ashley enjoys a busy and diverse performance calendar.  Other recent highlights include multiple solo recital tours, national and international tours with Stiletto Brass Quintet, an Asia tour with the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass, returning as guest artist to the Great American Brass Band Festival, and being the featured trumpet solo artist at the International Women’s Brass Conference.  Ashley will be the featured guest artist at the 2019 National Trumpet Competition in Lexington, KY.

She served as the Interim Professor of Trumpet at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts from 2016-2017 and has held collegiate teaching positions at St. Olaf College and the University of Dayton.

As an active recording artist, Ashley frequently enjoys time in the studio collaborating on new projects.  She recorded a new CD in 2018 called “JUHLAT: Festivals and Celebrations” with the Brass Septet, Ameriikan Poijat. In 2019, she will be featured on the International Trumpet Guild’s recordings of the Brandt Etudes.  Ashley also recorded a PBS Special with Carolina Brass and the North Carolina Master Chorale called the “Joy of the Season.” “Christmas Wrapped in Brass” (2017) also features Ashley in the solo cornet section of the North Carolina Brass Band.  In the fall of 2007, Ashley released her debut album entitled, “Behold Him”, a collection of hymns for solo trumpet, and she has recorded two CD’s with EUROBRASS, “Give Thanks to the Lord”, and “Worthy is the Lord.”

Mrs. Hall holds a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music and an artist diploma from the Longy School of Music.

Paul Manz is the Music Director of the North Carolina Chamber Orchestra. He has served as principal horn in the Flagstaff Symphony, the Prescott Chamber Orchestra and as assistant principal horn in the Flagstaff Festival of the Arts Orchestra. He has also performed in the pit of a number of professional operas and musicals as well as conducting “Mame” and “The Man of La Mancha.” Paul has shared the stage with Toni Tennille, David Cripps, James D’Leon, Mike Vax, Gary Grafman, Jerry Goldsmith, Roberta Peters, William Warfield, Isola Jones, Don Edwards, Eric Ruske, Anastasia Kitruk, Harold Weller, Jeffrey Schindler and others.

Working side by side with Peter Perret, Paul has served as the guest conductor for the New Horizons Band Blast, drawing participants from five eastern states. He is on the board of directors of the International Conductor’s Guild.

Paul Manz is the founding conductor of the Prescott POPS Symphony and served as its music director from its beginning in 1992 until his retirement in 2015. During this time the ensemble grew from being a community orchestra to a semi-professional regional symphony.

The mission of the North Carolina Chamber Orchestra is to provide accessible, professional-level music to the Triad region, including Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point and Kernersville. Their vision for the NCCO is to become an established professional orchestra in the Triad and to possibly evolve into a full chamber orchestra with winds and percussion. Additionally, the ensemble would like to perform for educational institutions in support of our youth.

Tickets for the April 6 and 7 concerts are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and free for students. They are available at the door or at www.NCChamberOrchestra.org. The orchestra is a 501(c)3 tax-free organization. Find them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/NCChamberOrchestra.

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