posted September 18, 2006

Hope College Symphonette to Perform on Sept. 29

The Hope College Symphonette will present its first full-length performance of the school year on Friday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The concert will include "Slavonic Dance No. 8 in G minor Op. 46, No. 8" by Antonin Dvorak, "Divertimento in D major for Strings K.136" by W.A. Mozart, and "Finlandia" by Jean Sibelius. The evening will continue with three works by Johann Strauss, and end with "L'Arlesienne Suite No. 2" by Georges Bizet.

Organized in 1953, the Symphonette is selected each year from the larger college symphony orchestra.

The Symphonette is one of only four orchestras from around the country invited to perform during the 2007 National Conference of the American String Teachers Association, chosen from a pool of more than 100 college orchestras that had applied for the honor. The conference will run Wednesday-Saturday, March 7-10, at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center.

The group has made numerous radio and television appearances and has presented children's and youth concerts in addition to its series of formal concerts. The Symphonette has performed for the biennial meetings of the Music Educators' National Conference (MENC) and appears regularly in cities in Michigan. The Symphonette has appeared on the nationally televised "Hour of Power" from Garden Grove Church in California.

The Symphonette conducts a tour each spring, which has taken it from coast to coast in the U.S. as well as to two provinces in Canada, the British Isles, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The spring 2006 tour included cities in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.

The Symphonette is directed by Richard Piippo of the Hope music faculty, who is director of orchestral activities and an associate professor of cello/chamber music at the college.

Piippo has taught at Hope since 1999. His career began as cellist with the Milwaukee Symphony, and his reputation grew when he captured first place in two national cello competitions. He appears as a soloist and chamber player throughout the United States and Canada, performs as an adjunct cellist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and is the cellist with the Anchor Piano Trio at Hope.

Since 1996, he has spent his summers on the faculty of Seminar at Western Michigan University, as conductor, solo performer, teacher and coach. His work with the Detroit Symphony has included tours of Europe, Japan, Carnegie Hall and numerous recordings. During the summer of 2000, he performed as a soloist and chamber player on the Fontana Chamber Music Festival, the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck and the Dearborn Summer Music Festival. He recently completed his 11th season as artistic director/conductor of the Dearborn Summer Music Festival.

Born in Wisconsin, Piippo holds his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he studied with George Sopkin of the Fine Arts Quartet. He has also worked with Pierre Fournier in Switzerland and Lazio Varga and Margaret Rowell at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His conducting studies were with George Cleve, Donald Craig and Marvin Rabin.

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located on College Avenue at 12th Street.