Orchestras must continue to evolve, even if the notes they play do not. It's an impressive feat to keep an organism made up of so many individualized parts alive and well, and Boise Philharmonic has reason to be proud that, as it opens its 2011-2012 season, it also celebrates its 50th anniversary.
In his three years with Boise Philharmonic, Musical Director Robert Franz has had a focus on the phil's future. This upcoming season, which opens Friday, Sept. 16, is an opportunity for the philharmonic to show how far it has come and how well-situated it is to see at least another five decades.
"It's a funny thing, 50 years," Franz said. "It's a big deal because, first of all, it means there's a stability in the organization. But the thing that's worrisome about stability is that you have to make sure you keep growing, otherwise you become stagnant. So for me, a 50th anniversary celebration is not only looking back at the past but it's making sure we are using our stable base as a way to look forward to the future."
What that means for phil audiences in the 2011-2012 season is Strauss' Don Quixote, The Messiah, The Nutcracker, a piece by acclaimed local composer Jim Cockey, performances with the Boise Master Chorale and more. There will also be some special family programs, including a screening of the Wizard of Oz with the orchestra playing the score live, and the premiere of Stella's Musical Tour of America, a story and music that Franz wrote for his niece. Idaho-born astronaut Barbara Morgan will be on hand to narrate the tale of Stella who travels the world from her magic balloon.
Franz said this 50-year celebration is the perfect time to reassess Boise Philharmonic's current mission, as well as further it.
"[We want] to take bigger risks, more risks and do more things. That's exactly what we're doing."