Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Orchestrating a Major Bold Move

My friend and office partner Carrie Knowles decided recently to create in her spare time an annual international music festival in the Raleigh area. Not that she was lacking for things to do: she's a writer and visual artist and mother of teenager.

It began thusly: Her oldest son Neil Leiter, 26, plays viola in the Brussels Chamber Orchestra which was already scheduled to come to the U.S. and play in the Bard Music Festival of the Hamptons. Since they were going to be only 500 or so miles away, it seemed a no-brainer to arrange a few concerts in North Carolina and turn it into an annual event.


Well, a few weeks into the project it looks large and it's definitely happening.

There's plenty still to arrange, but the orchestra from Belgium will play two concerts in the Raleigh area and the Star-Spangled Banner at a Durham Bulls baseball game.

I'm wowed. And here's my point that we can all keep in mind: set the wheels of something big in motion and it's highly likely that it's going to happen. Because once you've got hosts for the musicians, restaurant meals set up, a new nonprofit in the works, a couple of concert venues and a fundraising art auction scheduled, then there's no turning back. Even if the details start to seem overwhelming.

Ten years from now Raleigh will probably be a major international classical music venue. And it will be because one woman had the idea and then got busy on the phone.

NC concerts are July 5 in Raleigh, July 6 in Cary, and July 2 for the national anthem at the Durham Athletic Park. For more info about the North Carolina appearances, contact Carrie Knowles at cjknowles@earthlink.net.

(Neil is the tall blonde guy in the back.)

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