April 2019

#SOchats with Naomi  
Hello and welcome to our April SOchats. I’m Naomi Chaitkin Nimmo, the Executive Director.  We started this monthly chat room so we can answer your questions and talk about the orchestra and the response has been great!  Please keep the comments and questions coming. Thanks.
Q:  Same question as last month; different answer: Next season, will the orchestra be playing at Summerville Baptist Church or Summers Corner Performing Arts Center (SCPAC)?
A: It’s official. We will be performing at SCPAC for the 2019-2020 season from October through May.
Q: Why?
2 main reasons:
1) As you know, we have sold all 1,500 seats (Friday and Saturday combined) at Summerville Baptist Church and have a waiting list of hundreds. SCPAC has room for 2,020 over the two nights so we can accommodate 520 more season ticket holders; and
2) The orchestra has doubled in size in the last few years and the stage at Summerville Baptist is not big enough to hold all the musicians. SCPAC’s stage size will allow for our current orchestra plus future growth and a chorus.
Q: Is there a way we can visit the SCPAC before the first concert of the 2019-2020 season?
A: Yes! Mark your calendars for September 29. We will be hosting “Prelude to a Season,” an opportunity for everyone to tour the facility. More details soon.
Q: What about your 9/11 Memorial concert?
That will be held at Summerville Baptist Church on September 6, 2019.
Q: Same question as last month; different answer: When are 2019-2020 Season Tickets going to be available for purchase?
A: For current subscribers, in early May, you will receive an email or a letter in the mail with the opportunity to renew. For non-subscribers, please click here to be added to the wait list for 2019-2020 season tickets. In June, we will start notifying the wait list if there are any season tickets available for purchase.
Q: How much will season tickets cost next season?
A: For the 5-concert series, the cost will increase by $1 per concert for adults and seniors. So the cost for the season ticket will be $55. Under 18 season tickets will remain at $5.
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To read previous #SOchats please click here
Joke of the Month
Yo Yo Da
Interviews with the Musicians
Drew Hamrick
Drew Hamrick
I’m from Spartanburg, South Carolina originally and lived in Chicago for around nine years after college and moved to Charleston after our first daughter was born.
I have two awesome daughters – Emelie and Isadora – who are 14 and 12 respectively. Emelie is my poet and she just won a national Scholastic award for one of her poems and has been invited to Carnegie Hall to receive her prize. Izzy is my musician and naturalist. She is a cellist like her old man and loves all animals large and small.  My wife Amy is an interior designer working for an architecture firm in Charleston specializing in hospitals and healthcare. She is also my ballast. I tell her without her I’d either be rich or in a gutter. She insists gutter.
I started playing the cello when I was 10 but didn’t get serious about it until I was in high school. I went to the University of  South Carolina in Columbia studying music performance under Robert Jesselson (cello), Donald Portnoy (orchestra) and Charles Fugo (chamber music). In Chicago I played in the University of Chicago orchestra, a lot of chamber music, and played in a few bands.  I have worked in bookstores, was an editor for Chicago Review Press, and now I’m in the lighting industry.
I work for Carolina Architectural Lighting and Design helping architects and engineers specify and design lighting systems for their projects in the Lowcountry. In fact I played a big part in the lighting at the new Rollings School of the Arts where we will be performing. That’s kind of exciting for me. I just hope everything works.
I honestly don’t remember my thought process in choosing the cello. That was a long time ago. Knowing me it was probably “Hey, everybody else is playing violin or bass, and viola looks like it sucks (just kidding, I love me some viola), why don’t I try the little bass-thingy that I can sit down to play.”
Summerville Orchestra has given me a new musical life. After my kids were born I stopped playing regularly for about ten years. You know – work, raising little humans, life – I just didn’t make the time for my music. And I missed it terribly. I actually had guilt-dreams of not playing – like I’d show up to a concert or recital and all the strings on my cello had been cut. Or I’d get off a train and leave my instrument on it. Or running to a performance and the hallways were a maze. Stuff like that.  Now I actually get paid to play for most things I do, but I’m a devoted volunteer to the Summerville Orchestra because it gives me a chance to play music I never could have played before, my fellow musicians are so devoted to what we are doing, the conductor is pretty good (he’s fantastic), and it’s a blast. And the horrible nightmares have stopped.
I think if I could play any other instrument it would probably be a double-reed instrument like the oboe or bassoon. I love their lush sound and they usually have interesting parts. I just don’t understand why wind instruments have to transpose. Why make an instrument in b-flat? It makes no sense to me.
My kids still take up most of my time which is fantastic. It’s so interesting to watch them grow up into functioning adults (even though they are teenagers right now and aren’t functioning properly). I read a lot. I worked in many a bookstore in my life and it’s a dream of mine to own and operate one some day. I like to go hiking and camping. I want to travel more. I like to try new restaurants with my wife who is up for pretty much anything, except for barbecue.
I’ve been with this orchestra for only two years now and I’m amazed at how we’ve grown – not only in size but in maturity. There is no way we could have played Beethoven 6 two years ago. And now we just played Borodin’s 2nd. And I’m practicing Sibelius’ 5th now (which is really hard.) What’s next?