October 26th -NORWALK CITY HALL, 125 East Ave #236 -The Mayor’s Gallery, at the Norwalk City Hall presents Chrestomathy-an Anthology of the other arts. The show features photographs and paintings from Norwalk’s Crystal Theater in its 25th anniversary season and special moments from the Norwalk Symphony. Among the special guests will be Crystal Theater’s own Cheryl Kemeny and Company as well as Maestro Jonathan Yates from the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra. There will be a reception 3:30 -4:30 on Friday October 26th in the gallery at Norwalk City Hall 125 East Ave room 236.
Crystal Theatre, founded in 1987 by Cheryl Kemeny, David L. Jackins, Alexandrea Kemeny, and Mariner Pezza, is a non-profit organization with the mission of training students in the techniques of musical theatre, promoting and producing original works, and providing performance opportunities for those who might otherwise not have access to the stage.
Over the past 25 years, Crystal Theatre has been fulfilling this mission by producing over 100 student and professional shows since its inception. Twenty-four of these shows were original musicals written for Crystal students, with three world premiers scheduled for this year. Crystal Theatre has taught over 3000 children and entertained more than 100,000 audience members through the years. The Theater Company has also provided many instances of community outreach over the years. Special guests from the upcoming performance of “Whistleville” will be at the reception.
The Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, in its 73rd season, has been fulfilling its mission to provide audiences with the opportunity to explore and discover the joys of orchestral music by bringing this live experience through excellent performances, pre-concert discussions and educational activities for all ages.
The Norwalk Symphony Orchestra (NSO) was founded in January 1939 and was primarily a community orchestra composed of volunteer musicians from the greater Norwalk region until 1985. In 1956, the Norwalk Youth Symphony was formed, and younger musicians from surrounding communities were frequently invited to be part of the orchestra. All rehearsals and performances were held in what is currently the Norwalk Concert Hall, formerly the WPA-era high school auditorium, and support for the organization came from the family and friends of the orchestra members.
Over the years, the Norwalk Symphony has been led by many influential Music Directors starting with Edward Kreiner who conducted the premier concert on May 9, 1939. A year later, the celebrated Quinto Maganini, a Pulitzer Prize winning composer and principal flute for the New York Symphony, began his 26-year tenure as the Orchestra’s Conductor and Music Director. Following Maestro Maganini’s retirement in 1967, Dennis Russell Davis conducted the orchestra from 1969 to 1973, and was succeeded by Gilbert Levine from 1974 to 1980. Jesse Levine, who expanded the musical aspirations of the NSO as well as demanded an increasingly rigorous standard of performance from its musicians, held the baton from 1980 to 2000. During this time the profile of the musicians shifted dramatically to a fully paid professional orchestra. Diane Wittry, the NSO’s first female Maestro, stood the podium for 7 seasons from the 2002-2003 season to 2009-2010. Currently Jonathan Yates, a professional with envious musical accolades, directs the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra into its next chapter and has so far demonstrated his enormous talent to do so.
The Mayor’s Gallery of Norwalk is sponsored by the Norwalk Arts Commission and supported by the Cultural Arts Commission of Connecticut in an effort exhibit art in public spaces and make art accessible to the public in a variety of venues.