Last week, VPR audio engineer Sam Sanders and I were at the Arkell Pavillion at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester to record a concert with the Manchester Music Festival. But this was not just any concert...this was a celebration of music and history. It featured a large orchestra, largely comprised of young musicians from all around the country. It featured one of America's foremost concert pianists and host of NPR's From the Top, Christopher O'Riley. And the program featured 3 American works: Copland's "Hoe-Down" from the ballet "Rodeo," Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," And Antonin Dvorak's "New World" Symphony No. 9, a work he wrote while living and teaching in New York City. All of this was part of the 250th anniversary celebration for the Town of Manchester, and it all happened on a cool, crisp, and moonlit night at the foot of Mount Equinox.
Sam and I were actually in Manchester for a day leading up to the performance, allowing ourselves plenty of time to get our sound equipment in place for the recording. It went very well, and by the time Thursday morning's dress rehearsal came around, I sat back and enjoyed the music from a seat in the empty hall. With about five minutes remaining in the Gershwin, I remembered my iPhone was in my pocket, so I decided to get a bit of video. The sound was actually quite good, so I thought I'd share it with you here as a sneak preview of the broadcast, which will be heard on VPR Classical in a month or so. And if it sounded THIS good coming from a cell phone video recording, just wait until you hear what our REAL microphones picked during the performance!
-Joe Goetz, VPR Classical