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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

North State Symphony performance bids farewell to professor

Kyle Wiley Pickett, conductor of the final NSS concert Sunday night. Photo courtesy of Chico State School of the Arts.

The North State Symphony presented a performance of “Harmonic Landscapes” Saturday, May 10.

The North State Symphony, a combination of Chico and Redding symphonies, was established in 2001 and has been part of Chico State’s College of Humanities and Fine Arts for 14 years. During that time, the North State Symphony has featured many accomplished soloists and guest artists in addition to its regular roster of exceptionally talented musicians.

Kyle Wiley Pickett has been the head and conductor of the symphony since its inception and has created and nurtured a wonderful musical community. Pickett will finish out the 2013-2014 season with the North State Symphony before taking a position as music director for another symphony in the Midwest.

Joel Zimbelman, program coordinator for the comparative religion and humanities department, praised Pickett’s dedication and commitment in helping make the North State Symphony and humanities and fine arts program stronger and more cohesive.

“He has at every turn been a friend to musicians and audience alike,” Zimbelman said. “He’s an outstanding organizer, gifted educator,
superb musician, inspiring conductor.”

Pickett’s final performance with the North State Symphony was introduced by Robert M. Knight, dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and consisted of pieces by Antonin Dvorak, Benjamin Britten and Johannes Brahms. From the very beginning, the symphony musicians showed their incredible talent and dedication to their art.

Accompanying the ensemble in the first piece, Dvorak’s “Cello Concerto in B Minor,” was guest cellist David Requiro. Requiro’s speed, deftness and sheer musical prowess was simply astounding.

Intermission arrived after thunderous applause and a standing ovation. After a word from Pickett, the orchestra continued with Britten’s “Four Sea Interludes from ‘Peter Grimes.'”

The piece perfectly encapsulated its theme of a small English town by the sea. The soft and provincial sound flowing into a roar echoed the changing nature of Chico itself, from small town roots to bustling college hub.

The performance concluded with Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture.”

Throughout the evening, the skill, talent and dedication of each member of the North State Symphony was apparent. After the final notes died, the symphony was met with yet another standing ovation and even more enthusiastic applause.

The performance was a terrific display of the North State Symphony and a wonderful send-off for Pickett. Before the show, The Chico Symphony Guild presented the symphony with a check for $20,000 and by the end of the evening, it was clear they deserved every penny.

David Kahn can be reached at [email protected] or @thatdavidkahn on Twitter.

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