New Albany Symphony This Weekend: Sensory Awareness and Fun!

Beethoven, John Adams, Holst and the New Albany Symphony, this Sunday at 3 PM.(Photo: NASO)
Beethoven, John Adams, Holst and the New Albany Symphony, this Sunday at 3 PM.(Photo: NASO)

The New Albany Symphony presents John Adam’s  Short Ride on a Fast Machine; Beethoven’s Piano Concerto 2; and The Planets, by Gustav Holst. Jon Kimura Parker is piano soloist, Luis Biava conducts. Sunday April 6 at 3 PM. More info:

The New Albany Symphony is actively courting the special needs audiences with new initiatives geared toward those with sensory difficulties. This weened’s concert features music loud and banging, and lovely and lyrical. Jon Kimura Parker has perfected the art of pianist-as-mensch. He’s a fabulous artist and a very sweet guy.

It has been good to observe the New Albany Symphony’s audience growth. I was at the firs concert and I will be at this one. The orchestra has quickly gained ground through talent and creative programming, making NASO the one of our area’s best arts organizations.

For a long time most of the work has been done by one person, violist Heather Garner. She’s a working mother of two and herself a member of the orchestra ( and the Columbus Symphony). Luis Biava has grown so much as a conductor that the fearful Beethoven 9 and The Planets hold no problems for him.

More good news: There’s a young violist in the orchestra from F airfield County named Israelle Johnson. Nothing unusual in this. NASO has always involved the very young and offers mentors alongside them on stage. What’s unusual is that Israelle is hearing impaired.

Forget the terms ‘handicapped’ or ‘challenged.’  Israelle seems to function perfectly well as a musician, thank you very much. She may need an interpreter for the fine points in rehearsal, but I’m told she’s maturing into a fine professional musician.

Last week Israelle told the Columbus Dispatch, “If a deaf person has music in their blood, I want to let that person know you can pick up an instrument.”

We are moving towards recognizing artists for their talents, not for whatever may impede them. I’ve seen wonderful blind opera singers, musicians in wheel chairs and I’ve even seen dancers with no legs. why not?  Talent is talent and especially with the New Albany Symphony, talent wins.