“Who can lose with terrific piano and tuba soloists, nature themes, 160 children singing joyously, and jazzy music in early 20th Century Romanticism?” writes Priscilla McLean in Monday’s (3/12) Times Union (Albany, N.Y.). The Albany Symphony’s March 10 performance in Albany, led by Music Director David Alan Miller, “was a run-through of the Kennedy Center performance to-be on April 11th, at the second annual SHIFT Festival of American orchestras. Joan Tower’s ‘Still/Rapids’ began the concert, with soloist Joyce Yang at the piano. The first movement, ‘Still,’ … evoked a dreamy static quality…. ‘Rapids’ saw jagged arpeggios and cascades of falling and rising pitches in the piano…. [In] ‘Reflections on the Mississippi’ by Michael Daugherty, [with] Benjamin Pierce as the tuba soloist … Daugherty created tuba duets with unlikely partners such as the xylophones, harp, and solo violin…. After intermission … the 160-voice All City Elementary School Choir from the Troy City School District [joined the ASO for] ‘The Grand Erie Canal’ by Dorothy Chang. Five songs were sung … with students reciting facts about the Erie Canal before each song and at the end.” Also on the program was Michael Torke’s Three Manhattan Bridges with Joyce Yang as piano soloist.

Posted March 16, 2018