Holst - The Planets

November 9 & 10, 8 pm

Click on the image above to download hi-res photo.

David Lockingtonconductor

Over the past thirty years, David Lockington has developed an impressive conducting career in the United States. A native of Great Britain, he served as the Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony from January 1999 to May 2015, and is currently the orchestra’s Conductor Laureate. He has held the position of Music Director with the Modesto Symphony since May 2007 and in March 2013, Mr. Lockington was appointed Music Director of the Pasadena Symphony. He has a close relationship with the Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias in Spain, where he was the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor from 2012 through 2016, and in the 15/16 season was named one of three Artistic Partners with the Northwest Sinfonietta in Tacoma, Washington.

In addition to his current posts, since his arrival to the United States in 1978 Mr. Lockington has held positions with several other American orchestras, including serving as Assistant Conductor of the Denver Symphony Orchestra and Opera Colorado, and Assistant and Associate Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In May 1993 he accepted the position of Music Director of the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, assumed the title of Music Director of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra in September 1995 and was Music Director of the Long Island Philharmonic for the 96/97 through 99/2000 seasons.

Mr. Lockington's guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Saint Louis, Houston, Detroit, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, Oregon and Phoenix symphonies; the Rochester and Louisiana Philharmonics; and the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall. Internationally, he has conducted the Northern Sinfonia in Great Britain, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the China Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra in Beijing and Taiwan,and led the English Chamber Orchestra on a tour in Asia.

Recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include appearances with the New Jersey, Indianapolis, Vancouver, Utah, Pacific, Colorado, Nashville, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Edmonton, Alabama, Tucson and Kansas City symphonies, the Florida and Louisville Orchestras, the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and the Buffalo, Calgary and Oklahoma Philharmonics. Mr. Lockington's summer festival activities include appearances at the Grand Teton, Colorado Music, Interlochen, Chautauqua and Eastern Music festivals.

David Lockington began his career as a cellist and was the Principal with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for two years. After completing his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar, Mr. Lockington came to the United States on a scholarship to Yale University where he received his Master's degree in cello performance and studied conducting with Otto Werner Mueller. He was a member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and served as assistant principal cellist with the Denver Symphony Orchestra for three years before turning to conducting.

Click on the image above to download hi-res photo.

Tom Hornig, trombone

I love to perform, and I love to teach. Throughout the last 25 years, I have enjoyed a wide variety of performing and recording opportunities. My performance career got off to an exciting start when Michael Tilson Thomas invited me to join The New World Symphony as principal trombonist, a position I held for 4 seasons. Since moving to the San Francisco Bay area in 1992, I have had the pleasure of performing over 1000 concerts with the San Francisco Symphony and numerous productions with the San Francisco Opera. In addition, I am a regular member of the California Symphony, Oakland Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, and Modesto Symphony. Being a freelance musician provides the opportunity for a wide variety of performance genres. At George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch I have recorded numerous film scores, video game scores, and T.V. commercials, such as, XXX State of the Union, Hellboy, Inspector Gadget, Mars Attacks, Gods of War III, Uncharted, and Uncharted II. Furthermore, I have been part of several orchestral recordings, including three Grammy Award winning recordings with the San Francisco Symphony.

Since 2003, I have been dedicated to helping my San Jose State University students achieve their dreams and goals as musicians and teachers. All of my performing experience provides the core for my teaching style. Essentially, I teach the way I practice, though with an individualized slant for each of my student’s unique needs. I like to get to know my students as people, not just as young musicians. I firmly believe that I’m teaching people, not just music lessons. Over the past 25 years, this approach has proven to be very successful, as many of my students have won competitions, been admitted to some of the nation’s leading conservatories such as Juilliard, Eastman, New England Conservatory, and Northwestern; as well as achieving other significant honors. I prefer a multi-faceted approach to teaching, offering my students the benefit of strong technical instruction, emphasizing tone quality, register development, agility and flexibility. In addition, there is constant development of musical style and interpretation. It is my goal to help my students achieve the same joy and enrichment that I have experienced from music in my career.

Click on the image above to download hi-res photo.

Daniel R. Afonso Jr., chorus director

Daniel R. Afonso Jr. has served as conductor of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra Chorus since its foundation in 2001. He has prepared the ensemble for performances of the best-known works for chorus an d orchestra, from Bach's contatas to Mahler's Symphony No. 2. Afosno is also the Coordinator of Vocal and Choral Studies at CSU, Stanislaus. Afonso received a B.M.E. degree from the Universidade do Rio de Janeiro (UNI -Rio), a M.M. degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a D.M.A. degree in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa. Dr. Afonso is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has studied conducting with Carlos Alberto Figueiredo, Cees Rotteveel, Eph Ehly, and William Hatcher.

Dr. Afonso has performed with choral groups in Brazil, U.S., and Europe, and has previously taught music at the Conservatório Brasileiro de Música, Universidade do Rio de Janeiro (UNI-Rio), and Doane College, Nebraska. In 1988, he won the first prize and the best performance of Villa-Lobos work award at the Concurso Villa-Lobos de Canto Coral, a national choral competition sponsored by the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro. Dr. Afonso is strongly committed to the performance of new music and has commissioned and premiered many new choral works in the last few years, including several of his own works as well as works by young composition students. He had his New York debut in 2012, conducting Mozart’s Requiem with members of the MSO Chorus and students from CSU Stanislaus at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

He is also a composer, arranger, and editor of choral music and has choral works published by earthsongs, Colla Voce, and Alliance Music Publications. He served as composer-in-residence with the San Francisco Choral Artists during their 2014-2015 season and has also written works for the Los Angeles Children’s Choir, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, and other ensembles in the US and abroad. He has written innumerous arrangements for the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, including a new version of The Star-Spangled Banner for chorus and orchestra, recently premiered at the opening concert for the 2015-16 concert season. Dr. Afonso is widely recognized for his research and performance of Brazilian choral music and continues to frequently present workshops and lectures about the Latin American choral repertoire.

Great Valley Museum

The Modesto Symphony Orchestra is proud to be partnering with the Great Valley Museum and Modesto Junior College William R. Luebke Planetarium. We thank them for their video presentation to accompany The Planets.

The Great Valley Museum opens minds, touches hearts, and inspires action towards discovering, appreciating, and preserving our natural heritage and environment.  Science literacy and the unique Central Valley are promoted by engaging students, educators and the community through onsite and outreach programs.  The Museum serves as a resource to educational institutions, including Modesto Junior College.

The GVM home is the first floor of the Science Community Center on the west campus of Modesto Junior College.  We offer group tours for groups of up to 70 individuals.  Our docent guided tours cover the natural history and various habitats of the Central Valley of California.  Live animal shows in which we present some of the two dozen live animals are also available for groups.  In our museum we have a Discovery Room dedicated to hands-on activities and materials.  This room also houses 2 dozen live animals including snakes, tarantulas, skinks and many others.  Our Science on a Sphere, produced by NOAA, has over 400 datasets that are projected onto a 1.5 meter sphere including real-time worldwide events such as earthquakes, hurricanes and other phenomenon.  The planetarium has a top-of-the-line Zeiss Skymaster ZKP-4 LED/fiber optic star projector coupled with a Zeiss Velvet Projection System capable of displaying the night sky and full-dome planetarium films for an audience of 100.  Our Traveling Teacher program offers over 3 dozen programs that come out to local elementary schools to cover topics such as live animals, the various sciences, nature, craft topics and our California Valley history.  Such topics are also offered through on-site classes throughout the year.