Heart of the High Plains: Artistic Advising

Heart of the High Plains

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Hours of rehearsal go into each symphony concert.

Musicians practice on their own and then come together to make sure that every note is perfect.

But before even the musicians get to come together, some very important work goes into planning the experience.

Amarillo Symphony Artistic Advisor Christopher Rogerson says, “I have a lot of fun with it. To me programming is a puzzle– it’s determining for each concert what journey we want to take the audience on. Sometimes that means you have a super dark piece and then a bright one a the end.”

For the last several years, Chris Rogerson has been helping to chart the course of the symphony’s season. It’s both artistic and pragmatic.

Rogerson says, “How many minutes of music is this– how many musicians is this going to require?”

Chris joined the Symphony as a composer in residence several years ago.

This is one of his pieces called “It became dark.

Rogerson says, “It basically is about bedtime as child.”

If you’re like me, the thought of composing a piece for orchestra is overwhelming to say the least.

Rogerson says, “It’s so difficult, I’ve been doing this my whole life– and I always say– and I think a lot composers would agree, every piece I write feels like I don’t know how to write.”

But once he gets a concept or structure he works for hours at the piano.

Rogerson says, “My strategy is basically I play something so many times that I get sick of it, and if I’m not horrendously sick of it, then I know it’s at least okay… it’s like an okay idea.”

A seemingly simple answer for something very complex.

But maybe it is that simple. Chris after all started playing hymns from church by ear at two years old. So you’ve got to believe this is just something he’s meant to do.

Rogerson says, “The main reason I love music so much is to me, it’s all about the sublime– like a great piece of music– I feel like it’s sublime and I feel like that’s just such a wonderful experience to have.”

Chris says that working with the Amarillo Symphony feels like home– like family. He hopes to continue the relationship with the orchestra for a long time.

By the way your next chance to catch the Amarillo Symphony in concert is next month for the Happy Holiday Pops.

This is always a very popular performance, so get your tickets today!

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