Music News & Reviews

Director paces, breathes deeply and takes the stage

Scott Terrell walked stiffly backstage in the Singletary Center for the Arts, reached the door of dressing room A and pushed, right below the card bearing his name.

The door did not give. "Really?" He groaned. "They locked my dressing room."

Finding someone with a key was a momentary hiccup during Terrell's big night: his debut MasterClassics concert as conductor of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra.

It was the first time the Philharmonic has opened a season with a new music director since 1972, when George Zack took the baton.

For the occasion, Terrell had 15 family and friends in town, including his mother and father, who came from Michigan. He also had a genuine classical music superstar on the program: Dame Evelyn Glennie, the world's most famous solo percussionist.

"A lot of my conducting colleagues are really quite envious that I have one of the greatest artists in the world for opening night," Terrell told a small audience that packed the President's Room in the Singletary Center to hear a pre-show chat with Terrell and Glennie.

As excited as Philharmonic patrons, soloists and officials were to see Glennie and her theatrical performance, they were really psyched for Terrell.

"He is really excited, and he has really embraced this community," said Larry Deener, the orchestra's president during the two-year search that resulted in Terrell's being hired.

After the chat, at the end of which he pumped next month's concert with YouTube Symphony soloist Joshua Roman, Terrell whisked out of the pre-concert session to that locked dressing room.

After getting the door open, he sat at the dressing table with the mirror surrounded by lights, air-conducting and making final notes on a score. Then it was time to put on his white tie and tails.

Backstage, he took several long paces between the stage door and the backstage entrance, drawing deep breaths as new orchestra manager Kelly Whelan made some quick opening remarks and concertmaster Daniel Mason got the orchestra in tune.

Then, Terrell strolled out to a big ovation from the crowd in the 1,500-seat concert hall and started a new era for the Lexington Philharmonic.