Hot on the heels of his Clayton Holiday Concert successes, Maestro Richman went directly to LA to rehearse with the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra for its tour of China. The timing of this tour is cleverly designed to occur on the 40 year anniversary of President Nixon's historic China visit in 1972. What's more, the KSO's Director of Education and Community Partnerships, Jennifer Barnett, will be soprano soloist on the tour, which will feature eight performances in six cities over a 13-day run.

Another of our staff will be leaving us on January 13th. The KSO's Director of Communications, Stephanie Burdette, will be taking a position closer to her family in Richmond, VA. She will be a project manager for an advertising firm called the Martin Agency. One of her major successes in her nine years with the KSO is the establishment of this very blog, which is now well into its third year. We will miss her smiling face and wish her and her family all the best!

Speaking of Richmond, I can't help noticing from time to time that some in our community, and even in the orchestra, seem to think that our conductor's last name is pronounced the same as the city to which Stephanie is moving. I can only hope that these folks are being quaint and not unobservant.

The travelling bug has even hit my family. (This blog is being posted from Laconia New Hampshire, where my parents live). In a few short days, our son Thomas will be flying to Spain to spend his spring semester abroad in Madrid. A junior Art History major at Middlebury College in Vermont, Thomas is no stranger to Knoxville's classical audiences, having participated in the children's choir for Mahler's 3rd and for Knoxville Opera's production of Turandot. He claimed first prize in the Knoxville Choral Society's Young Classical Musician's Competition on piano in 2007, and in 2002 portrayed the title role in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors in a fine production at Westminster Presbyterian Church. We are devouring these last few days with him here stateside, and now I am off to kick his butt at pool.

On behalf of the KSO and all of its many faces, please have a happy and safe New Year!!!
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