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The Maestro Returns at the Potter Center
Saturday, October 17

October 17 @ 7:30 pm


The Maestro Returns

Conductor Laureate Stephen Osmond returns to the podium to conduct Shostakovich’s 5th symphony and La valse by Ravel. In collaboration with world–famous concert pianist William Westney, Osmond presents Prokofiev’s first piano concerto. This program is sure to feature a surprise or two! Don’t miss the Maestro’s return.

Preconcert Conversation @ 6:30pm

Join us for a free, interactive lecture on this evening’s featured music.


Program Schedule

Voices of Spring Waltz, op. 410
“Frühlingsstimmen”, Op. 410 (“Spring’s Voices,” or commonly “Voices of Spring”) is an orchestral waltz, with optional solo soprano voice, written in 1882 by Johann Strauss II.

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La valse
La valse, poème chorégraphique pour orchestre (a choreographic poem for orchestra), is a work written by Maurice Ravel between February 1919 and 1920; it was first performed on 12 December 1920 in Paris. It was conceived as a ballet but is now more often heard as a concert work. The work has been described as a tribute to the waltz, and the composer George Benjamin, in his analysis of La valse, summarized the ethos of the work: Whether or not it was intended as a metaphor for the predicament of European civilization in the aftermath of the Great War, its one-movement design plots the birth, decay and destruction of a musical genre: the waltz.

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Piano Concerto No.1, op.10 in D-flat major
William Westney, piano
Sergei Prokofiev set about composing his Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-flat major, Op. 10, in 1911 and finished it in 1912. It is the shortest of his five complete piano concertos. An example of a short duration performance can be found in pianist Gabriel Tacchino’s 1975 recording with the Orchestra Of Radio Luxembourg which lasts fourteen minutes and fifteen seconds.

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Symphony No.5, op.47 in D minor
The Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47, by Dmitri Shostakovich is a work for orchestra composed between April and July 1937. Its first performance was on November 21, 1937, in Leningrad by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra under Yevgeny Mravinsky. The premiere was a huge success and received an ovation that lasted well over half an hour.

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Runtime: 2H

Music Preview

Concert Sponsors

Stephen & Melissa Osmond
Creative Initiative Fund





Maestro Stephen Osmond’s triumphal 40 years as music director of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra set a high standard as one of the longest tenures for any conductor in the history of American orchestras. Over four decades, his leadership was consistently distinguished by musical excellence for the orchestra and forward-thinking vision for its programs and facilities. Maestro Osmond followed a rich and varied path to Jackson, including hundreds of performances from France to China to cities all over the United States.

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Growing up on the North Shore of Chicago, he attended New Trier High School and had leading roles in musical theater productions there. During his undergraduate education at Northwestern University, Osmond conducted musicals and participated in summer conducting workshops with Robert Shaw.

While completing his Master’s Degree in music at Yale, he directed or performed with talented fellow students including Meryl Streep and Sigourney Weaver, as well as renowned professionals such as Kurt Kasznar and Carmen de Lavallade. His mentors included three of the five principal European emigres who brought their traditions to America in the second half of the Twentieth Century: Gustav Meier, Otto-Werner Mueller, and Herman Genhart.

Early in his professional career, Maestro Osmond established himself as a creative programmer who engages orchestras and audiences alike in music from all eras, but especially the Twentieth Century. His collaborations with Louis Magor, Gustav Meier and Michael Tilson Thomas led to the creation of Westboro Music Festival near San Francisco. In the Chicago area, he was the founder and first director of the North Shore Theatre Company. Maestro Osmond was also a guest conductor for orchestras in the Midwest and on both coasts, including the Amadeaus Chamber Orchestra, the Albany Symphony, and the Westboro Festival Orchestra. He held professorships at SUNY Albany and the University of Michigan. At Michigan, he was conductor and music director of the University Philharmonia Orchestra and Contemporary Directions Ensemble, with performances at venues including New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall.

He became music director of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra in 1977 and held that post until retiring 2017. Guided by Maestro Osmond’s artistry, professionalism, and passion, the JSO reached artistic and educational goals that were transformative. Under his leadership, a valued and respected amateur community orchestra developed into one of the finest regional orchestras in the Midwest.

Artistic highlights of his JSO tenure include the establishment of several opera and ballet ventures. Ballets were collaborations with established companies from Indianapolis and Grand Rapids, while opera productions were home grown in Jackson. Maestro Osmond became widely known for deeply moving performances of great classical repertory, and entertaining performances on pops stages. Reviews from New York Times, Detroit News, Albany Knickerbocker News, Lansing State Journal, and Jackson Citizen Patriot praised his performances for energy, style, and magnetic podium demeanor.

Maestro Osmond decided that if he wanted the Jackson community to support his orchestra, he should support the community. He served on six boards of directors, including eight years on the local school board (seven as either president or vice president), and five years with the Chamber of Commerce.

Thanks to Maestro Osmond’s firm conviction that education is critical for the future of classical music, particularly orchestral music, in 1992 the Jackson Symphony Orchestra became one of the first community orchestras in the country to establish a Community Music School. He was an early creator of other educational programs including the Pied Piper program, String Teams, The Family Music Fair, the Community String Ensemble, Back Stage Glimpses, and various lecture series.

As executive director as well as music director of the JSO, Maestro Osmond demonstrated management expertise best exemplified by 38 years without a single budget deficit.

Twice he led successful fund drives to create a beautiful headquarters for the JSO, a space Maestro Osmond helped to design. Raising more than $4 million, the orchestra renovated a former downtown store structure to provide rehearsal and performance space for the orchestra, as well as offices and classrooms for its programs and for other Jackson performing arts groups. Orchestras in communities 20 times the size of Jackson have nothing comparable to the JSO building.



Wisaal, an Arabic-influenced world music ensemble based in Lansing, Michigan, was formed in February 2010. Wisaal is an Arabic word meaning links, connections, or unities. This reflects our attempt to present high-quality concert and educational presentations of music that fuse elements of the Arabic musical heritage with Klezmer, classical Indian, and American influences while respecting the spirit of these musics. Wisaal’s repertoire consists of classical Arabic instrumental pieces, contemporary fusion pieces, and original compositions.

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Classical Arabic instrumental pieces from the twentieth century become frameworks within which traditional Arabic forms and rhythmic patterns blend with Western harmonic backgrounds and rhythmically charged pop and world-music grooves. Arabic instruments – oud, percussion, and bass – are joined by Klezmer-influenced clarinet and American folk mandolin. Contemporary fusion pieces and original compositions combine these various influences and allow for extended improvisations that showcase the different improvisatory traditions represented in Wisaal.

Wisaal has performed at various venues around Michigan and the midwest, including appearances at Lotus Festival (Bloomington, IN), Global Rhythms (Oxford, OH) and the East Lansing Art Festival (East Lansing, MI). Wisaal has also performed educational concerts and workshops at Michigan State University, Spring Arbor University, Alma College, and Central Michigan University. The group has recently diversified its performance offerings by collaborating with a Lansing based dancer, Leilah, and her group, Karma. Wisaal recently released their first full-length album, “The Warp and the Weft.” In December 2011, Wisaal received the Excellence in Diversity Awards for “Excellence in Advancing Global Competency,” from Michigan State University.




October 17
7:30 pm
Event Category:


Potter Center
2111 Emmons Rd.
Jackson, MI 49201 United States
+ Google Map

If you’re reading this page, that means you’re hopefully joining us soon for a concert, and we love that. We care a LOT about making sure people who are newer to classical music and/or orchestra concerts have a great experience. If you have a question that isn’t answered below please contact us at info@jacksonsymphony.org we want to ensure you have an amazing experience.

What do I wear?
More than anything, we want you to be comfortable when you join us for a concert, so dress in a way that works for you. Some people love dressing up and going out—if that’s you go for it. If you prefer to be more casual, that’s fine too. You won’t be the only one dressed casually, either. You will see everything from jeans to suits and ties. In short, you do you, and we’re just glad you’re joining us.

When do I applaud?
This is tricky. The tradition is that you wait until the conclusion of the work, last movement in the case of symphonies, concertos, etc. On the other hand, no pun intended, you should feel comfortable expressing your response to the music whenever you feel moved to do so. A safe out is to wait until others start.

Do I need to know anything about classical music to enjoy the concert?
Not at all. Music is the language of the spirit as much as the mind. The universal language speaks directly to the listener, no interpreter necessary, enjoy! For a more in depth look at the music being performed, all concert goers can attend the free pre-concert conversation “Backstage Glimpses” hosted by Dr. Bruce Brown, JSO Composer in Residence. The conversation takes place at 6:30 pm .Dr. Brown leads a lively, enlightening and informative look at the evening’s repertoire. Guest Artists are generally present to give a brief talk on the music they will be performing and to answer audience questions. You can also listen to the concert playlist on Spotify. Compiled by Music Director Matthew Aubin, the playlist is full of his top picks of the best recordings of the pieces we will be playing.

Can I bring my child to an evening concert?
Children are welcome to attend all our events provided that they are supervised by an adult. Every child must have a ticket. Child/student ticket prices are only $5. For a family with small children we encourage you to attend a rehearsal. Phone the JSO office, (517) 782-3221 x117 for details.

How can I support the JSO?
The ways are numerous including annual fund, endowment, planned giving, volunteering and several more. Please click here for more information. The JSO is a 501(c)3, so any donation you make to the JSO is a tax deductible donation to the full extent provided by law.

Can I take photographs during the concert?
Photographing or taping JSO concerts is strictly prohibited. No recording devices or cameras are permitted without special authorization from the JSO.

Can I rent the JSO Downtown Music Center for functions?
Yes, our facility at 215 W. Michigan has proved to be an excellent venue for recitals, business meetings and even memorial services. Please contact us to learn more.

Can I hire orchestra musicians to play at an event?
Some of our musicians do perform at weddings and other special functions. Please contact the Orchestra Personnel Manager at: jacksonsymphonypm@gmail.com.

If I arrive to a concert late, will I be seated immediately?
The JSO makes every attempt to begin concerts on time. In deference to the comfort and listening pleasure of the audience in the hall, latecomers will not be seated until after the conclusion of the first work on the program, and there will be no seating break during any work. Patrons who leave the hall before or during a work will not be reseated until after the work is completed. Your usher will alert you as soon as it is possible to be seated. House lights are dimmed to indicate that the concert is about to begin.

How can I find out if a concert has been cancelled due to inclement weather?
To find out if a scheduled JSO performance has been cancelled due to inclement weather, hazardous roads, power outages and the like, call the box office at 517-782-3221 x117.

I’ve misplaced my tickets for tomorrow’s concert, what should I do?
If subscription tickets are lost, call (517)782-3221 x117. The JSO will verify the purchase through its records. Subscribers may then pick up an entry pass at the box office prior to the concert. These passes cannot be exchanged. The lost ticket policy does not apply to tickets already exchanged. (If they call the day before the concert, we write passes which the guest picks up at our “will call” table at JC after 6:30 PM the night of the concert.)

Can I donate my unused tickets?
Ticket holders unable to use or exchange their tickets are encouraged to call the JSO Box Office at (517)782-3221, ext. 117, at least 24 hours in advance of the concert. The value of each ticket can be used as a tax-deductible contribution. The JSO will send a donation letter and a CD of the missed performance to the donor.

Can I leave my cellphone on during a concert?
Cellular phones, pagers and alarm watches should be turned off while in the hall. Patrons should ask for the House Manager to report an emergency during a concert, or to make special arrangements to receive emergency phone calls during a concert. The JSO appreciates the audience’s cooperation in avoiding any extraneous sounds during the concerts. The hall microphones used to record the orchestra are extremely sensitive and will even record the sound of a wristwatch chime.

Does the JSO provide discounted ticket prices for groups?
Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more. Call (517) 782-3221 for details.

Can I do volunteer work for the JSO?
To volunteer for fund-raising projects and other exciting events, visit our volunteer page by clicking here or contact the JSO office at (517) 782-3221.

Where should I eat before a concert?
Several fine restaurants are located in Jackson;

I’m coming in from out of town, is there any place to eat close by?”
A full list of restaurants in the Jackson area can be found at the Experience Jackson website. Options within walking distance of The Wax include Bella Note, Chilango’s Burrito Bar, Chilango’s Chop House, Grand River Brewery, Night Light, and The Chase Sports Bar.

How about a hotel that’s nearby?
There are many hotel options within easy driving distance of The Wax. A full list of Jackson area hotels can be found by clicking here (you will be redirected to the Experience Jackson website).

What time does the concert start?
Unless otherwise noted on our website, all of our concerts start at 8:00. Doors to The Wax will open 30 minutes prior to the start of the show.

I’d like to bring my child(ren) to the concert, do I need to buy a ticket for them?
We think music is a universal experience and should be shared by those of all ages, so children are welcome at The Wax, but they do need a ticket unless they are small enough to sit in a lap during the concert. Also, since our room provides an intimate listening experience, we ask that children be able to sit quietly for the duration of the show (generally 75 to 90 minutes).

Where should I park?
There is plentiful street parking around our building and there are also Jackson City Parking Lots available on West Michigan Avenue, just east of South Jackson and just west of Mechanic Streets or on Pearl Street, just east of Blackstone and just west of South Jackson Streets.

I’ve bought tickets, but now can’t come to the concert; can I get a refund?
Unfortunately we are unable to offer refunds for concert tickets.

The weather is really bad; will the concert still take place?
In the rare event that a concert is cancelled we will immediately post a notification on our website along with any information about possibly rescheduling or refund information.

I (or my business) would like to be involved in the Music on Tap Series; are sponsorship opportunities available?
Sponsorship opportunities are available at many different levels. For more information, please click here to see our Support page.

We have special seating needs, is The Wax accessible?
The Wax is fully accessible. If you know you are coming to the show and you have accessibility needs, please contact us in advance so that we can make sure you are accommodated.

Are you on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter?
We are on Facebook and Instagram. Please like and follow us to stay up-to-date on everything that is happening.