duke-conductor-harry-davidsonThe Duke Symphony Orchestra is making its annual road trip to the Lowcountry this spring to perform a benefit concert for Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s Keyserling Cancer Center.


The March 31 performance at the Arts Center at Beaufort High School marks the ninth year the Duke University musicians have brought their act to town.

“When we presented the first concert in 2004, we thought it would be a one-time thing,” said Duke Symphony Orchestra Director Harry Davidson, who travels with the group. “It went over so well, it has become a very integral part of what we do.”

It is the only concert the students perform off campus each year. The whirlwind weekend trip from Durham, NC to Beaufort is the highlight of their spring concert schedule. While in town, they stay in the homes of local residents and attend a post-concert reception in a beautiful Beaufort home.

“They’re treated wonderfully by their hosts,” Davidson said. “Quite a rapport develops between the duke-violiniststudents and the families.”

Approximately 60 musicians will be traveling to Beaufort this year to present a program of classical works, including Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 in C major. One of the highlights of the two-hour concert will be the performance of Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 by sophomore music major Jameson Kuang, who won Duke University’s 2011-12 Student Concerto Competition.

Once again this year, the evening program will feature a guest appearance by the Beaufort High School Voices, a 50-member advanced choral group led by Jordan Norris. The high school chorus has performed with the orchestra the last five years and was invited in 2008 to sing on the Duke University campus.

“It’s a great opportunity for our singers,” said Norris. “Performing with a full symphony, especially of such quality, is rare for any high school group.”

Accompanied by the musicians, the chorus will perform Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus and a medley of tunes from the Broadway musical, “Wicked.”

One of Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation’s most successful annual fundraisers, the concert has generated more than $157,000 for the cancer center and the hospital’s Healing Arts programs.

“This event benefits everyone,” said BMH Foundation Executive Director Alice Moss. “Beaufort High choral students get a unique performing opportunity, Duke students enjoy a trip to Beaufort and area residents enjoy hosting the orchestra students as well as attending the concert.”

General admission tickets to the 7 p.m. performance are $35. Patron tickets are $75 and include premium seating at the concert and an invitation to the conductor’s reception at the home of 1977 Duke graduate William B. Harvey III.

For more information on the concert or to purchase tickets, visit www.bmhsc.org or call 522-5774.


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