By Jennifer Pierce

I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2014-2015 season launches for two of Halifax’s premiere arts organizations, Symphony Nova Scotia and Neptune Theatre.

If you’ve never been, both of these are annual events, free to attend and open to the public and they even include a bite to eat!

First up was the Symphony launch – which was really a mini-concert interspersed with short interviews to introduce the pieces of the upcoming season. The orchestra was all there, dressed in their casual clothes, and they played a number of pieces for the full house in attendance. Audience members ranged from some very young and very attentive little people in the front row, to a mother and her 8-month-old baby, to one woman who has been a season subscriber “since the very beginning!”

They opened with Bizet’s Symphony in C. Next up was a piece of Mozart’s clarinet concerto, with the clarinetist taking centre stage, and I found it fascinating to watch the way he played and obviously felt the music with his whole body. After Brahms’ Haydn Variation no. 7 and Rameau’s Dardanus, special guest David Myles took the stage to sing his “When It Comes My Turn” with full symphony backup. Myles is doing a show with the Symphony again this year, and if you’ve never heard pop-folk music with symphonic accompaniment live, you’re missing out and should get your tickets now!

The show closed with Glinka’s Ruslan and Ludmila, a very dramatic piece with lots of booms of the timpani, which I love!

You can view the full 2014/15 season lineup for Symphony Nova Scotia and purchase tickets here.

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Last week I also attended the season launch for Neptune Theatre’s 52nd season.  This was also a combination of entertainment and introductions to the season – starting with Artistic Director George Pothitos flying in with an umbrella a la Mary Poppins! We were then treated to a performance of Let’s Go Fly a Kite from this year’s season-closing show.

Chamber Board Member Rob Batherson is also the Chair of the Neptune Theatre Board of Directors, and was there to make introductory remarks. He described live theatre as  “high-def, widescreen, commercial free”… and 3D!

Neptune Theatre School’s planned performances for the upcoming season were announced, including their travelling show for grades 7-12 which will be a commissioned work around the theme of body image.

During the announcement of the main stage and studio series shows we were treated to two more performances, of a piece from Into the Woods featuring Jack (of beanstock fame), and one from Billy Bishop Goes to War in which the flying ace describes his first solo flight.

The season starts with Into the Woods, a Broadway musical starring many of your favourite fairy tale characters. The Christmas show is A Christmas Story and the season-ending musical is… duh nuh nuh nuh… snap snap… The Addams Family! There are also two shows about Prime Ministers – Trudeau and MacKenzie King.

You can view the full 2014/15 season lineup and purchase tickets here.

And remember… this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to arts & culture in Halifax!

Jennifer Pierce is the Member Services Specialist at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. If you would like to request a member visit please contact Jennifer. She can be reached at (902) 481-1227 or jenn@halifaxchamber.com