Concert earns Butler Philharmonic conductor Italy invite
A post on YouTube has facilitated ‘cultural exchange’ next year.
Scott Woodard
By Ginny McCabe
Contributing Writer

After an early spring concert at the Fitton Center with members of the Butler Philharmonic Orchestra went from TV Hamilton to viewers across the globe, Scott Woodard, musical director and conductor of the philharmonic, received an invitation to perform in Italy.

He will be part of a concert alongside the Rimini Chamber Orchestra on March 26, 2022.

“TV Hamilton put it up on their YouTube page, I put it up on mine, and the Fitton Center put it up. There were recordings out there on the web, and as luck would have it, this fellow (Alberto Cappiello) from a place called Rimini in Italy saw the concert online and he contacted me on Facebook,” Woodard said. “He said it was a fantastic concert, and he’s the general manager of the Rimini Chamber Orchestra.

He said, ‘I really want to have that concert here. Can you come in March?’”

The virtual performance was recorded live at the Fitton Center.

It was made available on TV Hamilton’s Spectrum cable channel 24 as well as on TV Hamilton’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Woodard said he will be performing with the Rimini Chamber Orchestra, and he will make the trip solo. There will be two rehearsals prior to the concert.

In Italy, Woodard will work with Cappiello, a horn soloist who is also the general manager of the orchestra. Woodard and his family will also take the opportunity to spend a few days in Italy after the concert.

“I was very excited to say ‘yes’ immediately,” Woodard said. “It just shows you the power of social media. It’s amazing to me that we recorded this concert at the Fitton Center, and halfway around the world, social media made it possible for someone to see it, enjoy it, and then want to make this cultural exchange happen because of it. It really boggles my mind how powerful social media can be.”

The concert on March 26, will feature three musical selections, including Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48 by Tchaikovsky, Lyric for String Orchestra by George Walker, and Cappiello will be featured on Horn Concerto No. 2 by Richard Strauss.

After Woodard performs in Italy, Cappiello will visit the United States to perform with the Butler Philharmonic Orchestra for a “cultural exchange.”

“Then, as a musical exchange, we have our last inside concert in May, and he is going to come here and be our soloist with the Butler Philharmonic Orchestra,” Woodard said.

It will be a great opportunity to see an international artist at no cost, he said, and there’s also the value of cultural exchange for both the musicians and the listeners.

Although the concerts will be performed for live audiences, he hopes both performances will be made available for online viewers.

“It’s important for folks here to understand what the arts are like in Europe and vice versa, and that’s an invaluable experience, but I think it’s even more valuable right now as we come out of the pandemic and we’ve been without arts for such a long period of time, to now have opportunities to not just perform, but to talk and to exchange ideas, and do it in a musical platform.

It’s really important that we continue the dialogue,” Woodard said.

He said these experiences put us in a position to not take the arts for granted, and they help us to appreciate different cultures.

“It’s incredibly meaningful for musicians to exchange with one another and walk in those footsteps that great musicians have walked in before. I think about all of the great Italian musicians who have performed at that place, so for me, it’s really meaningful to be able to go there and walk in their shadows, and I’m sure for Alberto, it will be the same to come here and perform with musicians,” Woodard said.