Kenneth Bowermeister and the Venice Symphony can hardly wait to start performing in the under-construction Venice Performing Arts Center.
The symphony plans to perform its entire 2014-2015 season in the new hall, scheduled to open in October.
The hall "is going to be an amazingly beautiful facility and opens up so many possibilities for us. We've played in a church for many years. This is a much larger facility," said Bowermeister, who has been the community orchestra's conductor since 2009.
And, he added, moving the symphony from Venice Church of the Nazarene strengthens the organization's credibility in the artistic community.
"I know people will come to see the new hall who have never heard us perform," he said. "We have transformed into an orchestra that can really hold its head up now."
The orchestra recently bought a nine-foot Steinway grand piano that needed a specially-built (and expensive) platform in the church setting.
"We can hardly fit one piano where we were," said Bowermeister. The new performing arts hall will enable the symphony to program dual-piano concerti and to collaborate with other arts organizations for larger productions.
The 2014-2015 season will include several collaborative performances, including concerts featuring Exsultate!, the Venice chorale.
The season will open on Nov. 21-22 with "A Musical Kaleidoscope."
The program will include "classical, light classical and popular things just to give people an idea of the range of the orchestra," said Bowermeister.
Exsultate! will reappear in February for two performances of Carol Orff's "Carmina Burana," a cantata inspired by a collection of medieval student poetry. The orchestra will perform with an adult chorus,a children's chorus, and three vocal soloists, including Jason Stearns, a baritone who performs with the Metropolitan Opera. Auditions are planned for September for soprano and countertenor soloists, said Bowermeister.
In March, guest soloists are The Chun Sisters, Angela and Jennifer, Juilliard graduates who will perform a violin concerto by George Tsontakis.
The pair play around the world, and Bowermeister said he is "very excited to have them perform."
The Tsontakis piece, "Unforgettable," is based on material from the Nat King Cole song of the same title.
"He wove this into the texture so that you don't even recognize the tune," said Bowermeister. "It's a very adventuresome piece for the Venice Orchestra to do, extremely 21st-century, extremely atonal, and will certainly stretch our audience quite a bit."
In April, the symphony will share the stage with the Aleron Trio from San Francisco for an all-Beethoven program. The cellist in the trio, Anne Suda, is the daughter of one of Bowermeister's closest friends from high school, Carolyn Suda.
Not on the season subscription schedule is a gala concert on Feb. 28 in which noted jazz pianist Dick Hyman will perform his newly-composed second piano concerto.
"This is a real feather in our cap," said Bowermeister. "Dick played 'Rhapsody in Blue' with us last year. He's always exciting to perform with. This is just an awe-inspiring event."
VENICE SYMPHONY, 2014-2015
“A Musical Kaleidoscope,” Nov. 21-22
“Holiday Traditions,” Dec. 19-20
“The Great White Way,” Jan. 23-24
“Carmina Burana,” Feb. 13-14
“Unforgettable,” soloists The Chun Sisters, March 13-14
“Threefold,” soloists Aleron Trio, April 17-18
“AmoVenezia (I Love Venice),” May 1-2.
For tickets, call 207-8822 or visit www.thevenicesymphony.org