Dover Symphony Orchestra returning to Schwartz Center

For the first time in five years, the Dover Symphony Orchestra is back where area music lovers say they belong — the Schwartz Center for the Arts.

In 2011, the orchestra left its longtime home to perform at the larger Calvary Assembly of God and Dover Downs’ Rollins Center. But for its performance Sunday, the orchestra will be back in the heart of Dover for the first show of its 48th season. The other three performances will be at Dover Downs.

“I ran into (Schwartz theater manager) Don Lonski and we started talking about how it would be cool to work with them again,” said Dover Symphony Orchestra President Nancy Pikulik.

Best Bets logo -NEW“They have a new board and a new administration and he and I worked out a wonderful plan. We are really excited about this on both sides and I know our patrons are excited.”

Reopened in 2001, the Schwartz Center for the Arts was renovated with the Dover Symphony in mind, said Ms. Pikulik.

“Our conductor (Donald Buxton) was consulted and renovations were made that took orchestral purposes into account,” she said.

“It’s a such a beautiful hall. The acoustics are good and the place is gorgeous. It should be used.”

Mr. Lonski is equally excited.

“I’ve been trying to get them back here,” he said. “It was a big blow to Dover when they left. It was sad to see the two part ways. The theater and the symphony are both for the community and it’s amazing how much both mean to the community. The symphony stands for elegance and the Schwartz does as well.”

The symphony is leaving Calvary with no hard feelings. The church is getting ready for its full-scale holiday production and wouldn’t be able to house the performance this time around. The orchestra still practices there on Monday evenings.

Sunday’s “French Impressions” will feature “Bizet’s Symphony in C” and Fauré’s “Élégie for Cello and Orchestra,” performed by Jennifer Cromwell Stomberg, principal cellist.

“Carmen Suite 1,” Fauré’s “Pavane” and Ravel’s “Pavane pour une Infante Défunte” are also included in the program.

Ms. Cromwell Stomberg, from Wilmington, has been with the orchestra for a year and a half.

Jennifer Crowell Stomberg, of Wilmington, will serve as featured cellist during a piece performed at Sunday’s Dover Symphony Orchestra concert at the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Dover. (Submitted photo)

Jennifer Crowell Stomberg, of Wilmington, will serve as featured cellist during a piece performed at Sunday’s Dover Symphony Orchestra concert at the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Dover. (Submitted photo)

“She is phenomenal,” said Ms. Pikulik. “I also play the cello and I get distracted sometimes playing my part because I’m listening to her. She is really spectacular and it’s a beautiful piece.”

The rest of the season will shift to the larger Dover Downs’ Rollins Center, which has a capacity of 800 as opposed to the 555, which the Schwartz holds.

The holiday concert will take place Nov. 27 at 3 p.m. and feature the family favorite “Peter and the Wolf” as well as holiday classics.

Betty Mae Hamilton, who served as the narrator the first time the piece was performed by the orchestra will be the narrator once again this year.

“She says this will be her swan song,” Ms. Pikulik said.

The orchestra performs the classic every few years.

“It’s a favorite of the young people and we like to keep young people exposed to the symphony. It’s a wonderful piece in that it shows each section of the orchestra,” Ms. Pikulik said.

The symphony’s annual artisan fair will also take place in the Rollins Center lobby that day.

The Spring Classical Concert will take place March 19 at 3 p.m. and carry a Slavic theme with Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 9 (New World) op. 95,” Dvorak’s “Romances” featuring violinst Stefan Xhori and Shostakovich’s “Overture Festivo.”

The Dover Downs Pops Concert will be May 7 at 3 p.m. and have a patriotic theme with a salute to the armed forces.

All concerts feature a bake sale with proceeds going to the symphony.

Ms. Pikulik said the orchestra now boasts 65 members, with 52 performing Sunday, and is sounding better than ever.

“I’m so proud to be a part of this organization. We see the improvement year after year with our conductor being able to pull more and more out of us,” said Ms. Pikulik, who has been with the Dover Symphony Orchestra since 2006 and has served as president since 2008.

Sunday’s performance at the Schwartz Center, 226 S. State St., Dover, begins at 4 p.m. and tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors 62 and older, students and military members. Children younger than 16 are admitted free with a paying adult.

Season tickets are also available at a cost of $75, $55 for seniors, students and military members.

For tickets, visit or call 270-1903.

The orchestra is also looking for volunteers and bake sale donations. For more information, call the above number.

Paying tribute at Schwartz

Before the symphony moves in Sunday, tonight will see the kickoff of the Schwartz Center’s tribute concert series with Wilmington’s In the Light performing a tribute to The Eagles, which includes a performance of the band’s 1976 seminal album “Hotel California,” in its entirety.

In The Light consists of Joe Trainor, Matt Urban, Scott Lawing, Andy Favor and Steve Kuzminski. The will be joined for this performance by Marshall Coates, Adam Beck, Jill Knapp, Matt Casarino and Christine McAllister.

The band played the Schwartz Center last year with its Pink Floyd show, which included “The Wall” in its entirety.

The series continues Oct. 22 with The Jimmie Wilson Road Show paying tribute to Willie Nelson, singing such favorites as “On the Road Again,” “Blue Eyes,” “Crying in The Rain,” “Whiskey River,” “Always on My Mind” and “All of Me.”

Finally, Beginnings: A Tribute to the band Chicago takes the stage Nov. 4.

Greer Stangl, the Schwartz Center’s marketing coordinator, says the tribute series offers a chance to hear familiar music performed without busting the checkbook.

“This tribute series is really meant to appeal to fans of a diversity of music. It’s a good alternative to going out and hearing a cover band that might do three songs of a particular artist. With these bands, they get a whole night of their favorite artists and they save time and money,” she said.

“With some of these older bands, they might not tour anymore or it might be geographically too distant from where local fans are or too tough and too expensive to get a ticket. These bands that we are bringing in are top notch and will really satisfy fans of that particular genre. We’re really happy to bring them here.”

Tickets for each show are $30 for adults and $25 for seniors, military members and students with the Schwartz offering a package of all three for $75 for adults and $63 for seniors, military members and students.

They can be purchased at, calling 678-5152 or visiting the box office on State Street.

All shows begin at 7:30.

Ms. Stangl says the Schwartz plans to bring in more tribute acts in 2017 as well as other musical acts.

Fox exhibits on display

This week starts two area exhibits of artist Clark V. Fox.

Known throughout the contemporary art circles of New York, Washington and Los Angeles, Mr. Fox has been critiquing modern culture using paintings of iconic characters for over 40 years.

In honor of the voting season, the Biggs Museum of American Art is hosting two exhibitions of his work. The artist’s earliest paintings, from 1967 through the early ’80s, will be on view in an exhibition titled “Typology” at the Art Center/Gallery of Delaware State University now until Nov. 16. Focused mainly on the artist’s architectural studies he created until the mid-1980s, “Typology” describes the artist’s first major successes within the American art world.

The second and significantly larger exhibition, entitled “Icon Chains,” will be on view at the Biggs on Federal Street starting today until Jan. 22. This exhibition features works created by Mr. Fox since 2000. They document the wide variety of colorful artistic modes and controversial subjects the artist has championed throughout his career, such as race relations and economic disparity.

Throughout the exhibition, members of the public are invited to participate in various interactive activities including: voting for their favorite characters from Mr. Fox’s artwork in the “Biggs Voting Booth” and creating their own pop art.

An opening reception will be held at the Biggs starting at 5 p.m. today. It is free with museum admission.

Now showing

New in theaters this weekend is the suspense-thriller “The Girl on a Train,” the antebellum South epic about Nat Turner “The Birth of a Nation” and the comedy “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life.”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is the female remake of “Ghostbusters,” “The Legend of Tarzan,” Bryan Cranston in “The Infliltrator,” the animated “Ice Age: Collision Course” and the political documentary “Hillary’s America.”

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