First Look

First Look

Last Saturday during the opening weekend of Arts & Ideas, another important debut occurred: Perry So’s first performance as music director of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.

In an ivory jacket and black bowtie, So seemed nervously excited, and he channeled that energy into the globetrotting program. His baton was a bird gliding swiftly across the sky, a boxer’s glove jabbing and uppercutting, a baseball bat swinging for the upper deck. His cues to the orchestra and various guest performers were so prepared and punctual they were almost early.

Earlier indeed, the evening’s opening act, after a kind of preamble performance by the Hillhouse Marching Band, was a superbly tight drum troupe gathered under the auspices of the Juneteenth Coalition of Greater New Haven. The closing act, starting well after dark, was a mariachi troupe under the banner of the Spanish Community of Wallingford, with four musicians singing and strumming onstage and three dancers twirling elaborate dresses on the grass below.

It was a fun and inspired progression, to which these more or less chronological pictures can only do partial justice.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Image 1 features Perry So. Image 2 features Hanan Hameen (left front). Image 9 features David Southorn. Image 10 features Carly Callahan. Image 15 features Joy Lu.

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