Celebrating Spartanburg's Musical Roots

by Courtney Oliver

Article in the October 1991 Spartanburg Symphony Newsletter highlighting guest soloist Dr. Douglass Weeks

As a recent addition to the Spartanburg Philharmonic, I share the excitement of the rest of the staff for our “Locally Sourced” concert season. While generating interest and conversation around our season’s concerts is my job, it’s only part of the reason for my excitement.

About 4 years ago my family and I moved here from Memphis, TN, a city known for its deep musical roots; but I have found, especially since joining the Philharmonic, that Spartanburg’s musical roots run deep as well.  Deep roots require dedication, passion, and a true commitment to music, something our orchestra members, featured artists, and guest soloists and composers all share; right in our own Spartanburg community. 

This is why I’m excited for this season – to see the passion and dedication of our own musicians resonate out into the community through each performance.  And our October 12th RACH 2 concert is an exceptional place to begin as the title piece – Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto no. 2 – is one of triumph and celebration.

We have wonderful program notes available in HearHere that detail the story behind how Rachmaninoff came to compose the piece, but for the Philharmonic the RACH 2 concert is many ways a celebration of our own. It is one of new beginnings as we re-open the freshly renovated Twichell Auditorium and begin our newly dedicated Zimmerli Classics Series.  And it is a salute to the tremendous talent of retiring Guest Soloist, Dr. Douglas Weeks.

Simply put, Douglas Weeks’ roots are deep in Spartanburg, both as an educator and as a beloved performer.  For decades, as a concert pianist and Converse College Babcock Professor of Piano he has appeared as a guest soloist for the Spartanburg Philharmonic and has wowed audiences time and again. A peek through the Philharmonic archives revealed several highlights from his guest performances, including his debut in 1984 where he performed Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by. It seems only fitting that we celebrate Dr. Douglas Weeks with an unmissable performance in RACH 2.

We hope you enjoy these clips from our archives, and we hope even more that you are as excited as we are to celebrate our “Locally Sourced” season. 

Article in the Fall 1994 Spartanburg Symphony Newsletter highlighting guest soloist Dr. Douglass Weeks

Courtney Oliver is the Marketing & Special Events Manager with the Spartanburg Philharmonic.