Episode 76

Published on:

9th May 2023

Brahms Requiem with Dr. Richard Hynson & Peter Gibeau of the Kettle Moraine Symphony

In this week's episode of Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz, we dive into Washington County's thriving arts scene with special guests Dr. Richard Hynson and Peter Gibeau of the Kettle Moraine Symphony Orchestra. Join us as we talk about their upcoming performance of Brahms Requiem, set to be performed at Concordia University of Wisconsin's Field House on Sunday, May 21 at 3 p.m. Hynson and Gibeau share how the orchestra and choruses have prepared for this massive performance. It's a lively episode that showcases the incredible talent and dedication of our local musicians and performers.

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Fuzz Martin 0:00

st came up in like, you know,:

Fuzz Martin 1:41

This week I am speaking with two very colorful members of the Kettle Moraine Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Richard Hynson is the director of the symphony and also works with the Bel Canto chorus. And Peter Gibeau is the principal bass player and also the secretary of the symphony's board of directors. They join me this week to talk about the symphony and its upcoming performance of Brahms Requiem, which is coming up on Sunday, May 21, at Concordia University Wisconsin, in the field house, it's going to be an absolutely huge performance. And I had a lot of fun talking to both Rick and Peter, and I'm sure you're going to have a great time listening and with that, here are 15 minutes on Brahms Requiem by the Bel Canto Chorus and the Kettle Moraine Symphony Orchestra with Dr. Richard Hynson and Peter Gibeau on Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz.

Fuzz Martin 2:42

Walk can be both to Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz Can you please introduce yourselves and tell us your roles in the Kettle Moraine Symphony Orchestra?

Dr. Richard Hynson 2:49

Yes, yes, nice to see you. My name is Richard Hynson, and I'm music director of the Kettle Moraine symphony, proudly so

Peter Gibeau 2:59

My name is Peter Gibeau. I'm the principal bass player and also secretary of the board of the Kettle Moraine symphony.

Fuzz Martin 3:04

Very good. Well, I appreciate both of you coming in to the studio here with me today. Can you tell us about the mission of the Kettle Moraine Symphony Orchestra what's behind it?

Dr. Richard Hynson 3:15

Well, the mission is something that the orchestra is really refined over the years. But it is to provide outstanding orchestral performances that engage the community and inspire and educate audiences of all ages. And we tend to skew we tend to skew our programming toward younger families. But we find that as we work to bring in younger families, the you know, the older people that people who have grown up listening to symphony orchestras to live music, find our programming to be fascinating and and they can come with their grandkids, and it's a wonderful experience.

Fuzz Martin 3:55

I recently got to experience the Kettle Moraine Symphony Orchestra at the Volunteer Center of Washington County's Champions of Change events. And actually Peter, I was standing next to you on stage for a bit is the bass player. Right, right. But it was amazing. You guys sound fantastic in that theater. Sounds really good as well. But it does. Yeah, I was in and we had a good span of ages at that event. And everybody seemed to love it.

Peter Gibeau 4:21

Right. There were high school students and some Kettle Moraine players. So it was that was a lot of fun.

Fuzz Martin 4:25

It was a lot of fun. Speaking of that, can you guys share some of the catamarans symphony orchestra as most memorable performances or achievements that you guys have had over the years?

Dr. Richard Hynson 4:36

Well, Peters actually been involved with this a lot longer than I have. So why don't you start and then I can throw in my

Peter Gibeau 4:41

case. All right. Well, I mean, most recently, I mean, just the last concerts we've done over the last several years have just, we keep getting better, which is really fantastic. So I've been playing principal bass with the orchestra for the last 31 years. Well, when we started, we weren't all that good and And it was a lot more fun for the players than it was for the audience. And fortunately, that has changed a lot, especially since Rick joined us.

Fuzz Martin 5:11

So let's elaborate on that. What would you say brought that change to the symphony? Well,

Peter Gibeau 5:17

part of the mission, actually, the original mission was more well, this is a good opportunity for local musicians to play. And it's fun for the musicians and sitting in the audience. You know, the standards were not very high, if you're good. I remember in early rehearsals, if we could get through a piece without the wheels falling off, this was successful, and then we'd go on, Rick, on the even if the wheels are firmly in place, there's always something there's always some way to make it better. There is, this is this is great. I mean, as an orchestra, we have just come so far. It's just wonderful.

Fuzz Martin 5:53

So Rick, tell tell us about your role then and refining that how you came in, you said six years ago. And

Dr. Richard Hynson 6:00

yeah, I started six years ago. And I, I came in with the idea and, and, in fact, with the authority of the board, to build the orchestra, that, that it was clearly time for this ensemble, to take a role in the quality of life of the community that our performances should inspire, and educate as our mission statement says. And so that means we had to perform at a level that would engage our audience. And that means that, you know, musicians, it's their kind of like acrobats that are performing without a net, you know, they can fall at any moment, and you know, crash and burn. But when you rehearse properly, when you pick the right repertoire when you when you plan things out, so people can really engage their talents to their fullest capability, you can create some pretty extraordinary music making. And the goal then is, we humans are such social animals, we need to experience not only something live, but something live together. And so when we're sitting in an audience, we're not only seeing and hearing what's on stage, but we're experiencing the reactions of the people around us. And that engagement, that energy, synergy, I call it that goes between performances, members and audience members creates an energy that is you can't replicate it in any other way.

Fuzz Martin 7:34

That's wonderful. And you described it perfectly, I guess I never thought to put that to words. And now, tell us about your background, like how did you get into this role as director? What did you come from another director role to the kind of marine society

Dr. Richard Hynson 7:50

I have? I have straddled the worlds of, of choral music and orchestral music my entire career. So that's 40 years or so of conducting. And the most recent orchestra I had before Kinder Morgan Symphony was the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra that's made up of, of all members of the Milwaukee Symphony. So that was a that was just a different experience. And the repertoire we did was very different. Because here in Washington County, the role of the kettle marine symphony is it's it's, I'll call it a gateway drug, you know, to classical music. Sure, you know, we are, first and foremost, the experience that young young students will have will have a live Symphony Orchestra. A lot of adults have never been to a live orchestra concert. And so I programmed with that in mind, with the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, we were programming rather, I was programming rather esoteric, works that the that the MSO players wanted to play. And so but what I'm finding Peter, and Peter will enjoy this. Some of those works that I did with MCO. I'm now able to program with Kettle Moraine symphony, and the audience loves them. And that experience that we were doing works by Shostakovich and Stravinsky, and those are big names that are a little scary to people who've never been to an orchestra concert. But why? Tell them the names when they come? And they know they're going to see grandma or you know, dad up playing in the orchestra. But more importantly, they know they're going to experience a beautiful performance. It doesn't matter whose music it is, until they want to do more. Well, I want to hear more of that. And so we felt we just did the Coccinella suite by Stravinsky and that is it's neoclassical. You know you can put on you Music, Music hadn't and explain it in very esoteric terms, but in reality, it's simply gorgeous.

Peter Gibeau:

It was fun. captivating, that was a gas.

Dr. Richard Hynson:

So our job with Helleborine symphony is to make this music and the act of live performance so compelling that people want to come no matter what we play.

Fuzz Martin:

And so on. Peter, how when you get started at Kettle Moraine symphony, what was the group like? What What compelled you to join the?

Peter Gibeau:

Well, but ash who started the group was a professor at then UWWC. And I just met him when I got the job. Oh, Hi, I'm Peter introduce myself. And, and I mentioned I play piano and bass. Oh, you're in the orchestra then. Okay, I guess I am. You were voluntold. I was voluntold. Exactly. And I haven't left. We I

Fuzz Martin:

don't think we established that at the beginning. You are the professor of music as I was at UW M. Washington County. Yes. And Rick, what is your role? Um,

Dr. Richard Hynson:

well, my, my primary job is As music director of the Bel Canto Chorus in Milwaukee, and I've done that for 35 years. Oh my gosh. So, but I've I've conducted orchestras I conducted the Waukegan Symphony for a number of years I've conducted other orchestras in the area, guests conducted them and then I did the walk key. I'm through Sydney, the Milwaukee chamber orchestra for eight years, and now Kettle Moraine Symphony.

Fuzz Martin:

So I think the conversation on Bel, Bel Canto Chorus transitions nicely into the Kettle Moraine Symphony has an event coming up on May 21. At the it's at Concordia University, Concorida University

Dr. Richard Hynson:

in the Fieldhouse. Oh, wow. Okay. And the reason we're in the Fieldhouse is this is a an epic performance. This is a gigantic musical experience. Giant, gigantic in a lot of different ways. Okay. I mean, we have a lot of singers. We have six choruses involved. So my Bel Canto Chorus, Peter's, Moraine Chorus, those are both adult courses. And that makes a little over 100 adults. Oh, wow. And then we have four high school courses, the top courses from four different high schools. And that comes to a little over 100 students and their teachers are also going to sing too. So we'll have I think 220 singers? Oh, wow. So we're ending up. We're pulling out three sections of bleachers, and everybody's going to stand up in the bleachers, and then the orchestra will be in front on the on the actually on the basketball court.

Fuzz Martin:

Wow. Have you ever you played a Fieldhouse before?

Dr. Richard Hynson:

I haven't? Well, that's not true. So Bel Canto performed with Pavarotti in the United Center down in Chicago, about 10 years ago.

Fuzz Martin:

I guess that counts as a big basketball court.

Dr. Richard Hynson:

That's the closest I couldn't get I think, but but the sound is astonishingly good. I think, Peter, you haven't played it yet. But I think you'll, I think will be pleased with how it with how it works. And it will be a place where people can gather, families are going to come you know, the families of the students. And I know we've already sold half the house and there's still two weeks to go. We haven't even released our publicity information for either Belcanto or kms. So we've just started, you know, letting people know, so my assumption is that we're going to be full, we're going to have a full house and how big is that? House is 750 I think 750 people? And it's Yeah, so it'll be I think we'll have a great hall. We have and what's so exciting about this Fuzz is that we're giving these 100 plus students their first taste of of creating a masterpiece, you know, a full concert like length work in a foreign language with a with a symphony orchestra, and with two professional soloists.

Fuzz Martin:

So let's talk about that for a moment so that it's Brahms,

Dr. Richard Hynson:

Brahms, ein Deutsches Requiem. But so taking the German accent away, it's actually so Peter, you can talk about this at length Peter is so knowledgeable and all of this but so Brahms wrote this, he said I'm calling it a German Requiem, but it's really a requiem for all mankind. He thought of it as as a Global in its intention, because it's not a requiem, directed toward the departed soul, like all the other requiems that were written up into that time, very Catholic and somewhat dark and, and then finding redemption. Instead, this is a requiem for those left behind for the people who are mourning the loss of whoever died. And that sense of comfort of, of reconciliation with the loss and the the beauty of of coming together to mourn the departed, I think makes this Requiem conciliatory and and an important statement for our society today. Would you say, what do you think? Oh,

Peter Gibeau:

yeah, no, absolutely. I mean, the first chorus is zelich sind, die dar Leittrag denn sie, sallen die trueste van. So Blessed are those who mourn, but leittraggen is literally who carry sorrow. Just imagine the weight, for they shall be comforted. So it's all about comforting the living.

Fuzz Martin:

You obviously have some German training. Yeah. Well, that sounds amazing. The which schools are going to be performing with you.

Dr. Richard Hynson:

So the West Bend High School, so local, and then we have a Germantown High School, we have Shorewood High School, and we have Hartford Union High School. So then the choral programs in each of those schools are some of the best in the state. So we have very focused dynamic young singers who are ecstatic is maybe a little over the top, but you know, in but being able to be a part of this, to be able to sing with adults, you know, where else can you find high school students doing something to the very best of their abilities? And finding adults who can help them can mentor them to make them even better? That kind of intergenerational connection just doesn't happen in our society anymore?

Fuzz Martin:

Absolutely. It would. Again, it sounds like it's gonna be a fantastic event that is on Sunday, May 21, recorrect, at 3pm. Where can people find information about the event,

Dr. Richard Hynson:

they can go to the Bel Canto website, which is www.belcanto.org. And Bel Canto, is just at has a ticketing service so that they can, you know, order very easily and quickly through the Bel Canto website. That is the that's the best way to do it.

Fuzz Martin:

Okay, and the concert's at, 3pm 3pm.

Peter Gibeau:

All right, and I'm just going to put a plug in here at 2:15. I'm giving a pre-concert talk. Okay, so I'm going to talk about well, there's a three note motive that Brahms uses in all seven movements of this piece, and he flips it upside down, he makes it go backwards rotates at 180 degrees, and it's in every movement. And if you're not aware of it, it doesn't matter, because it's a gorgeous piece. But when you are aware of it, suddenly there are all these things that just jump out a

Dr. Richard Hynson:

Sure. Peter so right. And actually, I'll I'll piggyback on his plug, because he's modest, these things are so popular, these pre concert talks, I, in fact, the last four or five of them have been, you know, standing room only people come early, we've got 50-60 maybe for this performance will have over 100 people. And Peter is not only done the pre concert talks, which are always so engaging, but he has worked with a German teacher to focus on how the text edifies the music, and so she's approaching it from a textual standpoint, and we're releasing those videos through the KMS website and through Bel Canto I think on Facebook, I think Facebook is where those are coming out. But they are designed not only to remind people that the concerts coming up, but here's a dimension you might have not thought about. So we have plenty of of material for people to ingest before they come bright.

Fuzz Martin:

Putting something of this magnitude together with a number of different with four different schools, the Belcanto chorus scatterbrain symphony, first of all, how long does out do you start practicing and rehearsing this and then do you all come together and rehearse together? And if so, do other people in a rehearsal space?

Dr. Richard Hynson:

So what what what you'll be so proud of our high schools our our kids to know is that the teachers started these students last semester on many of them and the Marine Corps also Though did three of the movements on a concert they had in December. So we really began actually preparing, meeting together and rehearsing back in October of last year. The project itself was suggested first, I think I proposed it, November of the year before that, while we were still coming out of COVID Even this is something that I, I felt so strongly that people have been, you know, kept away from one another for so long that this was a great project for the schools, it was a great project for the orchestra. And an honestly for Bel Canto and the Moraine Chorus, these young singers are the next generation of singers and audience so we everybody wins with this project. The

Fuzz Martin:

so when you also when you put something together like this, and it takes so much time, how do you focus on the next thing that's going to happen? Right so what how does this next year starting October, then for you again,

Dr. Richard Hynson:

actually, I proposed our season for next season I the our programming for next season, back in the first iteration of it was November last November, and we've been tweaking it and and making changes and lining up dates getting venues. So I think we have a great season lined up for next year. So I think we'll announce both Bel Canto and KMS I think are going to announce our seasons in the program during the Bronx. So it should be an exciting opportunity to look forward into the next year.

Fuzz Martin:

Excellent. Peter on after this and around this. I know you guys put on performances all the time. Right. So what else do you have going on with Kettle Moraine Symphony aside from this Brahms Requiem,

Peter Gibeau:

deal with Kettle Moraine Symphony that's been our Brahms has been our focus. Oh, yeah. last concert. I mean, we just did in March, we played at the band. Okay. And Rick was talking about Stravi nsky. Pulcinella? That's, I mean, the band has beautiful acoustics. Yeah, it just just sounds great in there. Yeah, but then since then, I've been just practicing the bra.

Dr. Richard Hynson:

Yeah, it's a big it's another thing. Yeah. Okay. So so I can give you some hints about the coming season? Sure. We're going to focus on the dance. For the first concert, we're going to do all sorts of of different styles of dances with our music going all the way from, you know, we'll do a Viennese Waltz, we'll go back to do early dances from Baroque era that were then reimagined by a modern Italian composer named the recipe. And then we will end with a piece called DanceOn number 12. Numero dos a by Marquez, South American composer. It's hauntingly beautiful work that I think will link into our when we're looking at make trying to make a connection with the the Hispanic population up here, we feel very strongly that our music and the idea of live performance is what everybody wants, they just don't know they want it yet. So we have to meet them and introduce them to our music making and, and convince them that this can be an important part of their lives. Certainly.

Fuzz Martin:

Well, Richard, Peter, thank you both for coming in here. This is an amazing amount of knowledge that I had, like a direction I was gonna go with the questions, but your stories and your descriptions of, of the music and the experience are amazing. And I'm looking forward to the concert on May 21. At Concordia University, Wisconsin. Thank you both for coming in. And thanks for all you do.

Dr. Richard Hynson:

Thank you so much. We'll just have us back so that we can tell you more about what we do.

Fuzz Martin:

I love it. We'll definitely do that. Thank you. Thank you again to Dr. Rick Hynson, and Peter Gibeau for joining me on this week's episode of Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz. Again, Brahms Requiem is taking place at Concordia University Wisconsin in the field house on Sunday, May 21 2023 at 3pm It's going to be a great concert and I hope you can make it more details are available at kmsymphony.org. If you have an idea for a guest on Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz, please help me out by going to fuzz.cc/guest that is fuzz.cc/guest and enter into the form there who you think should be on the show. You can also email me fifteenwithfuzz@gmail.com. That's fifteen spelled out with fuzz@gmail.com. That'll do it for this week. Thanks again for listening and I will talk to you next week. Right here on Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz

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About the Podcast

Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz
Showcasing the positive things happening in Washington County, Wisconsin.
Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz is sheds light on all the great things going on in and around Washington County, Wisconsin. The host, Fuzz Martin, is a local business owner (EPIC Creative) and a former radio personality (92.5 WBWI - now Buzz Country). New episodes launch on Tuesday mornings. https://fifteenwithfuzz.com

Whether you're in West Bend, Kewaskum, Slinger, Hartford, Germantown, Richfield, Jackson, or anywhere else in the area, 15 Minutes with Fuzz serves the community with fun and positive people, places, events, and attractions.

About your host

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Fuzz Martin

Fuzz Martin is a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at EPIC Creative in West Bend, Wis.