The North Carolina Symphony

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The North Carolina Symphony musicians practice before their performance while the crowded audience waits for them to begin. (Photo courtesy of Darcy Meehan)

The North Carolina Symphony is one of our state’s most esteemed organizations and is full of incredible musical talent. 

Recently, the orchestra performed on February 17, 2024, at the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh.

The North Carolina Symphony was formed in 1932 and performs in cities all around North Carolina. They perform ballet music, pop concerts, and educational concerts for children.  

The orchestra consists of 66 musicians and many of them have been members of the orchestra for a long time.

One of these musicians is Eric Dyke, double bassist for the Symphony since 1978. Dyke joined the orchestra when he was 16 years old and has a great passion for it. “I have [the music] in my DNA. I was born into it,” said Dyke.

Dyke’s enjoyment of the symphony has not dwindled over the years. “These are the good times for us right now… the audiences are so enthusiastic and we have a new music director we love,” said Dyke.

The new music director is Carlos Miguel Prieto, who took over the position in July 2023. Prieto conducted the Symphony’s performance on February 17 with graceful skill, leading the musicians through three pieces. 

The performance started with “Rejoice” by Courtney Bryan. The piece was written in 2019 and represents Bryan’s connection to her religion. It was solemn and brought a sense of stillness to the listener.

The second piece was Symphony No. 1 by Samuel Barber, written in 1935. It was a thundering piece that filled the audience with anticipation, ending in a distinct crash of the instruments.

The final piece was the famous Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, completed in 1808. It was the most complex piece in the performance with repeating sections that built upon each other. 

Dyke was very excited to play this final piece. “[Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5] is the most famous piece in the repertoire… and Beethoven is the most famous composer of significant note. He was losing his hearing. He had gone nearly deaf when he wrote about 2/3rds of all of his pieces,” said Dyke.

Dyke and his fellow musicians in the North Carolina Symphony take great pride in their work, creating a memorable experience for all who attend. 

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