January 7, 2017

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“Charles Latshaw, GJSO’s new Maestro and Music Director has brought to our valley energy to burn, he conducts with so much gusto it’s difficult for him to contain himself on the podium; then can become overwhelmed with emotions beautiful music brings to the soul.”

October 22, 2016
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“Conductor and soloist were in total communication, with perfectly executed interplay between soloist and accompanying strings and winds in the outer movements and an arching lyricism in the slow movement that is a trademark of this late romantic composer.

There is considerable emphasis on subtle, fluid, and effective hand motions (most notable in the left hand) combined with much facial contact with the orchestra. This approach was evident throughout the evening, and brought out some very fine and expressive playing from the entire orchestra. “

February 29, 2016
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“Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 in B­-flat seems like a throwback coming between the Eroica and the Fifth, but its charm is infectious and its sophistication seems even to top some of Haydn’s wittiest essays in the symphonic genre. After a slow introduction beautifully shaped by the winds, Latshaw, conducting without score, set a brisk pace for the first movement. BlueWater’s playing was trim, transparent and confident.”

July 18, 2015
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“…In fact, there are so many good things to say it’s difficult to know where to begin.

The Kent/Blossom Music Festival Chamber Orchestra, under the watchful eye of Charles Latshaw, sounded magnificent. The musical coordination with the cast was flawless, and the balances were perfect.”

October 3, 2014
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“After intermission the orchestra played William Grant Still’s “Afro-American Symphony” with a verve and confidence that electrified the audience. And their final offering, the lively “Overture” to Bernstein’s “Candide,” taken at an exhilarating tempo, brought the audience to its feet in a thunderous standing ovation.

Bravo, Kent State student musicians! And bravo, Charles Latshaw, the orchestra’s gifted and dynamic conductor.”

August 11, 2013
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“He’s done wonders with the BSO, giving the musicians in this orchestra discipline and spirit and love for the task of making music. He planned intriguing programs and had the gift to lift his players to levels of performance beyond their limits. For listeners, that meant enjoyable and rewarding concerts.”

February 26, 2013
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“Considering how well the orchestra is playing these days under its music director and conductor Charles Latshaw, [this] was a welcomed gift to the community.”

“The BSO played, with great zest and commendable precision, the whole of Bernstein’s “West Side Story Symphonic Dances.”

September 24, 2012
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“[The] orchestra played those melodies with an obvious sense for the jubilation that the composer surely intended, a sense imbued by a conductor with the gift of instructing and inspiring.

That reality was evident immediately when Latshaw bounded on stage all smiles and enthusiasm, gave the downbeat, and his musicians, a number of them also smiling, tore into Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture” as if they were playing for the audience that attended the academic honorary degree celebration in 1881 at which the piece was introduced.”

April 30, 2012
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“Music director Charles Latshaw has done remarkable things with our orchestra during his five years at the helm. With his own high spirits, he has instilled an esprit de corps that results in performances not only technically improved, a development to be welcomed, but artistically purposeful, more musically informed. Latshaw obviously sees his role as conductor to be the go-between who ties composer to players. And he’s managed to do that.”

September 26, 2010
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“Here was a conductor who obviously cared about what he was doing and cared for his musicians. He not only cared but knew the music and how to direct his flock — the individuals therein, the instrumental groupings, and the whole of the ensemble — toward a clearer grasp of details and comprehension of style.”

“He is someone born to be a conductor.”

“Charles has brought us together in a way I thought impossible. He exudes such love, such warmth, and musically, he’s an inspiration who gets us to do more than we think we can.”

“Charles’ greatest gift has been to help us find the soul of the music. He also takes part at every level, from the most menial to lofty. He joins the gang for merry-making. At the same time, he is a professional musician. The music is front and center.”

“Charles does a fantastic job, knows how to motivate the members without browbeating them, and never wastes one minute of rehearsal time.”

“Charles has really brought the BSO to a new level of musicianship. He challenges us through repertoire, new ways of thinking, and through his expectations. He has definitely raised the bar.”

May 3, 2010
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The face told it all. As Charles Latshaw, music director of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, conducted his ensemble Saturday afternoon at the Unitarian Universalist Church, a beatific smile crossed his face. It kept returning, so obviously, so emotionally a smile of joy and pride. He could see, better yet hear, that his intrepid players… were on their way to claiming victory over what can be a hurdle for the best of the genre: Gustav Mahler’s Symphony Number 1, called “Titan.” A titanic work it is, close to an hour in length and written for champions.
Saturday’s journey through the “Titan” was inspiring, yes, for the music itself, a masterpiece, but even more for what the Bloomington Symphony’s musicians gave to perform it. They played their hearts out. Conductor Latshaw knew that. So did the audience, silent throughout, vociferous at the end.