Your Time: Ghosts, Ghouls and Grieg

The Delaware Symphony Orchestra unleashes tricks and treats.

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Delaware Symphony Orchestra executive director Lucinda Williams with brothers Victor (left) and Terry Cruz Jr. prepare to scare your socks off.
Photograph by Tom Nutter

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Hop on your broomstick and fly to the Grand Opera House on October 20 for “The Haunted Orchestra,” Delaware Symphony Orchestra’s contribution to Halloween. Grab the Harry Potter and Cinderella outfits, too. Kids and adults in costume will become part of the show.

Before the tuba booms and the timpani cries to Wagner, Handel and other composers of doom, kids can wander the instrument petting zoo and enjoy Halloween-themed lollipops before the curtain rises.

“The Haunted Orchestra” is the story of Kirby, a nerd from the fictional National Association of Children’s Entertainment, who doesn’t believe in the magic of music. The orchestra will play a series of musical pranks on Kirby, accompanied by works such as Gounod’s “Funeral March of a Marionette.” The concert will then morph into a horror movie, all while introducing unsuspecting children to Grieg, Rossini, Ponchielli and other masters. The trick is to inspire kids with classical music. The treat is for the ears.

Will director David Amado be in costume? Executive director Lucinda Williams won’t say, but she promises “the entire state of Delaware that there will be some surprise at every DSO concert.”

For more, call 656-7442, or visit —Maria Hess

Queen Latifah will make a Grand appearance this month.

All Hail the Queen

Singer Queen Latifah will bring her repertoire of pop, jazz and blues standards to The Grand Opera House on October 17. In support of her new album, “Trav’lin’ Light,” Queen Latifah will explore radio favorites such as “California Dreaming” by The Mamas & The Papas and classics from jazz stylists such as Sarah Vaughan and Etta James. Lauded for such film roles as Matron Mama Morton in “Chicago,” “Trav’lin’” and the show at The Grand return Latifah to her roots in music. The concert will start at 8 p.m. For more, call 652-5577.

Salute, Wilmington

Raise your glasses. On October 7, the Da Vinci Society of Delaware will again transform the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park into Rome’s Piazza del Campidoglio for the 2007 Vendemmia Da Vinci festival. Celebrate the annual grape harvest with exquisite food from local restaurants, pastries from the best bakeries, camaraderie and vino from every wine-making region of Italy. Al Santora and the Hi-Liters, the Swing City Jazz Orchestra and mezzo-soprano Andrea Arena will provide the live entertainment, and CBS 3 news anchor Pat Ciarrocchi will emcee. About 3,000 participants are expected from the tri-state area and New York. Proceeds support family assistance grants, University of Delaware scholarships and cultural programs. “The gravy contest should get pretty heated this year,” says festival chairman Ron Oronzio. (By gravy, he means tomato sauce, but you wouldn’t want to utter those words around traditional Italian-Americans.) The homemade wine-making contest is similarly heated. “The setting is so spectacular,” Oronzio says, “you’ll feel like you’re at a piazza in Italy.” Rain date is October 14. For tickets, call 866-771-3014, or visit

—Maria Hess

The Rehoboth Beach Autumn Jazz Festival, held October 10-14, is always great, but the lineup this year seems better than ever. Big names include saxophonist Candy Dulfer, songstress Brenda Russell, swing band Big Tubba Mista, Bobby Caldwell, James “D-Train” Williams, Gerald Veasley and the incomparable Dionne Warwick. Best of all, you never know who might show up. Shows take place at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center and venues such as The Rusty Rudder in Dewey Beach. For more, call 226-2166, or visit

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

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