SCHOOLS OF FISH: If you’re an avid fisherman, you’ve likely heard of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. Admittedly, we don’t get into fish stories all that often here on the morning roundup. But this one involves a slew of local high schoolers who competed in the Center’s 2009 State-Fish Art Contest. Katya Lopatko of Grapevine and Mary Campbell of Fort Worth placed second and third, respectively, in the 7th-9th grade category. And the city of Dallas swept the top three awards in the 10th-12th grade contest, as Margaret Sone, Hailey Sowden and Bethany Berg dominated the field. If you’re wondering if this is a big deal, it is. How many other high school arts contests do you know of that award $1,000 to a 10th-12th grade winner?
A CHEAPER ‘RENT’: Word came in late Thursday that $20 rush tickets will be made available for next week’s run of Rent, presented by Dallas Summer Musicals. To get the limited number of orchestra pit seats, you’ve got to want ’em, though. Two hours before each show, you’ll have to line up in the Fair Park Music Hall lobby to fill out a lottery form. Then, 90 min. before curtain, names will be drawn until that night’s 52 pit orchestra seats are filled. If you’re a student, they’ve got a deal for you as well – 90 min. before showtime, you can purchase the tickets that remain in most sections at half price. Rent has had a long tradition of providing rush tickets to its shows, dating back to the original production’s move from a small downtown Manhattan theater to Broadway. It’s nice to see that that legacy is following it to town.
THE BIG 4-0-0: On Thursday, Jerome Weeks reported on the air and on video about on a new violin concerto commissioned by Dallas Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Emanuel Borok. The piece was written by Russian composer Alexander Raskatov in honor of the 400th birthday of Borok’s Amati violin. Last night, it made its debut, played on the instrument of honor. So how did it sound? Scott Cantrell, writing on GuideLive.com, says, “The violin is allowed to do what it does best: string out lyric lines and toss off flashy pyrotechnics. Borok played with eloquence and unflappable virtuosity, the tone of his Amati absolutely glowing.” If you missed it, the program repeats tonight and Saturday at the Meyerson Symphony Center