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City Notebook
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Local residents who want to take advantage of the world-class musical performers coming to town for the Savannah Music Festival shouldn’t wait much longer before getting tickets.

Though the event doesn’t happen until March 18-April 3, organizers say they are already experiencing advance ticket sales far beyond previous years.

“We’ve just experienced a monumental moment,” Marketing Director Kirsten Starkey told us last week. “Our earliest sellout ever of an event.”

That sold-out performance, by pianist Sebastian Knauer, is just the first of several more concerts that Starkey expects are likely to sell out soon.

Get your tickets online and view a complete schedule at, or call 525-5050 to order tickets by phone.

Starkey says not only is this year’s Festival a unique gathering place for some of the world’s best musicians, the event offers “an enormous number of world premieres. We commissioned composers and dance companies to do things specifically for us.”

Starkey says Festival Artistic Director Rob Gibson “strives to offer something people will never see anywhere else. Rob has serious connections and experience, and people respect him. We've got artists that selected us as their only stop in the southeast. They see this as an opportunity to do new, different, fun things. That's why we're able to get this internationally renowned talent.”

In a major development, Daniel Hope of the world famous Beaux Arts Trio has been hired as the Festival’s Associate Artistic Director.

“Daniel is a very creative musician who always explores and broadens his horizons,” Starkey says. “He basically called on all his friends to come hang out with him here and do something new and wonderful.”

Another highlight -- and a Daniel Hope brainchild -- is a recreation of the historic “East meets West” series created by Indian musician Ravi Shankar in the ‘60s. Sitar player Gaurav Mazumdar will perform some ragas composed by Shankar himself.


Each year the group Buy Local Savannah awards its Business of the Year award to a member firm that experiences growth and demonstrates outstanding service.

This year, Derst Baking Company gets the nod.

“We are very honored,” says Morgan Derst, head of marketing for the local family business.

Derst Baking company exceeded the minimum requirements with an overall company growth of nearly 10 percent, as well as exceptional participation and leadership in the organization.

“Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this company is its ability to continue growing after 137 years in business,” says Joe Ippolito, president of Buy Local Savannah.


Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary is seeking applicants for four Advisory Council seats representing sport fishing; charter/commercial fishing; sport diving; and regional conservation. Terms run for three years and members will serve without pay.

For more information call Becky Shortland at 598-2381 or e-mail at

Letters of application should be mailed to Manager Reed Bohne, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA, 31411, by Friday, February 11.


Armstrong Atlantic State University history professor Nancy White received the “Elizabeth J. Somers Award for Leadership in Women’s Education” for her 20 years of service and leadership in working with the women of Mount Vernon College.

The award was given by the Alumnae Association of Mount Vernon College and George Washington University’s Elizabeth J. Somers Leadership Center.