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by Jordan Green

The Seattle Symphony named Tom Philion its new executive director on March 21. Philion currently leads the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro. A press release from the Seattle Symphony notes that in that role he is “credited with revitalizing the festival’s reputation, turning around its financial situation, and repositioning EMF as ‘the new crossroads of American music’ – and one of America’s best and most innovative summer music festivals.”

“We love it here and EMF is doing very well,” Philion told YES! Weekly. “It was a surprise. It came out of right or left field and it all happened very quickly.”

He added that he will remain in charge of the Eastern Music Festival and its “Fringe” series through the end of the 2007 season. Philion said the festival’s leadership after his departure is yet to be determined.

“We’re trying to decide how to make the transition,” he said. “It would be premature to speculate on how we might do that. There are all kinds of possibilities from finding someone to replace me to finding a way to keep me on.”

Meanwhile, Philion’s new employers in Seattle announced that he “will begin transitioning into his new role as executive director beginning April 1, working toward his full-time presence in Seattle over the next several months.”

In the week coming up, Magdalen Hsu-Li performs at Guilford College’s Dana Auditorium on Wednesday. The Bremen Clarinet Quartet will be across town at UNCG’s School of Music Recital Hall on the same date.

Atlantic recording artist Pretty Ricky, from Florida, featuring rappers Slick ‘Em, Baby Blue, Spectacular, and singer Pleasure, play the N Club in downtown Greensboro on Thursday.

Gospel artist Fred Hammond will appear at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex’s Special Events Center on Friday.

Atlanta’s Perpetual Groove (marketed as “trance arena rock”) plays Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem, also on Friday.

Stratocruiser, our local standard bearer for power pop, plays the Raven in Burlington on Friday.

Doug Hoekstra, a folk artist originally from Chicago and now plying his trade in Nashville, plays the Green Bean on Greensboro’s South Elm Street on Saturday.

Black Mollie, a Greensboro cover band, plays at the Green Room in Kernersville on Saturday.

Entropy plays Rubber Soul in Winston-Salem on Saturday. Declaring its mission as “to remedy the depletion of pure funk on the planet,” Entropy dropped its second full-length CD on Feb. 24. Cribbing from their press materials: “The music takes the listener through an individual’s perspective of striving to find the funk in today’s world, from political/social commentary to changing concepts of love and the war between art and money.”

Bruce Piephoff and friends will be at the Flatiron in Greensboro on Saturday.

And MC Serch of 3rd Bass, fresh from his stint as the host of television’s “The White Rapper Show,” throws a hip-hop party at Ziggy’s on April 3.

Coming up: The Cat’s Cradle and Ziggy’s have combined promotional forces to bring indie-reggae band Modest Mouse to the Greensboro Coliseum Complex’s Special Events Center on May 4. Tickets are on sale at the Coliseum box office and other outlets.

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