So good to be so low

So good to be so low

Low cost of living leads to high ranking for Winston-Salem

A recent blurb in the Winston-Salem Journal reported that our fair city ranks as one of the least expensive places to live in the world.

The Cost of Living Survey for 2011, conducted by Mercer LLC, ranked Winston-Salem 18th out of 214 cities after comparing cost related to things such as housing, food, clothing, transportation and entertainment. Winston-Salem made the list in 2010 at number 17 as well.

This underlines one of the factors that makes Winston-Salem, Forsyth County such an appealing place for businesses interested in expanding or relocating. What makes this ranking all the more significant is when you realize how much you can get for your money here. Winston-Salem manages to be remarkably affordable while still offering an exceptional quality of life.

Although cost of living is only one of several data points to consider when deciding on where to grow a business, the area’s combination of positive attributes (i.e. infrastructure, relatively easy access to major markets and available workforce) is what makes Winston-Salem a ideal choice.

To learn more about the survey, visit the Mercer website (a copy of the report is available for purchase).

UNCSA Chancellor to Conduct National Symphony At Kennedy Center

Event on Sept. 8 To Commemorate 10th Anniversary of Sept. 11


WINSTON-SALEM – Chancellor John Mauceri of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) will conduct the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts during a private concert to commemorate, in words and music, the 10th anniversary of the tragedies that took place on Sept. 11, 2001. The concert is co-presented with The New Republic.

More than 2,000 people are expected to attend “9/11: 10 Years Later: An Evening of Remembrance and Reflection,” which begins at 7:30 pm on Thursday, Sept. 8. The by-invitation-only audience at the Kennedy Center will include members of the 9/11 community and other special guests.

Christiane Amanpour, moderator of ABC News’ This Week, will host the event. At press time, confirmed featured performers and soloists include Tony Award-nominated actor Raúl Esparza, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, folk and country singer Emmylou Harris, and Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Wynton Marsalis. Commemorative remarks and readings will be delivered by speakers including former secretaries of state Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice and Madeleine Albright.

A world-renowned conductor, Maestro Mauceri will lead the National Symphony Orchestra as it performs the National Anthem, Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” Stephen C. Foster’s “Hard Times Come Again No More,” “A City Called Heaven,” and more.

Mauceri conducted the first public concerts in Los Angeles after Sept. 11, 2001. His three commemorative concerts at the Hollywood Bowl included the world premiere of a work by Jerry Goldsmith (“September 11, 2001”), composed for those concerts, which brought 54,000 people to the amphitheater. One year later, Mauceri led the first anniversary concert in New York City at the invitation of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in which orchestras in each of the city’s five boroughs performed in the city parks. Mauceri conducted the Brooklyn Philharmonic that night, Sept. 11, 2002.

Both Maestro Mauceri and the School of the Arts have extensive connections with both Washington and the Kennedy Center. Mauceri served as Music Director of the Washington Opera, Music Director of Orchestras at the Kennedy Center, and Consultant for Music Theater at the Kennedy Center for more than a decade. Among the many UNCSA alumni who live and work in Washington are UNCSA School of Music alumnus Robert Oppelt, principal double bass for the National Symphony, and UNCSA Board of Trustees member Dan DeVany, vice president and FM general manager WETA, Washington.

John Mauceri is the Chancellor of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) and the Founding Director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. His distinguished and extraordinary career has taken him not only to over 25 of the world’s greatest opera companies and more than 50 symphony orchestras, but also the musical stages of Broadway and Hollywood, as well as the most prestigious halls of academia.

Maestro Mauceri has served as music director of four opera companies: Washington (National), Scottish (Glasgow), the Teatro Regio (Turin, Italy), and Pittsburgh. He is the first American to have held the post of music director of an opera house in either Great Britain or Italy. He was the first music director of the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall after its founding director, Leopold Stokowski, with whom he studied. He was Consultant for Music Theater at Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for more than a decade, and, for 15 years, he served on the faculty of Yale University. For 18 years, Mauceri worked closely with Leonard Bernstein and conducted many of the composer’s premieres at Bernstein’s request.

On Broadway, he was co-producer of On Your Toes, and served as musical supervisor for Hal Prince’s production of Candide as well as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Song and Dance. He also conducted the orchestra for the film version of Evita. Among his many awards and honors are a Tony, Grammy, Billboard, Olivier, and two Emmys. Last year, his recording of Erich Korngold’s Between Two Worlds was selected by Gramophone magazine as one of the 250 Greatest Recordings of All Time. In April, Gramophone named two of his recordings with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra among the “10 great studio re-creations” of classic movie soundtracks.

Chancellor Mauceri holds the lifetime title of Founding Director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, which was created for him in 1991 by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and with whom he led over 300 concerts to a total audience of over 4 million people. He has written for and appeared on radio and television and has delivered keynote speeches and papers for major artistic and educational institutions, such as Harvard University, the American Academy in Berlin, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the American Musicological Society, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He recently published articles for Cambridge University Press and Gramophone magazine.

Mauceri has taken the lead in the preservation and performance of many genres of music and has supervised/conducted important premieres by composers as diverse as Debussy, Stockhausen, Korngold, Hindemith, Bernstein, Ives, Elfman, and Shore. He is a leading performer of music banned by the Third Reich and especially music of Hollywood’s émigré composers, and can be seen and heard on many recent DVD releases of classic films.

Recent performances include an October 2010 debut in Spain at the Bilbao Opera as musical director of Susannah, with composer Carlisle Floyd present; and a November 2010 debut in Denmark with The Danish National Orchestra, conducting “Emigrés and Protégés – The Hollywood Diaspora.” He has just completed a critically acclaimed run as musical director and artistic supervisor of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, an all-UNCSA production and restoration of the original 1943 Broadway production which has been videotaped for broadcast on UNC-TV on Oct. 12.

One of the world’s preeminent experts on film music, Chancellor Mauceri appeared on June 29 at an event celebrating the life of film composer Bernard Herrmann, at WQXR in New York City, which can be heard online at WNYC’s The Greene Space. In addition, a studio recording of George and Ira Gershwin’s 1930 hit Broadway musical, Strike Up the Band, conducted by John Mauceri, has just been released (June 21) by PS Classics. Maestro Mauceri recently made his debut at the Aspen Music Festival conducting his edition of Dmitri Shostakovich’s score to Hamlet, adapted from the 1964 Soviet film score for six actors and symphony orchestra.

In August 2011, Chancellor Mauceri returned to the Hollywood Bowl, where he led the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in Walt Disney’s Fantasia. He returns to Los Angeles in October to conduct a benefit performance for the Motion Picture & Television Fund. The annual event, “A Fine Romance,” features a breathtaking array of singers from film and stage musicals performing the songs that have tied New York and Hollywood together for decades.  Catherine Zeta-Jones and Hugh Jackman will host.

And in January 2012, Maestro Mauceri travels to Denmark for a live, televised performance with the Royal Danish National Orchestra, honoring Queen Margrethe on her 40th anniversary as monarch.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. For more information, visit<>.


Location. Location. Lo — you get the idea.

The economy makes it clear — location is more important than ever.

Everyone knows the old real estate adage. Now that gas prices have shot up and property values have plummeted, what used to be a tired cliché has made a monumental comeback as a fundamental truth. Location is absolutely critical. Efficient access to markets both domestically and internationally is a mandatory for any business wanting to grow. But, even to maintain position in the marketplace requires careful consideration of where to place manufacturing and distribution facilities. The flow of activity coming into North Carolina, and Winston-Salem, Forsyth County is a good indication of the importance of location. Relocation and expansion has continued, due, in part, to Winston-Salem’s ideal spot in the Southeast. Positioned midway up the Eastern Seaboard, the area combines many of the economic advantages associated with setting up shop in the Southeast, yet closer proximity to more consumers who are ready to buy.

”Located within 600 miles of more than half of the U.S. population, approximately 60% of the nation’s industrial and consumer base is within a two-day drive, or a two-hour flight of Winston-Salem.” — WSBI Executive Summary

Throw in the region’s robust transportation and infrastructure, and Winston-Salem’s location comes close to being perfect. Of course, the businesses that are here already know that.

The key to Winston-Salem’s success?

Try these 3 on for size.

People often ask us what is the key to Winston-Salem’s success in attracting businesses to our area of the Piedmont Triad. We always respond that there isn’t one factor. Sure, there are times when one thing pushes us over the top. But in truth, it’s the overall combination of qualities and attributes that gets us into the game.

With that in mind, here are three key reasons why Winston-Salem, Forsyth County is where businesses want to be.

1. Workforce quantity plus quality

This is a big one. The combination of available workforce and advanced education programs has put Winston-Salem on many companies’ short lists for expansion and relocation. In fact, the training programs being developed by Forsyth Technical Community College have even attracted the attention of the last two Presidents of the Unites States, with both dropping by for visits during their respective terms.

2. More bang for your buck

A low cost of living is one of those attributes that many communities in the Southeast can claim. However, Winston-Salem can take it a step further. Not only is Winston-Salem’s cost of living at 92% of the national average; the community manages to offer outstanding infrastructure, schools, and amenities normally associated with more “high-dollar” cities.

3. Innovation is contagious

Winston-Salem calls itself the “City of the Arts and Innovation” for good reason. After nurturing a diverse arts scene since the city’s humble Moravian beginnings, Winston-Salem’s culture of creativity has now spawned innovations in life sciences, nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing. The real difference here is collaboration, a vital part of transforming great ideas into real world applications.

Now, to be honest, these are three important reasons. But, they are not the only reasons. Although, in our experience, workforce and worker training has made a big difference in tipping the final decision in our favor, it truly becomes a matter of how all of the factors come together. In the big picture, Winston-Salem just about has it all.

Why Big Business and Industry Are Heading South

Gray Construction, the firm that is building the Caterpillar plant in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County recently published an article in its newsletter entitled Why Big Business and Industry are Heading South that we think is worth reading. Winston-Salem, the new Caterpillar facility and our particular strength in Workforce Development are discussed (on pages 5 and 7).

To access the article (which we recommend) please visit this link and click on the first link for a PDF of the newsletter.