ASO Opens 47th Season with Opening Gala concert
Music has the power to transport the listener to another time and
place, says Murray Gross, director of the Alma Symphony Orchestra.
“Attending a live concert can be a really surprising experience for people,” says Gross. “When you get to the concert hall and hear the orchestra live – we sometimes forget how exciting a live concert can be. The music has the power to get inside you, to put you in another frame of mind. You can get swept away during a live performance.”
The Alma Symphony Orchestra opens its 47th season with its annual Opening Gala performance at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15 in the Remick Heritage Center at Alma College. Tickets are $10 for adults and free for youth 18 and under. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.
The program features works by George Frideric Handel, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Serge Prokofiev and Jean Sibelius. Joining the orchestra for selections is faculty baritone Will Nichols.
“This is a concert with a lot of familiar music,” says Gross, who returns for his third season as ASO conductor. “The performers have really enjoyed working on the music because it is so melodic. Each of the pieces are well known and have familiar tunes.”
The program opens with the lively “Music for the Royal Fireworks,” which was written by Handel for an outdoor fireworks celebration in 1749 and features “wonderful baroque trumpets,” says Gross. “English Folk Song Suite” was composed by Vaughan Williams, who was dedicated to collecting and writing down the folk tunes of the British Isles in the early 20th century.
Prokofiev’s “Lieutenant Kije” was composed in 1934 for the Russian film by the same name. The concert closes with “Finlandia,” an 1899 piece by Sibelius that’s “very Finnish; a nationalistic piece with a lot of significance for the Finnish people,” says Gross.
The approximately 65-member orchestra features predominantly Alma College students with some community members and other musicians from the Alma area.
The ensemble includes Alma resident and trumpet player Phil Warsop, assistant director of information technology at Alma College and former instrument maker and repairman.
Posted: Wed, October 4th, 2006 at 8:14AM