Stay tuned to hear more about the upcoming season.
EARTH Concert, Balanced and Naturally Beautiful
The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra’s 2016/17 season was topped off with a fantastic grand finale concert entitled EARTH, last Tuesday. This concert created splendid musical landscapes.
The William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini, was first on the program, and is so much more than its famous ending theme. It begins with a wonderful cello solo that captivated the audience. This overture actually comes from an opera that takes place in Switzerland. It sets several alpine scenes that were fun for the listeners to find. Here is a photo of Roy Harran, who was acknowledged for his superb cello solo.
Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was next and Lorna Wood began the journey performing the solo part for Spring. Naturally, each season is written in a different key. Spring is written in E major. Callie Hammond performed Summer in G minor, Ela Tokarska performed Autumn in F major and Celeste Myall brought everything together with Winter written in F minor. Published in 1725, this music is still extremely popular and is filled with impressive violin passages. Rewarded with a standing ovation, these soloists along with the LSO gave a terrific performance. Most concert goers know this music well and they were not disappointed. Bravo! At the conclusion of this piece, the soloists were each presented with beautiful bouquets graciously donated by Renasant Bank. Here are a few photos.
After a short intermission, the LSO performed Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland. This music was composed as a ballet for Martha Graham, a notable choreographer in the 1940’s who commissioned it. This music undeniably captures the American ideal and was, quite accurately, titled by Martha. Beginning softly as a sunrise, Appalachian Spring progresses through a pioneer celebration both joyful and apprehensive. The most popular section “Simple Gifts” is a delicately strong melody which is followed with a prayerful sound of thanks. This was stunningly beautiful and very thoughtful music. It ended in the same fashion in which it began, softly, as a sunset.
This was a wonderful grand finale performance of an exceptional season, and was definitely a season to remember.
Dr. Prior spoke briefly on things to come next season, and although he didn’t give away any secrets, he was notably pleased and excited about the program in the works for the 2017/18 season.
Many thanks to our co-sponsors for this event: Holiday Inn Express & Suites, and the LaGrange High School Class of 1967.
Afterwards, at the Chamber of Commerce, a full-scale reception for all concert-goers and musicians filled the Chamber and spilled out into the courtyard’s warm evening air. It was nice to mingle with the musicians and to get the chance to congratulate them on a job well done. The entire evening was delightful. So many people mentioned their enthusiasm and anticipation for 2017/18 season tickets! Thank you for supporting the arts, and especially the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra.
Concert dates for the 2017/18 season are:
- September 26, 2017
- November 7, 2017
- December 12, 2017
- March 20, 2018
- April 24, 2018
Mark Your Calendars! (All concerts are in Callaway Auditorium at 7:30 pm)
The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra’s 2016/17 concert season “Elemental Forces” is culminating, Tuesday, April 25th in Callaway Auditorium, LaGrange,GA at 7:30PM. This highly anticipated EARTH concert will include The William Tell Overture by Rossini, Appalacian Spring by Copland and the complete Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi. Four Seasons, in full, includes four violin concerti, which are unique and remarkably descriptive of the season they represent. Each concerto is, in turn, separated into three full movements. This is an outstanding program and, like this entire season, will be an event to remember! Click HERE for tickets.
The LSO proudly announces the soloists slated to be featured in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Individually, they are each phenomenal, and together will be awesome. Featured artists are:
You do not want to miss this! Get your tickets early as this grand event is filling seats quickly.
This uplifting music is a perfect choice for the season’s grand finale concert. See you there! Tuesday, April 25th, 7:30PM at Callaway Auditorium in LaGrange, Georgia.
March 21, 2017
LSO “WATER” Concert – Adventurous
Flowing through Callaway auditorium Tuesday March 21st, 2017 was the fourth concert in the Elemental Forces series entitled WATER. This concert was filled with fluid imagery and began with a sea of musicians onstage. This was the annual side-by-side with the LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra and the stage was indeed full. Dr. Prior began by recognizing Celeste Myall, director of the LSYO. He commended her efforts and also the efforts of all of the wonderful teachers who have invested in these students.
The side-by-side piece was Hoddinott’s Investiture Dances, Op. 66 Allegro and Presto. This piece is scored for a large orchestra along with some extra instruments, which allows students of several musical areas to participate. The music was very grand and was actually commissioned for the announcement of England’s Prince Charles officially becoming the Prince of Wales. Hoddinott was a prominent Welsh composer at that time. The side-by-side with students and professionals was performed with care and precision and the audience was very appreciative. Great job.
Next was Mendelssohn’s Die Hebriden. This piece sounded like an epic voyage, quite different from the first piece. Beginning with soft misty tones the sound built into a full adventure. It was lovely, dynamic and successfully depicted Mendelssohn’s memorable trip to Scotland.
Dr. Beth Everett was the guest artist for the next piece singing Elgar’s Sea Pictures. Poetic and romantic, the LSO and Dr. Everett’s performance washed gently over the audience.
With five separate songs within this song cycle, the contralto part required a great deal of stamina. Dr. Everett has a very controlled and powerful voice. She was brilliant throughout the wide range of poetic moods.
After a brief intermission, the LSO performed Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Overture. This is a beautiful piece drawing from two related poems depicting seafaring stillness and motion. Clear and warm, this piece had two distinct feelings and the LSO sailed through it all with skill.
Capping off the evening was Britten’s Four Sea Interludes. These were compiled from the Opera Peter Grimes, though the order is rearranged for orchestra performance. To say they were very emotional doesn’t do it justice. The music, rather than being descriptive of the emotions, transferred different emotions to the listeners. I was surprised and impressed at this. Coming from an opera you would think a large dependence would be on the vocals. The LSO had extreme attention to detail here with instruments responding to each other with both contrast and similarity. To me, this performance stands out.
Great. Loved it.
If you enjoyed the concert, you can easily let the world know by visiting us on facebook and giving a quick review. You can also post your photos from the concert there.
On behalf of everyone at the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, we extend our sincere gratitude to Higgins Funeral Homes for sponsoring this March “WATER” concert. Their enthusiasm and continued financial support has made this event possible.
Thanks are also extended to our wonderful Patrons for supporting the arts, especially the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra.
During next week’s WATER concert, Tuesday March 21st at 7:30PM, the LSO will incorporate into their program, Hoddinot: Investiture Dances, a side-by-side piece with the LSYO. If you aren’t sure what this means, it is an additional piece added into the program providing a professional mentoring experience for the youth in our community. The members of the Youth Orchestra literally sit beside our professional musicians during one piece (usually the first piece) at our March concert. Both the students and the professional musicians will play the same music, follow the same cues from the conductor, blend with the other instruments, and witness the same audience reaction. This side-by-side has always impressed with the level of the music, ability of the students and the intonation and delivery. For the Water concert, the piece the students and professionals will perform is Hoddinot: Investiture Dances – both the Allegro and Presto sections. It is one more way the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, and you, the audience, help to teach, encourage and prepare our young musicians. Come see what it’s all about. Celeste Myall is the LSYO Conductor and is Director of Educational Outreach for the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra.
On March 27th at 7PM in Callaway Auditorium the LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra, along with the LaGrange Youth String Ensemble and the Strings Attached Musicians will perform their own concert. Celeste Myall is the LSYO Conductor and is Director of Educational Outreach, John Erdogan is LSYO Associate Conductor. Callie Hammond is String Ensemble Conductor.
March 21, 2017 marks The LSO WATER concert. This is the fourth in our 2016-17 concert series entitled Elemental Forces. Included in the WATER concert program is Sir Edward Elgar’s Sea Songs, for contralto and orchestra. This wonderful piece consists of five songs, each poetic and lovely. A perfect choice as guest artist for this song cycle is Dr. Beth Everett. Dr. Everett is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at LaGrange College. She is a member of Voices, a professional choir based out of the Eastman School of Music and has performed at Carnegie Hall as a soloist with the University of Southern Mississippi’s Southern Chorale.
Also on the program are two of the most treasured Mendelssohn overtures, The Hebrides and Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage. This is a rare opportunity to hear both of these great works together. The performance will conclude with Benjamin Britten’s poignant and dramatic Four Sea Interludes from the opera Peter Grimes. We are also thrilled to be joined by the LSYO, for the annual side-by-side, on this program.
On February 7, the LSO Guild held its annual luncheon at Bellevue in LaGrange, GA. It was a wonderful affair, complete with musical entertainment. Callie Hammond provided the music along with several of her young violinists. Callie teaches strings through the lessons organized by the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra. The Symphony Guild is an organization which supports the symphony efforts in mentoring young musicians. They are an integral part of making these lessons and all other youth programs available through their fundraising efforts. This photo shows students, Robert and Mary Frances, getting ready to play. In the background is Guild member, Nancy Stevens, who is also Robert’s grandmother. This was a proud moment.
More than 2,100 grade students recently enjoyed a live musical experience provided last week by the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra during its annual Children’s Concerts.
Over 1300 third-grade public, private and home-schooled students from Troup and Meriwether County filled Callaway Auditorium during two concerts on February 23. In Valley, almost 800 students from Chambers County, Lanett city schools, Springwood School and Chamber Academy came to Langdale Auditorium on February 24 to experience their own memorable moments of music.
Each performance included music from famous composers like John Williams, Leroy Anderson, Edvard Grieg, and John Philip Sousa. The concerts also included a performance of The Thrill of the Orchestra by Russell Peck. “Thrill” introduces the families of instruments that comprise a typical orchestra.
Many children dressed up for the occasion, a first-time visit to a live performance for most of the children. One young attendee was even spotted wearing opera gloves. All students received a booklet from the LaGrange Symphony before the performance, which provided them with a teacher-led classroom lesson to prepare for the concert and to write stories and answer questions after the concert about what they experienced.
Professional storyteller Carol Cain developed the narrative for the concert and delighted the students throughout the concert as she “told the stories” of the music they would hear. A highlight of the event was a few individual students going on stage to actually conduct the orchestra during each concert. Several of the students demonstrated remarkable skill and may have a musical future ahead of them.
Studies have shown that music has the power to transform lives, facilitate change, inspire greatness, and create community. It even has the ability to unite an entire community.
“Contributing to arts education for elementary students is an investment that generates returns that last a lifetime,” said Raylene Carter, LaGrange Symphony Executive Director. “For over 27 years, the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra has been creating memorable moments of music through concerts, educational initiatives and enriching musical experiences for the entire community. We are grateful for the support of our donors and corporate partners whose contributions allow us to continue these important initiatives.”
The West Point Fund of the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley provided major funding for these Children’s Concerts. Additional support was given by Chick-fil-A on Lafayette Parkway in LaGrange.
Celebrating 27 years of enriching our community through music, the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra offers multiple youth programs in addition to our classical concert series provided by our adult orchestra.
The Board of Directors of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra has announced the winners of the 21st annual Young Artists Competition, held Saturday, February 4, at Callaway Auditorium on the campus of LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia. Congratulations to all the fine musicians who participated in this competition. It was a terrific year, and here is a look at the 2017 winners.
The Dorothy Allen Turner Award for first place went to violinist Richard Cho. The sophomore at Alpharetta High School is currently studying under the guidance of Professor Sergiu Schwartz at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University. Mr. Cho, who performed Henri Viuextemps’ Violin Concerto No 5, made his solo debut with the Orchestra of Omaha at age 11. He is the winner of the 2013 Ruth Kern Concerto Competition, 2014 Samuel Fordis Young Artists Concerto Competition and has played solo with both the Atlanta Community Orchestra and the Georgia Philharmonic Orchestra.
As first place winner, Mr. Cho will receive $1,500 and perform as the featured soloist with the LaGrange Symphony in a concert during the 2017-2018 season.
The Max Kaplan Award for second place was won by violinist Weiru Sheng from Columbus State University where she is in her first year of the Master’s program at the Schwob School of Music, having completed her Bachelor of Music there last year. She performed Henri Vieuxtemps’ Violin Concerto No. 5 in A minor. MS. Sheng was a 2015 Atlanta music club scholarship competition winner, a 2014 Georgia MTNA Artist string division winner and winner of the Schwob School of Music Concerto competition in 2013. Ms. Sheng, a native of China, has played with the Zhejiang Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Lagrange Symphony Orchestra and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. This prize carries a $1,000 cash award.
Winner of the NOTE Award for third place and a $500 cash award is violist Olivia Palazzolo of Eads, Tennessee, who will complete her Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance in 2018 from the University of Memphis. She is the 2016 winner of the Beethoven Club prize award in Memphis, the 2015 of the Nashville Symphony’s Thor Johnson Senior Scholarship winner, the 2014 Grand Prize winner of the Nashville Symphony’s CURB Records Competition as well as the 2014 winner of the Primrose International Viola Competition Tone Prize in Los Angeles, California. Ms. Palazzolo has performed with the Huntsville Symphony, the Nashville Symphony and the Nashville Philharmonic. MS. Palazzolo played Concerto for Viola by Bela Bartok.
Judges of the 2017 Young Artists Competition were Dr. Richard Prior, Music Director and Conductor of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, who is also Director of Orchestra Studies at Emory University; Jessica Stinson, a graduate of the Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, Texas, having received a Master’s degree in Violin Performance; and Dr. W. David Richardson, who received his Doctor in Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Georgia and is currently Director of Orchestras at the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology.
The competition this year was open to participants from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina or Tennessee who were under age 26 and played a string instrument.
Read more about the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition on the YAC page.
A fun event for Fifth-graders in Troup County happened Tuesday January 24, 2017. The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra sponsored a special musical appreciation session and invited all fifth grade students to hear it at Callaway Auditorium. Music through the ages was discussed and demonstrated with a live string quartet consisting of Callie Hammond, Ela Tokarska, Sam Lee and Katie Truex.
The program was designed by Callie Hammond. The coordination of the Musicians in Schools program is under the leadership of Celeste Myall, Director of Educational Outreach for the LaGrange Symphony.
Bach through present day composers
Beginning with Bach, who lived in the late 1600’s and early 1700’s, Callie talked, chronologically, about various composers. She explained when they lived and gave insight into their personal lives. Many composers were highlighted and samples of their music were demonstrated to the delight of the audience.
She also talked about what it is like for musicians to play together and projected, on-screen, a sample of their combined music. The discussion continued through present day and examples were played throughout the program by the quartet. Most melodies were recognized by the students, but they were definitely not aware some were written hundreds of years ago. As the program moved to more modern works, a favorite seemed to be the theme from Star Wars.
Strings Attached Program
As a bonus treat, members of the “Strings Attached” program played a song composed only seven years ago by Mark O’Connor that was called Boogie Woogie. Completing the musical journey through time, the fifth grade”Strings Attached” students did a terrific job performing in front of their peers. These students are only a portion of the 60 students involved in this program currently offered at four Troup County Elementary Schools and LaGrange Academy.
The filled auditorium gave a rousing round of applause and some seemed to be inspired by this program to try a musical instrument. They were very attentive throughout the session.
All too soon it was time to say good bye. This fun and educational presentation was given again later that day for more than 1,000 Troup County fifth grade students!
Dr. Richard Prior’s orchestral composition A Canticle of Shadows is slated to premiere at Emory University, Emerson Concert Hall, tomorrow night January 20th at 8PM. It will be performed by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, whose photo is shown here. Orpheus is one of the world’s foremost chamber orchestras and will be a delight to hear.
Dr. Prior is conductor and musical director for the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, LaGrange GA. The LSO, along with renowned flutist Jonathan Keeble, premiered his wonderful work Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in September, 2016, which was a huge success.
In tomorrow night’s performance, Dr. Prior’s work draws inspiration from images emanating from the migrant crisis in Europe and the conflict zones of Syria, Eastern Ukraine, and the Middle East. The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra supports Dr. Prior’s composing talents and is proud to promote his latest endeavor. We are confident this will be another superb premiere.
This is certainly “A Season to Remember!” and it will continue into 2017. Tickets for both of our remaining concerts are already available to purchase on the website. (More on this below)
At this 2016 calendar year’s end, and the fresh beginning of 2017, we extend our sincere appreciation for your support and suggest the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra as a worthy cause for your charitable donation. Music has the power to transform lives and inspire greatness. Help us to provide another full season of impact, through our Summer Music Camp, Strings and Strings Attached Projects, Children’s Concerts, Musicians in Schools, the LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra, and String Ensemble as well as our regular season of concerts. Your charitable donation, at any amount, will help provide these programs. Our secure link is below.
We look forward to seeing you for the rest of the season. Below is a brief line-up of the wonderful things yet to come in this concert collection of ELEMENTAL FORCES!
Filling in Your New Calendar?
Put us on your new 2017 calendar now with these important concert dates:
March 21st, 2017 – The WATER Concert
Mendelssohn: The Hebrides
Elgar: Sea Pictures
Mendelssohn: Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
Britten: Four Sea Interludes
March 27, 2017 – LSYO Spring Concert
April 25, 2017 – The EARTH Concert
Rossini: William Tell Overture
Vivaldi: Four Seasons – complete Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter
Copeland: Appalachian Spring
LSO “LIGHT” Concert – Brilliant, Diverse, and Joyful
“My Favorite Concert yet” “Loved it!” “Terrific”
It was a dark and rainy night in LaGrange, Georgia December 13th for the LSO LIGHT concert, but no one’s spirit was dampened. In fact, the mood was up-beat, positive and optimistic, with wonderful holiday wishes for all.
Here are a few holiday wishes to brighten your day!:
Inspirational and uplifting, this concert was the perfect thing to attend to be filled with holiday spirit, wonder and happiness. Comprised of varying styles, the diverseness of this concert truly had something for everyone.
The evening’s entertainment began building upon the mood of the holiday with Corelli’s Christmas Concerto. This well done, six movement, piece featured the strings and several soloist sections. Written with a “Christmas Eve” mood, it had a pastoral feeling of awe, attained imaginatively, by shepherds visiting a traditional Nativity scene. The lullaby meter represented the rocking of the Christ Child by his mother, a very fitting and glowing beginning for this concert of LIGHT.
Capturing the feeling of a more modern holiday with buoyant energy were Anderson’s two pieces – Bugler’s Holiday and Sleigh Ride. In the Bugler’s Holiday, the trumpet was, of course, highlighted and was delightful. It joyfully announced the holiday and Sleigh Ride captured the light-hearted and quick pace of our wintry journey through the season.
Twas’ the Night Before Christmas, a beloved poem, provided the basis for the next piece, which was a very descriptive musical arrangement combined with narrative imagery. Expressively reading the text was Dr. Kevin Shirley, professor at LaGrange College. He verbally described the vision while the LSO, very successfully, colored the scenes musically. The combination was very effective and the experience easily imagined.
The next selection countered Santa with Brubaker’s arrangement of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This much-loved Dr. Seuss story is both sassy and optimistic. Filling the auditorium with the Grinch’s “enlightenment”, the LSO did a wonderful job with yet another style of music.
Also a definite crowd pleaser, the performance of The Polar Express Suite was expansive and substantial. Rather breath-taking, the inspirational and wide-awake sparkle of this piece felt epic. The train, with its illuminating light could be seen full of adventure and discovery. There was also an undeniable feeling that all will be well if you just “believe”. The LSO performed this brilliantly. Well done.
Increasing the mood yet again, it was time for the LSO to corroborate with the much-anticipated all-male combined choir for Randol Allen Bass’s Gloria. Comprised of The Sons of Lafayette, directed by Dr. Beth Everett, and the Troup H.S. Men’s Ensemble, directed by Kathy Kirby, this unified group sounded every bit as great as they looked. Shown in this photo, is the full stage as they were being introduced by Dr. Prior. You may click the photo to view a larger version.
This work was conducted by Dr. Beth Everett, and beautifully wished peace on earth to all of good will and announced the Light of the World. From the first “Gloria!” the audience was captured. This was a remarkably fitting culmination to this concert.
To top everything off, the LSO, the combined choir, and the audience all shared some traditional holiday carols. It was a very full, enjoyable, and uplifting evening. The audience loved it!
If you enjoyed the concert, you can easily let the world know by visiting us on facebook and giving a quick review. You can also post your photos from the concert there.
On behalf of everyone at the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, we extend our sincere gratitude to Commercial Bank & Trust for sponsoring this holiday “LIGHT” concert. Their enthusiasm and continued financial support has made this event possible.
Thanks are also extended to our wonderful Patrons for supporting the arts, especially the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra. Merry Christmas and best wishes for a bright and Happy New Year! You are the “LIGHT” of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra.
Let your heart grow three sizes at the LIGHT concert Tuesday, December 13th – 7:30PM at Callaway Auditorium, LaGrange, GA. Musically, something for everyone! The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra has a tremendous program lineup from Brubaker: How the Grinch Stole Christmas to a full corroboration with an all male choir performing R.A. Bass: Gloria! The special combined choir of the Sons of Lafayette and the Troup H.S. Men’s Ensemble will be huge. A Spectacular Holiday Event for the whole family. Other selections include:
Corelli’s Christmas Concerto
Leroy Anderson: Bugler’s Holiday and Sleigh Ride
Holcombe’s Twas the Night Before Christmas
Children’s favorites: Brubaker’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Silvestri’s Suite from Polar Express
All of this will be “wrapped” up with a traditional carol sing-a-long! A definite holiday spirit filled evening. Bring your friends and family to share the LIGHT this Christmas.
Read more about this concert at http://www.lagrangesymphony.org/light/
December 13th at Callaway Auditorium in LaGrange, GA the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra will perform their LIGHT Concert at 7:30 PM. Included in the program is the suite from the Polar Express. This ever-popular and heart-warming story of a young boy who embarks on an adventure of self discovery to the North Pole on a train called the Polar Express was made into a terrific musical fantasy film based on the 1985 book (of the same name) by Chris Van Allsburg. Scored by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard, this suite is uplifting and magical. A treat for everyone. Tickets available by phone: 706-882-0662, email: email@example.com, and online here: http://www.lagrangesymphony.org/performance/tickets-2/ – Don’t wait to purchase tickets as this concert typically sells out!
Bring your family together for the “LIGHT” Concert, Tuesday December 13th at 7:30PM, Callaway Auditorium, LaGrange. A great evening of holiday entertainment. From the whimsical “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” to a full collaboration with an all-male choir singing Randol Alan Bass’s “Gloria” – this concert has something for everyone. Also on the program is Carelli’s “Christmas Concerto”, Anderson’s “Bugler’s Holiday” and “Sleigh Ride”, Silvestri’s “Suite from Polar Express” and many others! Start your holiday “to-do” list and get these tickets early. Feel the warm glow from the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra’s “LIGHT” Concert and share it with friends and family. (Early Christmas gifts are always a big hit.) Read about this special all-male choir and other specifics HERE.
November, 1, 2016 – A Hot November Night for LSO FIRE Concert!
Presented with fond memories, and in celebration of the life of Bob Culbreth, who has been a longtime member of the orchestra family. (Read more here.)
Beginning with 80 degree weather, the warm evening got even hotter inside Callaway Auditorium November 1st, 2016 for the LSO FIRE concert. This was the second performance in the 2016/17 series ELEMENTAL FORCES.
Greeted by none other than Shakespeare himself, many enjoyed the photo opportunity with the famous playwright who was the inspiration for works in this concert. Actually, the noted challenge for this Shakespearean-inspired program was limiting the choices to a single concert.
Noticing the full stage of musicians, especially the broad range of percussion instruments, the anticipation was already building before the first note was played. First on the program was Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March, No. 4. This was not the “graduation theme”, but was composed in the same family of marches published together as opus 39 who’s title is from a line in Shakespeare’s play, Othello. This No. 4 march is not militaristic, but very grand and stately. Commanding this piece and performing with “largeness”, the LSO did a wonderful job of giving this piece the royal pageantry it deserved.
To introduce the next piece, Leigh Anne Hamlin (Juliet) and Caleb Brown (Romeo) with narration by Kim Barber Knoll, performed the famous balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. Beautifully costumed and eloquently spoken, we saw their young love begin.
Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture – Fantasy begins solemnly and doesn’t follow the play’s events in the order that they occur. Fantasy portrays the contrasting moods of the characters. Love and violence were both present and easily recognized. Recurring danger, an underlying heartbeat and soaring love theme reverberated through the auditorium. It was truly lovely to experience and must be as wonderful to perform as it was to witness because of a noticeable connection between the musicians and the music.
Moving into the 1950s, the FIRE concert next introduced its final piece with a dramatic scene from West Side Story. Narrated by Kim Barber Knoll and played by Mariah Bowen (Maria) and Will Wooten (Tony) the LaGrange Theater Arts department presented Maria and Tony pledging their love. Again, costumed perfectly and with great emotional expression, they set the scene for Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances.
This finale piece takes nine selections from the full stage production. Opening with energy and syncopation, Symphonic Dances was immensely entertaining. The complexity of the music and rhythms was quickly apparent and was awesome to watch the preciseness and intensity with which the LSO performed its every turn. The interplay between themes and continually refreshed perspective was appreciable and very appealing. The audience rewarded Dr. Prior, the musicians, and actors with a warm and long standing ovation. A stunningly successful performance, the evening was very musically satisfying.
Along with a performance of great symphonic works from Elgar, Tchaikovsky and Bernstein, the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra will be joined by guest actors from LaGrange College enacting scenes from Shakespeare’s play and Stephen Sondheim’s libretto for West Side Story. These dramatic scenes will reinforce the parallelism of the music.
Dramatic scenes performed at the FIRE concert on November 1st, will be played by:
Leigh Anne Hamlin (Juliet) is a sophomore Musical Theatre major at LaGrange College. She most recently played Cinderella in Into the Woods. Previous productions include The Rimers of Eldritch and scenes from The Ballad of Baby Doe and The Pirates of Penzance.
Caleb Brown (Romeo) is a junior Musical Theatre major and Technical Design minor at LaGrange College. He recently played The Wolf and Cinderella’s Prince in Into the Woods. Other LC credits include: The Man in On the Verge, Josh in The Rimers of Eldritch. His past LC roles include Fred Casely in Chicago, Dubois in The Misanthrope, Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Mike Costa in A Chorus Line.
Will Wooten (Tony) is a junior Mathematics major at LaGrange College. He recently played the Steward in Into the Woods.
Mariah Bowen (Maria) is a senior Musical Theatre major at LaGrange College. Previous roles include Cinderella’s Mother/Granny in Into the Woods, Isabelle in The Pirates of Penzance, Wilma in The Rimers of Eldritch, and Mote in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Narration will be performed by:
Kim Barber Knoll is Chair and Professor of Theatre Arts at LaGrange College. She was the Artistic Director and an Equity Guest Actor and resident director at the Papermill Theatre in Lincoln, New Hampshire for twenty years. With over 30 years of professional acting and directing credits, she holds an MFA in Acting from UCLA. Previous performance credits include Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street, Vi in Footloose and the Witch in Into the Woods. Representative directing credits include Into the Woods, On the Verge, Dames at Sea and Metamorphoses.
Tickets are available four ways: Online: http://www.lagrangesymphony.org/performance/tickets-2/
Phone: 706-882-0662, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and also at the door.
Yes, in commemoration of William Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra has announced a very dramatic “FIRE” concert. This second concert in the 2016/17 series ELEMENTAL FORCES, will be Tuesday, November 1st at 7:30 PM in Callaway Auditorium, on the campus of LaGrange College, LaGrange, GA. In addition to the symphonic works of Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance No. 4, Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet and Bernstein: Symphonic Dances, there will be two on-stage dramatic scenes. The scenes are from Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story. Performed by LaGrange College Theater Arts, they effectively reinforce the parallelism of the music. Evoking the fire of human passion and love, this concert is sure to please.
The LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra will perform their Fall concert on November 14th, 2016. The time is 7:00 PM at Callaway Auditorium on the campus of LaGrange College. Directing this concert are Celeste Myall, LSYO Conductor and Director of Educational Outreach, and Callie Hammond, String Ensemble Conductor. This concert will feature strings including violin, viola, cello, bass and harp. Plan to attend and hear for yourself the young musical talent in our community. Sponsored by Kid’s Zone Dentistry.