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Berz to perform “The Lark Ascending”

The Lark Ascending

Experience Ralph Vaughan Williams’ inimitable – The Lark Ascending!

You are in for a real treat! The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra (LSO) welcomes violinist Kerren Berz as featured guest artist on November 1st. She will perform The Lark Ascending, a moving and luminous piece by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Kerren is a wonderful choice for this idealistic and delicate composition for solo violin and orchestra. Not only will you love this music, you will most likely be transported.  Do not miss this concert! (more about the sensational violinist, Kerren Berz, below)


The Lark Ascending piece is only a part of the LSO’s November 1st concert entitled COMMUNITY *. This concert is to be held Tuesday, November 1st at 7:30 PM in Callaway Auditorium, LaGrange, GA. The concert program also includes pieces by Rossini, and Beethoven. (more below)

A profoundly touching piece

Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams was a British composer (1872-1958). His composition, The Lark Ascending, is exquisitely beautiful and is his best known work. Hearing it live is something personal and touching. It’s been described as the quintessential musical example of  “pastoral”. It evokes all the imagery of a perfect English countryside – the colors, the birds, the soft breeze, and the calm. Imagine a place for quiet contemplation where even the tiniest of sounds is audible -a place to go on a daydream.

Surprisingly, this piece was written during a time of great turmoil. World War I was at hand. To some criticism, this piece did not reflect the stark reality all around, but instead provided the opposite, an escape. It was written in 1914, but the war, as you can imagine, put everything on hold. The premiere didn’t take place until seven years later, in 1921. Vaughan Williams served during the War. He had several assignments, but was most noted for being an ambulance driver in France. He experienced first-hand that war has lasting effects. On top of any emotional scars, his extended exposure to gunfire and explosions, caused severe hearing loss, which worsened as he aged.

Much later, at seventy years of age, Vaughan Williams conducted the London Philharmonic to premiere his Symphony No. 5.  He had dedicated that concert to Sibelius. (Sibelius was the Finnish composer we discussed last month.) Williams’ experience of conducting that significant concert gave him a boost. Rather than being a farewell performance, his musical composition work was invigorated in his latter years.


If you think that the title “The Lark Ascending” sounds a little bit familiar, you would be correct. Ralph Vaughan Williams found inspiration for this work in a poem by English novelist and poet George Meredith. Meredith’s poem is also entitled The Lark Ascending.  HERE is a link to the poem “The Lark Ascending,” by George Meredith.

Kerren Berz’s talents span the musical spectrum

Kerren Berz, violin
Kerren Berz, violin

She has performed, recorded, and toured with the Atlanta Symphony, the Harlem Festival Orchestra, and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, whose “music without boundaries” mission produced critically acclaimed performances and recordings of music by Aaron Copland, Conni Ellisor, and Jay Ungar, among others. Additional orchestras include the Missouri, Savannah, Chattanooga, Memphis, Augusta, Tallahassee, and Alabama Symphonies, Atlanta Opera, Atlanta Pops, and Pullman Pops. Her multi-genre quartet Sonic Essence recently made its debut at the Tennessee Statewide Women’s Policy Conference with an interactive performance praised as “beautiful and empowering.”

In addition, Berz is a well respected pop music arranger and performer; her work is featured on albums by Outkast, Pink, Cartel, Sinead O’Connor, and on the hit single “Survivor,” by Destiny’s Child. She has toured with Amy Grant and Vince Gill and performed with many Broadway traveling companies, including Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, and Porgy and Bess. Berz has accompanied countless music icons, including Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, The Eagles, Rod Stewart, Joni Mitchell, and Page/Plant. She is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and has served on nominating committees for the annual Grammy Awards.

Berz has degrees from Florida State University and the University of Tennessee, with additional studies at Boston University. Her teachers include Eliot Chapo and Yair Kless, and she credits her public school music program with giving her the opportunity to play the violin. She regards live music as a unique shared experience between performers and audience and enjoys connecting through music and conversation.

Full Concert on November 1st includes:

  • Rossini: La Gazza Ladra – The Thieving Magpie Overture
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending with guest artist, Kerren Berz, violin
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 6


LSO Concert November 1, 2022The season* The November 1st concert celebrates the second of the guiding principles of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, which is COMMUNITY. Each concert in the 2022/2023 season recognizes the importance of one of these principles. September recognized ARTISTRY, November – COMMUNITY, March – EDUCATION, and April – SUSTAINABILITY. We hope you will join us for each of these wonderfully programmed events.

Each concert this season features a special guest artist!

Thank you for supporting the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra.


Tickets are available through the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra box office. Contact the box office either through email or by telephone.

telephone: 706.882.0662



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