2005-2006 Commerce Bank Symphony Subscription Series Opens Season with Judith Farris Encore Concert

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 16, 2005 — The renowned and anticipated Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra Commerce Bank Concert Series opens its season with a very special concert featuring Southeast alumna Judith Farris at 8 p.m. Oct. 4 in Academic Hall Auditorium.

The symphony season opener will feature 20th-century symphonic works and pay a tribute to Broadway. Farris, a distinguished alumna of Southeast Missouri State University, will be the featured soloist for this program.  Sara Edgerton, professor of music at Southeast, will conduct the program.

The concert will start with a selection of symphonic works from the 20th century that illustrate a variety of musical influences.  “John Henry,” by Aaron Copland, is based on a traditional folk song about John Henry, an African American who, in the 1870s, worked heroically on building railroads in West Virginia.  “Gymnopedies,” which follows on the program, is an orchestration of a famous set of piano pieces by the French composer, Satie.  The first half of the program ends with the all-time favorite, “Bolero,” by Maurice Ravel.  This work is based on a repetition of a haunting, Jazz-like melody, accompanied by Spanish rhythms in the percussion section.

The second half of the concert will feature a selection of Broadway melodies by the celebrated composers Stephen Sondheim and Rodgers and Hammerstein.  The symphony will be joined by distinguished vocalist, Judith Farris, in a rendition of some memorable melodies from such musicals as “A Little Night Music,” “The Sound of Music,” “Carousel,” “Oklahoma” and others.

After graduating from Southeast, Farris went on to have a celebrated career as an opera singer, performing with some of this country’s finest opera companies and symphonic orchestras.  She also has had a significant career as a vocal coach for a number of major Broadway actors.  Beginning this year, Farris joins the faculty at Southeast as a vocal instructor and artist in residence.

Preferred seats are $12 and non-preferred seats are $5, $6 and $7.  Discounts are available in advance only.  Tickets are now available by calling the Performing Arts Box Office at (573) 651-2265.  Tickets also will be on sale on the night of the concert, when they will be either $7 or $12.