Carnival of the Animals to be Performed March 4 at Bedell Performance Hall

Photo of the orchestra in concert.

The Southeast Missouri State University Department of Music and the Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts are proud to present the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra concert of music entitled, “Carnival of the Animals.”

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 18, 2008 — The Southeast Missouri State University Department of Music and the Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts are proud to present the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra concert of music entitled, “Carnival of the Animals” March 4 in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at the Cultural Arts Center located on the River Campus.

The 7:30 p.m. concert will include a performance of French composer Saint-Saens’ famous work of that title, along with other colorful and descriptive music by 19th and 20th century French composers.  Featured soloists on this concert are pianists Matt Yount and Tyson Wunderlich, along with narrator Tom Harte.  Sara Edgerton will conduct the symphony orchestra in concert.

The program will open with the enchanting “Mother Goose Suite” by the celebrated composer, Maurice Ravel.  Perhaps best known today for his orchestral composition, “Bolero,” Ravel wrote a dazzling array of works in a largely Impressionistic style.  The “Mother Goose Suite” was originally composed as a piano duet, and was later orchestrated and made into a ballet.  The Suite excerpts a number of movements from the ballet, including such characteristic movements as “Sleeping Beauty” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

Next on the program will be a performance of the thrilling “Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra” by the important 20th-century French composer, Francis Poulenc.  This concerto was written in 1932 and was first performed with Poulenc himself playing the Piano I part.  An extremely successful work, this concerto is very creative in its combination of orchestral colors with the vibrant sound of two pianos.  Its movements flow freely with moments of jazz-inspired writing to quotations from Mozart and popular music of the day.

The second half of the concert will begin with another ethereal work by Ravel, his ever-popular “Pavane Pour une Infante Defunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”).  Finally, the orchestra along, with pianists Yount and Wunderlich, and narrator Harte, will present Saint-Saens’ evocative “Carnival of the Animals.”  Written in February, 1886, this brilliant and enjoyable composition pays tribute to a menagerie of zoo animals, from lions to elephants to swans.  Ogden Nash’s celebrated verse, based on this composition, will be read by Harte to accompany the performance.

“This concert promises to be a most enjoyable concert for the whole family,” said Dr. Sara Edgerton, conductor of the orchestra.  “I have wanted to program the ‘Carnival of the Animals’ for a number of years, but have been limited by space and facilities in the past.  It is so exciting to have the beautiful Bedell Performance Hall, with its superior acoustics and ample stage space, to be able to present this and other colorful works on the program.”

Guest artists on this program include two of this region’s finest pianists, Yount and Wunderlich. Yount is instructor of music at Southeast Missouri State University, where he serves as departmental accompanist and can be heard in numerous concerts each semester. Wunderlich teaches at Saxony Lutheran High School and also serves as an instructor at Southeast Missouri State University.  Harte is professor emeritus at Southeast Missouri State University and can be heard each day as host of KRCU Radio’s “Caffe Concerto.”  Come and hear the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra and its esteemed guest artists in this fabulous concert.

Tickets

May be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by calling (573) 651–2265. Tickets also may be purchased online at metrotix.com, keyword “carnival” or by calling toll free: (800) 293-5949.