CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 15, 2011 — The Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra will present “Serenade for Strings,” a concert of music written for string orchestras, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1.
Featured on the first half of the program will be special guest artist, Juliette Buchanan, harp soloist, in music by Debussy and Grandjany. On the second half of the program, the Cape Central High School Orchestra, the Cape Central High School Freshman Orchestra and the Cape Central Junior High School Eighth Grade Orchestra will join the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra in music by Bach, Meyer and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Conductors for this concert will be Dr. Sara Edgerton, artistic director of the Southeast Missouri Symphony, and Steve Schaffner, director of orchestras at the Cape Central Junior and Senior High Schools.
“Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to hear beautiful string playing, a wonderful harp soloist, and the incredible sounds of many gifted string players performing together on the stage of the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall,” Edgerton said.
Department of Music faculty member Paul Thompson will give a pre-concert talk at 6:45 p.m. March 1 in the Bedell Performance Hall. This event is free to all ticket holders of the evening’s concert.
The concert will open with the “Holberg Suite” for String Orchestra by the noted Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg. Written to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian playwright Ludvig Holberg, this suite is an enchanting combination of Baroque dance forms with the intensified harmonies and expression of the Romantic era. Also on the first half of the program will be the beautiful, lyrical “Serenade for Strings,” a youthful and joyous work by the great English composer, Sir Edward Elgar.
Guest artist Buchanan will join the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra in two glorious works for harp and string orchestra: the “Aria in Classical Style” by the great harp player and composer, Marcel Grandjany; and Debussy’s famous “Danses” (“Dances”) for harp and strings. Buchanan, a native of Dallas, Texas, has appeared as soloist and principal harpist with numerous symphony orchestras in Texas. Highlights from Buchanan’s orchestral playing include an appearance as a soloist at the White House and an appearance in Carnegie Hall with the Peabody Camerata. Buchanan received a bachelor of music degree in harp performance from the Peabody Conservatory and a master of music degree in harp performance from Rice University where she studied with Paula Page. In addition, Buchanan spent eight summers at the prestigious Salzedo Harp Colony in Camden, Maine, studying with the renowned Alice Chalifoux, retired principal harpist of the Cleveland Orchestra. Buchanan lives in McKinney, Texas, with her husband Mark Rutledge, son of the late Dr. Harley Rutledge, professor emeritus of physics at Southeast.
On the second half of the concert, the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra will be joined by the Cape Central Orchestras in works by Bach, Meyer and Vaughan Williams. The Cape Central High School Orchestra will perform the first movement of Bach’s vibrant “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3.” Next, the high school orchestra will be joined by the Southeast Missouri Symphony players in a side-by-side performance of the energetic contemporary work, “Mantras,” by Californian composer Richard Meyer.
For the final piece on the program, the Cape Central High School Orchestra, the Cape Central Freshman Orchestra and the Cape Central Junior High School Eighth Grade Orchestra will join the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra to perform the beautiful “Concerto Grosso” for multiple string orchestras by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. This work was commissioned for the 21st anniversary of the Rural Schools Association in England and was first performed by a massed orchestra of young players in the Royal Albert Hall, London, in November 1950. It is designed for multiple orchestras including the “Concertino Orchestra, “Tutti Orchestra” and additional “Ad Lib” parts. For this performance, over 150 string players, from eighth grade through college and adult, will join forces to make glorious music together.
Tickets may be purchased at the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by calling (573) 651-2265. Tickets also may be purchased at any MetroTix outlet, online at MetroTix.com, keyword “Serenade,” or by calling toll-free: (800) 293-5949.