‘Peter and the Wolf’ Concert to Feature Symphony Orchestra, University Choir, Choral Union



Dec. 1, 2008 – The Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra Concert Series will present a concert featuring Sergei Prokofiev’s beloved musical story, “Peter and the Wolf,” at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 9, in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall located in the Cultural Arts Center at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus. 

The concert also will include a performance of the celebrated cantata for chorus and orchestra, “Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast,” based upon the epic poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Paul Thompson, professor of applied flute at Southeast, will be the Narrator for “Peter and the Wolf,” and Chris Goeke, chair of the Department of Music, will be the featured tenor soloist in the “Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast.”

The concert opens with the rousing symphonic work, the “Overture to Die Fledermaus.” “Die Fledermaus” (“The Bat”) is an operetta written in 1874 by the celebrated composer, Johann Strauss II (son of the famous Johann Strauss, the “Waltz King”).  The operetta is based on a light-hearted comic plot, revolving around a gala ball, with waltzes, polkas and other memorable dance tunes. The overture is a pastiche of many o fthe dance tues and melodies that are heard throughout the operetta. The operetta has maintained popular appeal and is number 19 on the list of the 20 most performed operas in North America. The overture is a favorite concert opener in its own right, and has been performed and recorded countless times since its first performance.


The Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra also will present Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.”  This composition was commissioned in 1936 as a symphonic story that would appeal to young and old alike.  Though its initial reception was a bit lukewarm, “Peter and the Wolf” quickly gained international recognition and appreciation. 

In this composition, the narrator tells the engaging story of a young boy, Peter, who eventually captures a wolf and takes the wolf to the zoo. Characters in the story are depicted by musical instruments: Peter is represented by the strings; the flute portrays the bird; the oboe is the duck; the grandfather is represented by the bassoon; the cat is portrayed by the clarinet; the French horns represent the wolf; and so on.  This composition has gained immense appeal through many memorable recordings and performances, and it has also been popularized in the famous Walt Disney adaptation of the story.


The second half of the concert will feature the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra, University Choir, and Choral Union in a performance of “Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast” by the notable African-British composer, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.  Coleridge-Taylor was a British composer, with African and British parents, who gained early recognition for his musical genius.  His best-known work is the cantata for orchestra, chorus and tenor soloist, “Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast.”  Written in 1898, it was widely performed in Coleridge-Taylor’s lifetime, and remains one of the most frequently performed works of this genre, rivaling Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” and Handel’s “Messiah” in popularity.

Conductors for this program will be Sara Edgerton, professor of cello and string bass, and Steven Hendricks, director of choral activities and music education, both from Southeast Missouri State University. This concert will present colorful, memorable, light-hearted music for the whole family to enjoy.


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 at all MetroTix outlets, visit online at MetroTix.com, keyword “symphony” or by calling toll free (800) 293-5949.