Meridian Star

April 6, 2014

Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in concert at UWA

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     LIVINGSTON, Ala. – The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Crafton Beck, will perform a concert of orchestral favorites and light classics on April 24 at Bibb Graves Auditorium on the University of West Alabama campus. 

    The concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m., opens with selections from the opera "Carmen," named for its principal character – a peasant girl of questionable reputation, who works in a cigarette factory. 

    As the opera progresses, we learn that she gets into fights, uses men, and becomes involved with outlaws. The man who loves her the most is Don Jose, who abandons his village sweetheart and his army post for Carmen. She, however, abandons him for the bull fighter, Escamillo. The orchestra will play five audience favorites from this opera.

    The concert continues with the "Peer Gynt Suite" by Edvard Grieg. This music was first written to be performed along with the play of the same name by Henrik Ibsen. Afterwards, Grieg selected eight pieces originally written for the play and published four of them in Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 and the other four in Peer Gynt Suite No. 2.  The Mississippi Symphony will play four of these eight pieces. Three selections are from Suite No. 1.  One is from Suite No. 2.

    The first half concludes with Antonin Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance Op. 72 No. 7 in C Major. Dvorak was a Czech composer, who loved to infuse nationalistic subject matter into his music. This particular piece takes its inspiration from a Serbian dance, known as the “kolo.”

    The second half features American music and lighter orchestral favorites, beginning with the “Liberty Bell March” by John Philip Sousa. The next three selections are taken from various musicals, including "Les Miserables," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and the ever-popular “Memory” from "Cats." The concert will conclude with “The Stars and Stripes Forever” also by John Philip Sousa.

    General admission is $10, adults; $2, students.  Sumter County Fine Arts Council members and UWA students are admitted free. UWA students must provide a valid student I.D.

    As the largest professional performing arts organization in the state, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra performs to more than 75,000 Mississippians each year at more than 120 concerts statewide. The MSO tours statewide as a full orchestra, a chamber orchestra, and as one of three resident ensembles: the Woodwind Quintet, the Brass Quintet and the String Quartet. Additionally the MSO supports three youth orchestras and an education program, through which more than 500 school children receive daily instruction in violin, viola and cello.

    In addition to the evening concert on April 24, the MSO will conduct educational visits known as “informances” to six Sumter County schools.

    The Sumter County Fine Arts Council receives support from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the University of West Alabama, and other agencies, businesses and individuals.