Clarion University Symphony Orchestra to Present “Grand Entrances” Today

CLARION, Pa. – The Clarion University Symphony Orchestra will present a concert on Sunday, December 6, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. in the Marwick-Boyd Auditorium.

  The theme of the concert is “Grand Entrances” which utilizes compositions that establish a grandiose opening of a concert, opera, ceremony, or rite of passage.   Special guest artist Newyopercussion Modern Quartet joins the symphony orchestra.   The members of this exciting young professional group are:  Bryan Teeters (CUP class of 2010), Dean Anshutz, Matthew Hayes, and Bob Young.

The concert opens with Johann Strauss’s Overture to Die Fledermaus (The Bat).  The structure of this short opera is similar to that of a Broadway musical, in that spoken dialog is common, and as in the case of Die Fledermaus, there are characters that have no singing parts, and sometimes long speeches.  The Overture provides a potpourri of several principal tunes from the operetta dominated by a simple dance number and an infectious waltz.

Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4, Op. 39 by Edward Elgar ends the first part of the Symphony Orchestra program.  Elgar’s Opus 39 is a series of five military marches in various keys of which No. 4 is the second most well known.  No. 4 is similar to No. 1 (most famous), which has a lively, rhythmic march section and a very broad lyrical trio melody.

symphony grand entrancesThe Newyopercussion Modern Quartet will perform five pieces on their portion of the concert.  They start with A Guide to Field Identification by co-founder Dean Anshutz.  The composition is loosely derived from the calls of starlings, larks, downy woodpeckers, northern hawk owls, and warblers.  Several keyboard instruments are incorporated with various plastic, wooden, and metallic “found” sounds.   Next, they perform Extremes by Jason Treuting that is a groove-based, nontraditionally composed piece from the names of six U.S. cities: Denver, Helena, Burlington, Cleveland, Brooklyn, and Houston.  As One by Gene Koshinsi is the next piece which is a high-energy duet played with identical set ups and a shared marimba.  This is followed by Trevino’s 2+1 where two percussionists play a beautiful flowing melody on the same marimba.  The quartet will end with David Skidmore’s Ritual Music.  The work evokes the mood of tribal sacrifice with intense rhythmic counterpoint, explosive drumming, and extreme dynamics

The orchestra continues the last part of the concert with  “Grand March” from Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser.   The inspiration for Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser is an actual medieval singing contest held at Wartburg Castle in thirteenth-century Germany.  The “Grand March” is heard in Act II as richly attired noblemen enter and assemble for the contest.

The final piece is Rákóczy March (Hungarian March) by Hector Berlioz.  This composition was written in honor of Ferenc Rákóczy who was at the heart of Hungary’s quest for independence from Austria.  It is based on a poplar Hungarian Folk tune and later became an anthem and rallying call for the native Hungarians.

Under the direction of Dr. Casey C. Teske, Symphony Orchestra is a premiere performing group consisting of the Clarion University community including students, faculty, alumni, and residents of the surrounding area.  The group is dedicated to the quality performance of standard orchestral repertoire and is typically joined by a professional guest artist for each concert.

The concert is free and open to the public.

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