Symphony brings Christmas music
The orchestra also played three pieces from Peter Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” featuring outstanding flute performances.
During the evening, Lassen High School senior and cello player Sarah Quale conducted the orchestra in “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” She conducted the piece as part of her senior project. Quale said she chose conducting for her project because it’s something she has always wanted to do.
During the second half, the orchestra played more classical pieces. In addition, the St. Andrews Academy Choir, of Lake Almanor, joined the orchestra lending their beautiful, harmonious voices to the music.
According to Symphony director/conductor Ben Wade opening night of the concert was the first time the choir and the orchestra performed their music together. The choir recently returned from a trip to Italy and on Wednesday, prior to the concert, Wade went to Lake Almanor to rehearse with them separately, then rehearsed the orchestra separately.
Wade said he loves to write for a choir and adapted the “Coventry Carol” and the “Huron Carol” for the program.
The “Huron Carol,” or “Twas the Moon of Wintertime,” is a Christmas hymn written in 1643 by Jean De Brébeauf, a Christian missionary to the Hurons in Canada. The song, which is a traditional French folk song, began like a Gregorian chant with only the male voices.
During the “Huron Carol,” there is a piece where only the strings play and Wade said four years ago he wouldn’t have written it. However, the strings have come a long way and credited one of his assistant directors and viola player Tianna Heppner-Harjo for her work with the strings group.
The St. Andrews Academy Choir also sang as the orchestra played the John Williams suite “Somewhere in My Memory” from the movie “Home Alone” and “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas” from Home Alone 2.
For the encore performance, the symphony played Wade’s adaptation of the “The Little Drummer Boy.”
The music began with Gary Poulsen playing the same two measures over and over on percussion. Then, another instrument would join the music and the song eventually became louder and louder.
Three concerts are scheduled for the rest of the season. February concerts are scheduled for Feb. 15, 16 and 17. The theme is "A Romantic Evening" and in conjunction with Valentines Day, the symphony will perform music.
Two soloists will add to the excitement of the evening. Heather Leri, a professional soprano, will be singing two arias from Puccini and Dvorak. Russian pianist Irina Fedenko will play Tchaikovsky’s “Russian Piano Concerto #1.”
The spring concert on May 2, 3 and 4 will feature American composers with a flair and vision for the great frontier. The concert is affectionately nicknamed the "Cowboy Concert."
The season will conclude with the pops concert on June 13, 14 and 15. Last year, the audience was delighted with the various costumes the percussion section and the conductor donned during the performance.
Additional information about the Susanville Symphony Society is available on the Web site, susanvillesymphony.com.
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