From the community

Augusta Symphony Orchestra Announces First Concert of the Season

Posted Oct. 22, 2012, at 9:19 a.m.

AUGUSTA-The Augusta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) is excited to announce the first concert of its 2012-2013 season, with performances taking place at 7 PM on Saturday, November 17th at the High Street Congregational Church in Auburn and Sunday, November 18th at the Hope Baptist Church in Manchester.

The ASO fall concert consists entirely of pieces that have never been performed by the orchestra. The concert includes Aaron Copland’s Quiet City, Richard Strauss’s “Serenade” Opus 7 for Winds and Vaughan Williams’ A London Symphony.

Copland spent 1939-1941 creating Quiet City. While many are familiar with this fairly popular orchestral version, few know the origin of the piece. Just last year, it was discovered that a second version of Quiet City exists. This lesser known version is, in fact, the original, a composition that was first created to accompany Irwin Shaw’s play of the same name. However, Shaw’s show flopped, and with it went the original creation of Copland’s Quiet City. The smaller-scored version written for the play morphed into the better known version that will be performed by the ASO.

The melodious and simply written “Serenade” Opus 7 for Winds, does not seem like the work of a 17 year-old, but Richard Strauss was already a rising star in the composition world when he wrote it in 1881. At that time he already had a string quartet, piano sonata and orchestral march already under his belt among other musical compositions. “Serenade” Opus 7 for Winds, however, was the first of his compositions to enjoy regular performances. This piece marked a shift in Strauss’s life, as he transitioned from a young prodigy into a mature composer.

A London Symphony is a work whose title seems to imply a musical narrative based solely on the sights and sounds of London. However, this symphony encompasses much more. Though the chimes of Westminster are heard, Williams’ intent was to create a piece that reflected more the feel of certain locations and times of the year in London, as opposed to simply creating a musical mimicry of the sounds one might encounter on the streets. First performed in 1914, the symphony has undergone many edits by the composer. It wasn’t until 1936 that Williams finally published what he considered to be the definitive rendering of the symphony. It is this version of A London Symphony that will be performed by the ASO in November.

Founded shortly after World War I, the ASO has had the privilege of sharing great classic and modern works of symphonic music with the central Maine region for nearly 90 years. The ASO is dedicated to enriching the arts scene of the community by delivering the music of talented local musicians to the public. This vibrant community orchestra includes individuals spanning all age groups and walks of life, from high school students to doctors and active retirees.

Future performances of the ASO include the annual Messiah Singalong on December 14th and 15th and a special concert at Cumston Hall on March 16th featuring a performance of Peter and the Wolf. Information on additional concerts will be coming soon. All concerts are performed at 7 PM.

Tickets cost $10 for adults. Children and students are free.

If you are interested in finding out more about the ASO or auditioning to join the orchestra, visit www.asomaine.org or email estherpearl67@gmail.com

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