This was a banner week for the Symphony in many regards. This last Wednesday saw the first rehearsal for Symphony members working on their most ambitious piece yet: Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony in F minor. I’m going to start plugging this performance (scheduled for January) right now, because it surely will be memorable for both SWSO regulars and newcomers alike. Don’t miss this landmark performance of a truly beautiful piece of music!
SWSO players also had a few chances to participate in other local musical events over the weekend, as well:
Dr. Ka-Wai Yu, resident cellist at Dixie State University and first chair cellist in the orchestra, spent many weeks preparing and organizing the Second Annual Dixie State Cello Festival, which was, as it was last year, a roaring success. More than 80 cellists from St. George and the surrounding area came together to play as an ensemble, listen to one another perform, and get educated on teaching and practicing techniques.
Friday night featured a teachers’ recital, in which teachers participating in the festival got the chance to perform some of their favorite works. The program took listeners on a tour of the world, with pieces from the far East, Europe, and our good ol’ US of A, featuring composers such as Elgar, Kummer, and Mark Summer.
Saturday night, the cello ensemble took the stage to delight and entertain. The highlights of the performance included Bachianas Brasilieras #5, Disney favorites Let it Go and A Whole New World (from the films Frozen and Aladdin, respectively), an all-cello arrangement of Kashmir by Led Zeppelin, and what performance wouldn’t be complete without a little John Williams, in this case the theme from the Indiana Jones films! A good time was had by all, not least of all because of the free donuts and pizza. Click here to watch a video of part of the final performance!
Saturday the 16th, 5 SWSO members got the opportunity to form a quintet and play with the very talented vocal group, GENTRI. Comprising three tenors and one pianist/arranger, GENTRI arranges and performs what they call “cinematic pop,” weaving together close harmonies and symphonic arrangements to create original music and new versions of old classics, which they use to deliver uplifting and inspiring messages. The set list on Saturday included a Broadway medley, selections from Les Miserables, some of their original compositions, and a selection of popular hits from a range of genres, including Bless the Broken Road (Rascal Flatts) and It’s Hard to Say I’m Sorry (Boston), and one very innovative piano mashup of Thunderstruck and You’ll Be In My Heart from the Disney movie Tarzan.
This was the second time the SWSO has had the chance to perform with GENTRI and we very much look forward to the third. Thank you, guys!
If you are aware of a musical or other artistic performance, either in the past or in the future, that involves SWSO musicians that you would like to highlight in the blog, please let us know!