Cameron University Civic Symphony to present fall concert with special guest ensemble LaSill Optimist Youth Orchestra Strings

The Cameron University Department of Art, Music and Theatre Arts will present the Cameron University Civic Symphony in concert on Tuesday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the McCutcheon Recital Hall. The ensemble will be joined by the LaSill Optimist Youth Orchestra Strings for three numbers. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students/senior citizens/military. Cameron University faculty, staff and students are admitted at no charge with CU I.D.

Conducted by Dr. Kirsten Underwood, Cameron University Civic Symphony is made up of Cameron music  majors and minors, community members from Lawton and Altus, Lawton Public Schools strings faculty, and qualified high school students.

“A rousing movement from Telemann’s Sonata No. 1 will begin the program,” says Underwood.
“Telemann, a leading German composer during the first half of the 18th century, marked a transition between the baroque style we associate with J.S. Bach and the early classical style of Haydn and Mozart.”

She goes on to say that Telemann began composing and performing at an early age. Although he entered university to study law, a roommate’s discovery of his compositions launched his musical career. He settled in Hamburg as the music director for the five largest churches in the city.

The concert will continue with a compilation of waltzes from Johann Strauss II’s opera “Die Fledermaus,” translated as “The Bat” and set in 19th century Vienna.

“The story line includes a ball, and a masked one at that, from which various intrigues present themselves,” Underwood explains. “The ensemble has enjoyed learning the feel of a Viennese waltz, and the variety in this arrangement is very appealing for player and listener alike.”

Underwood has also selected “Fantasy on Amazing Grace” for the program.  “Arranger Robert Kerr has set this much loved classic in a progressive range of styles, touring the four major time periods of music in order:  Baroque, Classical, Romantic and early 20th century,” she says. “The final setting of provides the beautiful four part harmony and vocal style most familiar to listeners in America.”

Also on the program is “The Olive Tree,” composed by Arlene Smith, founder and former musical director and conductor of the Sarasota Community Orchestra.  “This composition is a musical tribute to the gracefully elegant olive tree, traditionally known as a symbol of peace,” says Underwood. “In ancient Athens, leaves from a sacred olive tree near the temple of Zeus at Olympus were woven into wreaths to crown the winners at the Olympic games. For thousands of years, olive trees have lined the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Oil from olive trees was used in cooking, burned in lamps, and used as a lotion to soften the skin.  The wood is extremely hard, which prompted its use as a symbol of force.  All of these ideas are woven into a lovely musical offering.  The orchestra will be joined by community harpist Linda Ashton for this piece.”

For the final three pieces, “Appalachian Sunrise,” “Danny Boy” and “Evening Prayer,” the Civic Symphony will be joined by approximately 50 string musicians from the LaSill Optimist Youth Orchestra.

“Directors Kathy Liticker and Susan Diekman have been dedicated to forming a youth ensemble in Lawton,” says Underwood. “With the support of the LaSill Optimist Club, they have succeeded in offering the community an orchestral ensemble in which middle and high school students can expand and enrich their experience playing classical music. It is a pleasure to share the stage with this talented group.”

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October 5, 2017