The Cameron University Civic Symphony will present its spring concert on Saturday, May 1, at 3 p.m. in the Fine Arts Courtyard. The concert open to the public at no charge. In case of inclement weather, the performance will be moved inside to McCutcheon Recital Hall. Social distancing will be in place, and facial coverings are required.
The ensemble will perform the music of Albinoni, Stamitz, MacDowell, Wolf and Grieg, and will feature as soloist senior music major Joel Moncrief, Altus.
The Cameron Civic Symphony is directed by Dr. Kirsten Underwood, Associate Professor in the Department of Art, Music and Theatre Arts. Performers include Cameron students Charlee Juarez and Trinity Hoffman, Lawton, Cameron alumnus Xavier McClure, and Lawton High student Nathanial Bowman. Concertmaster Kathy Liticker is director of the Lawton Public Schools string program and an adjunct instructor at Cameron. Retired LPS faculty members Susan Diekman and Donna Brox also perform, as do CU staff member Barbara Pickthorn, and community members Kevin Liticker, Dolores Anderson, Saya Cox and Ann-Mary Hartman.
The program will begin with the Stamitz “Sinfonia in B-flat major.” Johann Stamitz was a Bohemian composer and violinist who was founder of the court orchestra at Mannheim, whose excellent discipline and the individual skill of its players inspired English traveler Charles Burney to call it "an army of generals.” Their performance style included the dynamic elements crescendo and diminuendo, considered an innovation at the time. Composers of the Mannheim school played an important role in the development of the classical period's genres and of the classical symphony form. Stamitz’s music is stylistically transitional between the Baroque and Classical periods.
Next, the ensemble will perform string arrangements of four beautiful and famous songs. “To a Wild Rose” was one of Romantic composer Edward MacDowell’s most well-known and beloved pieces. It is the first of the “Ten Woodland Sketches,” originally written for solo piano and completed in 1896. Next is “Wiegenlied,” one of hundreds of lovely art songs by Austrian composer Hugo Wolf. While he did compose in large forms such as opera and orchestral works, the art song came to be thought of as the type of piece best suited to his musical genius. The next two songs are by Edvard Grieg: “Nepdal” and then “Solvieg’s Song” from Peer Gynt Suite No. 2. A Norwegian pianist and composer, Grieg used and developed Norwegian folk music in his compositions, bringing the music of Norway to international attention.
The symphony will also perform Albinoni’s “Sinfonia in G Major.” Tomaso Albinoni was an Italian composer of the Baroque era. During his lifetime, he was famous as an opera composer, but today is known primarily for his instrumental music. A prolific composer, this sinfonia is one of nine in such a format, with an additional 99 sonatas and 59 concerti written during his lifetime. In three movements, this wonderful piece makes incredible use of the sound qualities of the string instruments.
Concluding the program will be the Telemann “Sonata in D for Trumpet, Strings and Continuo,” which will feature senior music major Joel Moncrief on piccolo trumpet in A.
“We are thrilled to feature Joel performing as soloist – his musicianship, dedication and academic excellence have been a joy to observe during his four years at Cameron University,” Underwood says. “Joel will be performing on a piccolo trumpet, which enables players to perform the difficult trumpet parts of Baroque music. It was developed from instruments created to play the high trumpet parts in the music of Bach and Handel.”
Composer Georg Philipp Telemann was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist who served as the music director of Hamburg’s five main churches beginning in 1721 and who composed more than 3,000 works. He became one of the creators and foremost exponents of the so-called German mixed style, an amalgam of German, French, Italian and Polish styles.