by Sarah A. Peterson
Tulare County Symphony Orchestra delivers a double dose of Pops in the Park to kick off its 2015-2016 season, with last night’s Visalia concert in Oval Park and tonight’s at Zumwalt Park in Tulare.
A Visalia City Arts Grant helped fund Oval Park’s Pops, which was hosted by the Visalia Rescue Mission and featured Americana, movie music, and a preview of the season to come. Local vocalists Steven Braswell (of this summer’s League of Christian Actors’ Godspell production) and Tulare Symphony favorite Rosalinda Verde performed alongside the orchestra, and will appear again tonight in Tulare.
“Music is a universal language and can bring people together,” says Donna Orozco, secretary of the Tulare County Symphony Association. “There are all kinds of classical music, and most people can find something that appeals to their soul.”
And this year the Symphony’s upcoming season, entitled Rock Stars, offers up an array of choices to satisfy the musical tastes of many.
October’s opening concert, Celebracion!, has the goods when it comes to Latin themes. Central and South American orchestral music, featuring Alberto Ginastera’s “Estancia,” will be accompanied by newcomer Caitlin McKechney, performing Manuel de Falla’s “The Three-Cornered Hat.”
November brings Fire and Ice, which showcases Sibelius’ “Violin Concerto” (to be performed by returning violinist Danielle Belen) and Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 4,” and December’s Holiday Concert will feature almost 300 performers of all ages, emphasizing the ability of music to draw both young and old alike.
“It’s important to help young musicians learn as much as they can about music,” Orozco says, “for they are the ones who will become the next generation of symphony players.”
The Symphony starts off 2016 with January’s Enigmatic Portraits, a marriage of Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” and Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 1,” to be performed by returning pianist Andrew Tyson.
And just in time for the Oscars, Great Movies/Great Music: Escapes and Escapades brings down the house in February as the orchestra performs the movie music of Hollywood film composers John Williams (Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones), Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight), and Danny Elfman (Batman, Army of Darkness).
Coming in March is Locals Night, a showcase of solos with the orchestra, featuring the music of Monti, Haydn, Ewazen, and Tchaikovsky’s famous “Symphony No. 5.” The soloists include the Symphony’s own concertmaster and violinist Susan Doering, principal trumpet Cooper Walden, and marimba player Michael Downing.
Symphony season ends in April with Desperate Housewives, a double helping of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov with “Procession of the Nobles” and “Scheherezade,” the tale of a story-telling concubine and her smitten king.
Orozco, who has been on the Tulare County Symphony Association’s board of directors for the past 30 years, is excited about the upcoming season and is still as enthusiastic about the symphony as she was in 1985.
“It’s wonderful working with the music director [Bruce Kiesling] and the board,” she says, “who are so passionate about providing classical music to the county.
“The Symphony offers not only a season of both classical and pops music, but it also provides a place for aspiring and seasoned musicians alike to learn and perform.”
Check out more music related articles in KRL’s music section.