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Get in the Spirit with the ORCO Halloween Concert | Arts & Culture

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Get in the Spirit with the ORCO Halloween Concert

The free October 28th concert by the Oak Ridge Community Orchestra features special music to set the mood for the upcoming Halloween.  Get in the spirit with Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens, Night on Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky, Farandole by Bizet and the Harry Potter Suite by John Williams.  As a special treat, the Secret City Winds Quintet will take the stage for two pieces, March to the Scaffold by Berlioz, and Polka from “The Golden Age” by Shostakovich. The quintet comprises local musicians, Jean Box (flute), Cyndi Jeffers (oboe), Lynlee Robinson (clarinet). Ardyce Lee (bassoon) and Alex Wilson (French horn).  

March to the Scaffold is the fourth movement of Symphonie Fantastique, composed in 1830 by Hector Berlioz (1803 - 1869).  The symphony traces the tragic fantasies of a musician suffering from unrequited love.  In the 4th movement, the musician, under the influence of opium, imagines that he has killed the object of his love, and views himself being executed by Guillotine.   The entire symphony is a self-portrait of Berlioz, who fell in love with a Shakespearean actress, Harriet Smithson, from seeing her in an 1827 play.  They never met until she heard the symphony in 1832, and realized she was the genesis.  They married in 1833, but the marriage was bitter and brief.  The March was arranged for wind quintet by Alex Wilson in 2012.

Polka is the 3rd movement from a suite extracted from the 1930 ballet, The Golden Age, composed by Dimitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975). The subject of the ballet is a Russian soccer team that encounters corrupt business manipulations while touring in Western Europe.  The political satire on the 1920s era depicts the Soviet ideology of the workers struggling against the capitalists.  The Polka was arranged for wind quintet by Jerry Neil Smith in 1973.

Danse Macabre was composed in 1874 by Camille Saint-Saens (1835 – 1921).  According to legend, "Death " appears at midnight every year on Halloween.  Death calls forth the dead from their graves  to perform their dance for him while he plays his fiddle  (represented by the solo violin).  Under his command, the skeletons dance until the rooster crows at dawn, when they must return to their graves until the next year.

Night on Bald Mountain was originally written in 1867 by Modest Mussorgsky (1839 – 1881), and orchestrated by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov in 1886.  In the music, you can hear the portrayal of the assembly of witches, their incessant gossip, the arrival of Satan, and the obscene praises of the Devil.  As dawn breaks on the Sabbath, the frenzy subsides into a calm dénouement, while the wicked participants disperse.

Farandole is the 4th movement of L’Arlesienne Suite 2 by George Bizet (1838 – 1875) with orchestration by Ernest Guiraud in 1879. It is extracted from the incidental music written by Bizet for the 1872 play, L’Arlesienne by Alphonse Daudet. A farandole is a spirited French provincial dance, wherein all the men join hands and stand in a circle. The women clasp hands and weave in and out between the men in a serpentine line.  If you listen carefully, you will hear The March of Kings in the opening and conclusion of this piece.

Harry Potter needs no introduction, due to the popular 2001 – 2011 series of movies based on the books by J. K. Rowling.  John Williams (born 1932) composed the music for the first three movies (2001, 2002 and 2004).  The 2001 arrangement of the Williams music by Jerry Brubaker captures the atmosphere of the wizardry, witchcraft and magic experienced by the Hogwarts.  Those of you who have seen the movies will recognize the memorable themes from this magical fantasy.

The Sunday, October 28th concert will be held at 3:00 pm in the Sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Oak Ridge, at the corner of the Oak Ridge Turnpike and LaFayette Drive.  Admission is free.  But, charitable donations to support the orchestra’s routine operating expenses will be appreciated.

The Oak Ridge Community Orchestra is a 501(c)3, non-profit, volunteer organization. Anyone wishing to regularly participate in the orchestra is encouraged to contact the Personnel Manager, Alex Wilson, at orcopersonnelmanager@gmail.com.  The orchestra welcomes musicians of all ages with at least 4 years of experience. For more information on the ORCO visit www.OakRidgeCommunityOrchestra.com <http://www.OakRidgeCommunityOrchestra.com> .


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