Piano, brass to be featured at Symphony Orchestra concert

The Jefferson City Symphony Orchestra’s brass section is prominently featured in Tuesday evening’s spring concert, but the section’s players are handling the challenge nicely, said conductor Patrick David Clark.

Scheduled for 7 p.m. at Lincoln University’s Mitchell Auditorium, the concert features “Finlandius” by composer Jean Sibelius, “Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor” by Sergei Rachmaninoff and “Lincoln Portrait” by Aaron Copland.

Clark selected “Finlandia” — written in 1899 as a covert protest against Russian censorship — to showcase the strength of the JCSO brass section, he said. When he made that decision, “Lincoln Portrait” had already been picked by the symphony’s leaders to honor the sesquicentennial of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

“Our brass is really strong; they are an asset of our orchestra and ‘Finlandia’ would allow them to shine,” he said. “But it hadn’t occurred to me how taxing the brass is in ‘Lincoln Portrait.’”

Typically brass musicians spend a lot of their time waiting for the big, climactic moments before they shine. In Tuesday’s program, the horn section will be a key component of the music throughout the evening. Clark was initially a little apprehensive when he realized how much he was asking his brass musicians to accomplish.

“They are rising to the occasion, and they love the idea of doing it,” he said. But he joked his musicians “probably will not be interested in playing any jazz gigs for a few days.”

Missourinet’s Bob Priddy will narrate “Lincoln Portrait” with excerpts from some of Lincoln’s great documents.

Tuesday’s event will also feature Joshua Charles playing Rachmaninoff ’s “Piano Concerto No. 3,” widely regarded as one of the most technically challenging pieces in the standard classical repertoire.

Charles graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s of music in piano performance from the University of Kansas in 2010. This is Charles’ second performance of Rachmaninoff’s third piano concerto.

Tickets for individual JCSO performances may be purchased online from the Jefferson City Community Concerts Association, at www.thejcca.eventbrite.com, or at the door the evening of the concert. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students.


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