Celebrating classic American music, the Jefferson City Symphony Orchestra will present its Americana Pops concert next week.
Set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Mitchell Auditorium at Lincoln University, the concert will feature "some of the real giants of the golden age of American music," said conductor Patrick Clark, including Aaron Copland, Duke Ellington, Leroy Anderson and George Gershwin. The concert will also feature the work of Peter Schickele, whose compositions were performed under the name of P.D.Q. Bach, a fictional forgotten son of the Bach family. Clark described his work as "absolutely hilarious" and noted the orchestra will perform the "1712 Overture," a play on the famous "1812 Overture" by Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky.
The concert will also feature Gary Sanders playing the piano concerto "The Smoky Mountains" by English composer Richard Addinsell. Sanders said Addinsell wrote the piece based on his trip to the Smoky Mountains and features three parts. The third part, Sanders said, features an old fiddle tune known as "Old Joe Clark" he described as being around the country for a long time.
"No one seems to know its true origins," Sanders said of "Old Joe Clark."
Another piece the orchestra will perform is "The Typewriter" by Leroy Anderson. In that piece, Sanders will play an actual typewriter as part of the orchestra.
"It uses the sounds of the typewriter, the actual clacking of the keys to a melody, the bell that signifies you're at the end of a sentence and then the actual return carriage," Sanders said, noting it was "very difficult to find a typewriter," especially one in good enough shape. "The piece is so fast that it's very difficult to play because you have to keep the keys from jamming."
The music during the concert will come from a variety of different genres, from jazz to Broadway to hoedown, Clark said, but everything performed will have one key aspect in common.
"They're all in that American style, which is just like no other," Clark said. "American music had an enormous impact on the world in the 20th century. When you talk about American music, you're really talking about an almost impossible to anticipate phenomenon that occurred in the arts, the musical arts to be specific, in one country.
"It's really pulling from the grassroots of American culture."
Tickets are $5 for students and $15 for adults and can be purchased at jcsymphony.org or at Capital Music Company, Will West Music and Sound, or Jerry Fields Violins. Tickets also will be available at the door at Mitchell Auditorium, 710 E. Dunklin St.