Home Music therapy ‘Dance Mix’ opens the 2021 season

‘Dance Mix’ opens the 2021 season


With its theme for the upcoming season – “Dance Mix” – the Springfield Symphony Orchestra offers a large stage that will make way for classics, as well as new music and sounds from lesser-known sources.

Any piece of music that encourages people to move with the music would be eligible. So SSO’s Music Director Kyle Wiley Pickett has created a season of exhilarating concerts.

The first concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday September 18 at Hammons Hall. The evening will begin with three catchy dance pieces from the Hispanic kingdom. For two of them, virtuoso violinist Rachel Lee Priday will perform. The concert will end with “The Firebird” by Igor Stravinsky.

The first number will be a Cuban dance by Mexican composer Arturo Márquez: “Danzón No. 2”. The piece begins with solos for clarinet and oboe, flowing in all the strings swaying on the soft clave. Along the way, short solos grow. Later, the pace picks up as the main theme pops up with more oomph.

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Violinist Rachel Lee Priday plays Sarasate

Priday will perform two dance pieces by Spanish composer Pablo de Sarasate.

“Zigeunerweisen” proceeds from three dynamic movements to a fourth with a fast and fun finish. The title of this piece is translated in English as “Gypsy Airs”.

Sarasate used themes from “Carmen” for her “Carmen Fantasy”, which became a centerpiece for violin virtuoso.

“When you hear someone like Rachel perform this piece, it sounds easy – and spectacular – the same way it does when you watch a gymnast at the Olympics perform an extremely difficult routine,” Pickett said. “It pushes the limits of what is possible. “

Priday said she learned “The Carmen Fantasy” around the age of nine, and a little later she learned “Zigeunerweisen”.

“They’ve been with me for a very long time, and I have a lot of fun playing them back and bringing them back. Sarasate was a violinist, and he wrote these truly imaginative and captivating pieces, as a vehicle for himself to play, ”she said.

“In the case of ‘Carmen’, this fantastic opera, bringing all the themes together and transforming them into a truly impressive work, and with ‘Zigeunerweisen’: fresh and imaginative and truly moving. I think ‘Zigeunerweisen’ is his best work, “said Priday.” I’m really excited to play them both, and I’ve never played them back to back. “

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Priday said that one of the joys of playing Sarasate’s music is that he wrote for the way the violin is played. “There is nothing embarrassing on the violin because Sarasate was such a famous violinist and performer. “

However, Sarasate’s works are demanding.

“There are some extremely delicate things that never seem completely easy. No matter how many times you’ve done it, you always feel like you’re on the edge of your seat doing this or that lap, ”she said. “He really does everything at the end of the two songs. “

Priday was born in Chicago, learned the violin at the age of four, and entered the Suzuki program there. When she was eight, the family moved to New York City, and she began studying with Dorothy DeLay from Juilliard. She described how her work paid off:

“It’s been many layers and layers of learning, and my music has grown with me as I’ve studied and lived in the world. I’ve lived my life with my violin, when I’m happy, in sadness and frustration – my violin has been with me through everything, my whole life.

Priday said she works to make the public feel what she does.

“I try to bring what I imagine – the inspiration behind the music – to my performance,” she said. “Communicate those things that cannot be said or explained in words. “

Fire Bird

Springfield Symphony Orchestra musical director Kyle Wiley Pickett has created a season of upbeat music with well-known classical works and lesser-known music.

The symphonic version of the ballet “L’oiseau de feu” will be the big event, among the many highlights of the evening. Pickett said the music is difficult. The antlers should represent the firebird’s feathers which are flaming, sparkling and shimmering, he said.

“Fast races, jumps, licks and arpeggios, lightning fast. That’s their role in there, and yes, it’s really, really difficult.

On a larger scale, he said, “ballet, or dance, is often more about color, melodies and patterns than structural development. “

After the ebb and flow of “The Firebird”, towards the end, an ethereal tune begins. Pickett said of the ending: “This wonderful hymn, one of the greatest melodies ever written, and really, it’s one of those jaw-dropping tracks.”

New and lesser-known sources

The Western canon of classical music will always be the largest part of SSO’s work. However, more than once, Pickett has said that the symphony is not a museum.

“It’s living and breathing; it is constantly developing and evolving in the community, ”he said. This season he has found composers who are women and those of different nationalities and ethnicities.

“My programming philosophy is to make sure there are connections and links between the songs we play,” he said. “So the themes should not be dogmatic and lock us in. Rather, themes are meant to help people connect or make associations with music even if they are unfamiliar with music. “

The season will bring a broader repertoire, including works by:

  • Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, a black English composer (1875-1912)
  • Gabriella Lena Frank, a Latin songwriter who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Amy Beach, (1867-1944), an American, the first woman to have a symphony performed by a great symphony
  • Florence Price, (1887-1953), the first African-American woman to perform a symphony in the United States
  • As well as: Dvořák, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Britten, Brahms, Ravel, Rachmaninov, Strauss and Mahler.

Want to go to the Springfield Symphony Orchestra?

  • 7:30 p.m., September 18
  • Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
  • 525 S. John Q. Hammons Drive
  • Single tickets are $ 10 to $ 50 with discounts available for students and seniors.
  • To purchase single tickets, visit www.hammonshall.com or call the Hammons Hall box office at 417-864-6683.
  • Access to the live stream can be found at springfieldsymphony.uscreen.io/