This Spring Term, the Lawrence University Symphony Orchestra (LUSO) will deviate from its usual concert cycle. Instead of performing a few symphonic works all together in one concert, the ensemble has temporarily divided into two groups that will present two unique programs for the first half of their concert cycle this term.
The first concert will feature one chamber orchestra performing George Frideric Handel’s “The Messiah” with the Lawrence University Choirs and selected soloists on Friday, April 21 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. This piece, which was first premiered 275 years ago, chronicles the life and death of the Christian Jesus as well as the Biblical prophecy regarding these happenings and the world’s reaction to his coming. This piece hails from the Baroque period of music, so in addition to incorporating harpsichord, several string players will be using Baroque bows for this performance in order to perform the piece in its original style with utmost integrity. Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies Mark Dupere will conduct the ensemble for this three-part masterwork.
The second concert will feature the rest of the orchestra in a performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” and the world premiere of recent graduate (’16) Stephanie Sundberg’s “Curiously Deliberate.” This performance will be the same weekend as “The Messiah” on Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. “Peter and the Wolf” centers on the adventures of a young boy named Peter and his interactions with his grandfather and various animals in his backyard. Both speakers in the orchestra and the music itself weave together to tell this tale by clearly representing different characters in the story. This performance will be geared toward community outreach and include an “instrument petting zoo” after the performance, allowing audience members to learn more about and even try out various instruments with the assistance of students in the orchestra. Lawrence’s women’s music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI) will be facilitating outreach with nearby schools in the weeks leading up to the performance to encourage attendance from students in the Appleton community. For this concert, Assistant Professor of Music Matthew Arau will conduct both “Peter and the Wolf” and Stephanie Sundberg’s “Curiously Deliberate,” which was selected from among the 2016 senior compositions.
Both concerts are free and open to the public, and each ensemble will showcase a performance atypical to the LUSO concert norm. All are encouraged to attend to broaden their musical horizons, support their fellow Lawrentians in these ensembles and enjoy great performances resulting from the hard work and dedication of many individuals.