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Pieces from Debussy and the classics are the focus of the University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra (UWSO) concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in the Buchanan Center for Performing Arts concert hall.
Tickets cost $10 for the public, $6 for students and $7 for senior citizens. Tickets are available at the UW Wyoming Union and Performing Arts box offices, or by calling (307) 766-6666. A season brochure can be downloaded at www.uwyo.edu/music/ensembles/symphony_orchestra.html.
“The harp plays nothing but rippling glissandos, and the flute is always made of shiny silver, right?” asks Michael Griffith, director of orchestral activities. “The UWSO will disprove both these ideas in this concert.”
A classical piece from Mozart will be presented. He wrote only one work with harp, his “Concerto for Flute and Harp.” He wrote it in Paris, where the harp was all the rage, Griffith says.
“At the time, the harp was treated more like a plucked piano, so Mozart wrote what is more like a piano concerto,” he says. “At that time, the flute was made of wood, to replicate the sound. UWSO also will use a wooden flute.”
Rod Garnett, recently retired UW Department of Music professor, plays the wooden flute for the solo part in the Mozart piece.
“Mixed with the harp, it will be an unusual opportunity to hear these orchestral colors,” Griffith says.
Garnett composed “Planxty Colcannon,” which has been transformed into an orchestral work for flute, harp, Irish whistle and strings.
Micah Schweizer, Wyoming Public Radio cultural affairs director, also is an Irish flutist. He will play the Irish whistle part.
One work that uses the harp in a more familiar style is Debussy’s “Danses Sacrée at Profane,” which conductor Griffith chose to end the first half.
Hillary Schefter is the harp soloist and is one of the UW Department of Music’s newest faculty members. Schefter has a graduate performance degree from the Eastman School of Music and plays in orchestras and festivals throughout the region.
To end the concert, the UWSO will play the energetic Symphony No. 101, “The Clock,” by Haydn.