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‘Bach by Any Other Name’ Concert March 1 at UW

February 23, 2018
woman with violin and man with viola
University of Wyoming music faculty soloists James Przygocki, on viola, and Sherry Sinift, on violin, will be featured during the UW Symphony Orchestra concert Thursday, March 1, in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall. (UW Photo)

Bach without any Bach -- how can that be?

That will be the theme of the evening when the University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra’s “Season of Joy” spring semester concert series begins Thursday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. “Bach by Any Other Name” will be presented in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall.

“Featured will be works by other composers that still evoke the music of the great Johann Bach,” says Michael Griffith, UW Department of Music director of orchestral activities.

Tickets for the concert cost $10 for the public, $7 for senior citizens and $6 for students. Tickets are available at the Performing Arts box office and the Wyoming Union information desk, by calling (307) 766-6666 or by going online at

Mendelssohn’s “Reformation Symphony” will highlight the concert. Mendelssohn wrote the piece for the 1830 anniversary of Martin Luther’s founding of Protestantism. Much of the musical material is based on Luther’s most famous hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” Griffith says.

“It is Bach’s setting of that hymn that is actually quoted, then elaborated upon, returning in triumphal fashion at the very end. It is truly an inspiring work,” he adds.

Opening the concert will be David Maslanka’s “11:11,” written almost two centuries later than the Mendelssohn piece. It is a reverence for Bach hymn settings, with Maslanka using material from three different Bach chorales in this piece, Griffith says.

The concert also features award-winning guest conductor James Allen Anderson, who has served as music director of the Butte Symphony, the University of Montana, Appalachian State University and now the University of Delaware. He has conducted in Asia and in both North and South America, and has served as president of the Conductors Guild.

For a solo piece, the orchestra will offer Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola, featuring UW music faculty soloists Sherry Sinift, violin, and James Przygocki, viola. Together, they lead the UW String Project and the String Academy of Wyoming, and also are local Laramie instructors.

Continuing this semester in the concert hall are “Tweet Seats.” Audience members who like to stay connected to social media are welcome -- silently -- to post their comments and share their experiences online. “Tweet Seats” are available only in the back two rows of the auditorium.

For more information, call Griffith at (307) 766-3069 or email

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