BY DR. NELLY CASE
“A Historical Hit Parade” sums up the content of the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra’s spring concert scheduled for Friday, April 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Crossroads Bible Church.
The program opens with the Overture to “H.M.S. Pinafore,” recalling a performance in August 1948 of the entire Gilbert and Sullivan operetta in conjunction with the Los Alamos Choral Society and Little Theatre. Next up is Franz Schubert’s Symphony #8, dubbed “Unfinished” because it has only two movements instead of the expected four. Here again Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra, at one time called the Los Alamos Sinfonietta, revisits a work first presented in 1948.
The program continues with music associated with World War II, beginning with a transcription for full orchestra of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” composed in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor. The powerful wall of sound built by the brass at the very beginning caused one writer to say that the Fanfare feels like it was “written by the hand of God” and “could have been our national anthem.” By contrast, the dominant mood of Three Pieces from Schindler’s List (1993), for which film composer John Williams received his fifth Oscar, is one of loving and gentle music. Featured here is violin soloist Ari Le from Santa Fe.
The concert ends with a “symphonic scenario” titled Victory at Sea from the famed 26-part NBC documentary of the 1950s about the battle for the Pacific. Based on themes written by Broadway composer Richard Rodgers, the score includes “The Guadalcanal March” and “Fiddlin’ Off Watch” as well as a tango titled “Beneath the Southern Cross,” among other tunes.
So feel free to don your porkpie hat and enjoy an evening of memorable music at Crossroads Bible Church in Los Alamos, starting at 7 pm on Friday, April 21 and followed by a reception in the lobby. With a nod to the future as well as the past, during the spring concert Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra will honor those high school seniors who won music scholarships this year. Admission is free, but donations to the orchestra will be gratefully accepted.