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Publication Date

Spring 4-28-2015

Year of Release



Dr. Elizabeth Reed Smith, conductor

Acknowledgments: Dr. Edwin Bingham, Dr. Richard Kravchak, the percussion studio

Orchestra Personnel:

Olivia Hay, concertmaster, Yuhao Zhou, Nathanial Ramsey, Michael Wilcoxon, Molly Page, violin I

Maggie Cobb, principal, Heather Taylor, Kaitlyn Fulks, Megan Legg, Kelcey Perkins, Miranda Runyon, violin II

Jacob Campbell, principal, Christianna Dixon, Lucia Soltis, Jame McCumbee, viola

Dean Pauley, principal, Ilgin Secerli, Ryan Phipps, David Hay, cello

Ryan Morgan, principal, Connor Barebo, William Weikle, bass

Danielle Van Oort, principal, Allison Kessinger, Aaron Sowards, flute

Aaron Sowards, piccolo

Eric Caines, principal, Lena Williams, Richard Kravchak, oboe

Richard Kravchak, English horn

Kaitlyn Miller, principal, Rebekah Ricks, Katrina Elliott, clarinet

Katrina Elliott, bass clarinet

Michelle McKenzie, principal, Chris Kimes, bassoon

Robert Galloway, Lars Swanson, alto saxophone

John Seals, tenor saxophone

Adam O'Neal, baritone saxophone

Christian Cremeans, co-principal, Danielle Ocheltree, co-principal, Matt Darnold, Zachary New, horn

Sean Maxwell, principal, Justin Bahawi, Michael Black, trumpet

John Bruce, principal, Bradley Brown, trombone

Brian Crawford, bass trombone

Anthony Reynolds, tuba

Matthew Bradley, principal, Richard Alexander, Jeremy Boggs, Evan Grover, Jake Hunt, Jonathon Shuff, percussion

Program Notes

In the fall of 1954, Shostakovich was visited by a conductor from the Bolshoi Opera Theatre, requesting a piece of music for a celebration of the October Revolution ... three days hence. Shostakovich had a reputation for being able to compose quickly and thus the Festive Overture was finished in time. It is based loosely on Glinka's Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila, and lifts tunes from Shostakovich's 1934 opera Lady Macbeth of Minsk, which had enjoyed huge popularity for two years before being banned by the Stalinist government. Stalin, however, had died in 1953, and so perhaps Shostakovich felt a newfound sense of freedom in including material from his banned opera. The overture opens with a brass fanfare, followed by catchy melodies at break-neck tempo, with a return of the fanfare before a dazzling coda. The fanfare was used in the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Berlioz' Hungarian March is based on a song by János Bihari written in honor of Ferenc Rákóczi, a Hungarian national hero. Berlioz had been advised, before an 1846 concert tour of Pest (now part of Budapest), to include a composition based on a Hungarian tune, as this was a time in which the Hungarians were intent on attaining independence from Austria. At the premiere in Pest the audience was so enthusiastic that their cheering drowned out the coda, and an encore performance fared no better. Berlioz later inserted it into his dramatic work The Damnation of Faust in an effort to popularize it. He had to change the plot in order to set the opening scene in Hungary.

A native of Seville, Joaquín Turina studied piano with Moritz Moszckowski and composition with Vincent d'Indy in Paris, where he became friends with Debussy and Ravel. Although the French style left its mark on him, he was encouraged by Isaac Albeniz to write in a more Spanish style. The three Danzas Fantásticas were originally written in 1919 for piano, but Turina orchestrated them soon after, and the first performance was of the orchestral version. The dances were inspired by José Mas's 1919 novella La Orgía, and Turina included quotes from the novel in the score before each movement.

"Exaltación" begins with the quote "It seemed as if the figures in that incomparable picture were moving inside the calyx of a flower." The movement begins slowly, but soon the jota dance is introduced. “Ensueño” (The guitar’s string sounded the lament of a soul helpless under the weight of bitterness”) uses the 5/8 rhythm of the zortzico, a Basque dance, combined with the character of an Andalucian folksong. “Orgia” is preceded by the quote “The perfume of the flowers merged with the odor of manzanilla, and from the bottom of raised glasses, full of wine incomparable, as incense, joy flowed." This finale is in a gypsy flamenco style.

Leonard Bernstein’s fourth musical, West Side Story, was a landmark in American musicals. Opening on Broadway in 1957, it soon reached the big screen, with the 1961 movie earning ten Academy Awards. A New York version of Romeo and Juliet, the plot features Puerto Rican gangs, a Puerto Rican “Juliet, “Maria, and a Polish “Romeo,” Tony. It was the first musical concerned with social issues: poverty, violence, juvenile delinquency. A New York Times critic said that West Side Story was "a harsh ballad of the city, taut, nervous and flaring, the melodies choked apprehensively, the rhythms wild, swift and deadly.” Tonight’s medley is arranged by Jack Mason, an orchestrator and arranger who worked on the music for Fanny, My Fair Lady, and Wonderful Town.

California filmmaker/composer John Ottman composed much of the music for the 2006 movie Superman Returns, although it incorporated themes by John Williams from the original Superman. Tonight’s medley was assembled by Florida music educator and arranger Victor Lopez.


Smith Recital Hall


Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | Music | Music Performance

Marshall University Music Department Presents the Marshall University Symphony Orchestra, in, Symphonic Colors, Dr. Elizabeth Reed Smith, conductor