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Epic Symphonic Music for "Enlightenment" Concert

OSU press release January 31, 2024 submitted by Rebekah Hughes ---- Updated by Rudy(Hrothulf) Moertl to reflect the events of the February 15, 2024 OSU Performance.

The Orchestra of Southern Utah offered a feast of traditional symphonic music conducted by Director Carylee Zwang, on Thursday February 15th, 2024 at the Heritage Theatre in Cedar City, Ut. The audience enjoyed the popular melodies from Mendolssohn, Holst and Dvorak as the Orchestra explored the inspiration that music provided in this concert themed "Enlightenment".

The evening opened with Richard Strauss' magnificent and bold "Also sprach Zarathustra". This famous and well known piece of music had been used as the theme song in BBC's coverage of the Apollo space missions, movie space themes, as well as the opening of Elvis' concerts. While the title of the piece was not commonly well known, this melody of epic proportions was known by all. Often used as the portent of a significant event to come, this piece heralded the opening of the orchestra's inspiring concert "Enlightenment".

The Orchestra then explored the inspired and otherworldly compositions and explorations of Gustav Holst, an enlightened creator inspired and ahead of his "time". Performing highlights from his collection of the planets the orchestra performed "Mars, the bringer of war", that had been inspiration for John Williams' "Imperial March" and also the Majestic "Jupiter, the bringer of jollity" whose poignant and beautiful melody had served to inspire the song "I Vow to Thee My Country".

Dvorak, enlightened composer of the New World Symphony No. 9 served as a representative of romantic and modern music heralding in a new age of exploration and creativity. The Orchestra performed the beloved and soulful Largo movement, that posed thoughtful contemplation amidst turmoil and brought peace to the soul in a world swirling with activity and excitement.

In the ultimate homage to enlightenment the orchestra performed the entire Symphony no. 5 in D Minor by Felix Mendolssohn, also known as the "Reformation Symphony". Each movement brought recognition of hymns, movie themes and classic tunes the audience enjoyed and was uplifted by. The melodies of Mendellson's inspiration served to bring joy that was unparalleled in person. The orchestra invited the audience to experience the energy and inspiration of these composers in person in a full symphonic orchestra performance that could not be replicated.

Lobby music before the concert was performed by Tanisa Crosby and April Richardson.
OSU Concert Feb. 15, 2024


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