Clinton Symphony to share Stories in Music

2:00 p.m. — Sunday, February 19, 2023

Morrison High School Auditorium, Morrison, Illinois

The Clinton Symphony Orchestra will present “Stories in Music” as their family concert on Sunday, February 19 at 2 p.m. at the Morrison High School Auditorium. The popularity of the afternoon time trialed at last year’s family concert has brought it back this year, this time on Sunday. Imagine the giants of the past with Bryant’s Dinosaurs: A Primeval Symphony, and meet the instruments of the orchestra through Aesop’s Fables by Richard Maltz. We’ll enjoy Mozart’s Concerto for Flute presented by our 2023 Young Artist, Akshar Barot. The concert will conclude with Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550. The music program honors the excellent opportunities for music education offered by area schools and music teachers. Many musicians of the symphony are teachers.

Students always attend free, Adult tickets are $20. A student may bring their favorite adult who will enjoy a 50% discount on their ticket, please ask about this offer at the ticket table.


Curtis Bryant –  Dinosaurs; A Primeval Symphony
I. Ultimate Tangle
II. Plated March
III. Pterrible Flight
IV. Duckbilled Ragtime
V. Tyrannical Tarantelle

W.A. Mozart – Concerto in G for Flute, K313
Allegro Maestoso
Akshar Barot, 2023 Young Artist

Richard Maltz – Aesop’s Fables

I. Prelude
II. The Hare and the Tortoise
III. The Fox and the Grapes
IV. The Ant and the Grasshopper
V. The Oak and the Reeds
VI. The Milkmaid and her Pail
VII. Finale

W. A. Mozart – Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K550
Allegro Molto
Menuetto – Allegretto
Allegro Assai

Akshar Barot

Akshar Barot, the winner of the Clinton Symphony’s 2023 Young Artist Auditions, is a junior at Rock Falls High School, his music teachers are Patrick Anderson and Ramiro Martinez. He is a flute student of Julie McCord. In school, he is an active member of Scholastic Bowl, Speech Team, Knights Alumni Drumline, and of Sterling Municipal Band and Jazz Band. In addition to flute he plays Marimba, Xylophone, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Indian Bamboo Flute, and Tabla. He plans to study aerospace engineering in the future, while continuing his passion for music. He will perform Mozart’s Concerto in G for Flute as part of the Symphony’s February concert, “Stories in Music” at 2:00pm on Sunday, February 19, in Morrison High School Auditorium.

Program Notes:

Dinosaurs: A Primeval Symphony

Curtis Bryant

An Atlanta native, Curtis Bryant earned his Master of Music
Theory from Georgia State University. His music has been heard
across multiple continents, as well as on radio and television
broadcasts. He has composed for virtually all concert media
including chamber, choral, opera, art song and orchestra, as well
as a variety of ethnic and folk styles. Although classically trained,
his diverse and unique style is influenced by blues and jazz and
exhibits a strong sense of melody.
Bryant has also composed music for numerous television
series and specials, including the award- winning Portrait of
America series produced by Georgia Public Television. He has
won seven Southern Regional Emmy Award nominations for
original music and numerous ASCAP Awards.
Inspired by his eight-year-old son’s love of dinosaurs, His
Primeval Symphony is an orchestral fantasy based on favorite
fossils of prehistoric North America in five movements from the
Jurassic to the late Cretaceous. Some of these legendary giants
are depicted in a series of dance-inspired musical episodes in the
manner of a classical suite.
I. Ultimate Tangle. A primeval forest with a herd of giant
ultrasound, their necks entwined as they feast on the surrounding
trees. It takes on the form of a fugue transformed into a habanero,
a tango of long necks.
II. Plated March. A dramatic stalemate between an
herbivore (stegosaurus) and a carnivore (allosaurus) of the
Jurassic period.
III. Pterrible Flight. The heightened depiction of a
dramatic encounter between the Pteranodon with a twenty- foot
wingspan and the sturdy three-horned triceratops.
IV. Duckbilled Ragtime. Depicts a clan of hadrosaurs
found throughout North America in the Cretaceous era.
V. Tyrannical Tarantelle. The favorite monster of the
Cretaceous, Tyrannosaurus Rex in a dark and ominous setting as
he waits in ambush and then lunges forward after his prey.

Flute Concerto in G Major, (Allegro)

W. A. Mozart

In 1777 Mozart was commissioned by a wealthy Dutch flutist,
Ferdinand De Jean, to write 3 concertos and several quartets.
Mozart, who has been rumored to dislike the flute, found it an
“unpleasant commission” and procrastinated, missed his
deadlines and was only partially paid. Despite complaining to his
father that “you know that I become quite powerless where I am
obliged to write for an instrument that I cannot bear,” the concerto
has become one of the most significant pieces in the flute
repertoire. The comments probably reveal more about the volatile
relationship between an overbearing father and his rebellious son,
as Mozart managed to write particularly effectively and sensitively
for the instrument, and one of his favorite musicians and close
friends was principal flutist in Mannheim.
Tonight our Young Artist performs the first movement, which
brilliantly integrates stately, lyrical and virtuosic elements. Written
in the “gallant style”, the bright, energetic Allegro in sonata form
exudes elegance and a delectable melody.

Aesop’s Fables
Richard Maltz

Raised in Massachusetts, prolific composer Richard Maltz has
earned degrees from North Texas and the University of South
Carolina where he is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus. His
music has been performed nationally and internationally and
includes symphonies, concertos, operas, ballets, chamber music,
percussion ensembles and children’s pieces. Some of his
commissions include the Charleston Symphony, the Pennsylvania
Sinfonia and the South Carolina Philharmonic.
He describes his musical style as primarily neoclassical,
favoring lyrical melody, tonal harmony and energetic rhythms cast
in traditional forms.
The descriptive and colorful character of Aesop’s Fables is
composed of light musical vignettes designed to introduce the
instruments of the orchestra and teach elements of music to
young students.

I. Prelude
II. The Hare and the Tortoise
III. The Fox and the Grapes
IV. The Ant and the Grasshopper
V. The Oak and the Reeds
VI. The Milkmaid and her Pail
VII. Finale

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Likely the best-known of all composers, Mozart created music
in nearly every major genre, leaving behind compositions that
serve as archetypes of the Classical period. A true child prodigy,
he wrote his first piece of music at the age of five, published his
first composition by the age of seven, and had written his first
opera by his twelfth birthday. One of the most prolific and
influential composers of all time, he composed over 600 works in
his short lifetime and almost single-handed developed the piano
Born in Salzburg, Austria, Wolfgang was the youngest of
seven and one of only two siblings to survive to adulthood. His
father Leopold, one of Europe’s leading music teachers,
conductors and composers, gave up his own career to become
his son’s only teacher when Wolfgang’s musical genius was
discovered by his third birthday. An older sister, Maria Anna, was
also musically talented and their father traveled the two all over
Europe to show off their precocious ability, allowing them to meet
many musicians.
When the touring ended, Wolfgang was hired as a court
musician, performing and composing for Salzburg’s Prince.
Popular and beloved in Salzburg, he composed in many genres;
symphonies, sonatas, string quartets, serenades and operas.
Eventually growing discontented with his low salary and few
opportunities to work on his favorite form, the opera, he searched
for jobs, settling in Paris only to fail to find success. He grudgingly
returned to Salzburg where he continued to feel unappreciated
and was finally fired by the Prince.
Finally it was in Vienna where his career took off, and he
established himself as the finest pianist in the city while continuing
to compose, including a hugely successful opera, Abduction from
the Seraglio. His reputation established, he married, fathered 6
children and began studying the works of Bach, Handel and
Haydn, all of whom influenced his work. Mozart put on a very
popular concert series as a piano soloist, writing three of four
concertos each season. Finally attaining some wealth, the
Mozart’s lived lavishly, leading to financial problems later.
Shifting back to opera, he premiered The Marriage of Figaro
to acclaim followed by Don Giovanni. By 1787 he had obtained
steady work under the patronage of Emperor Joseph II who
appointed him court composer. Unfortunately, Austria was at war
a year later leading to a career decline. Moving to cheaper
lodgings, he still was forced to send notes to friends begging for
money. 1791 was his last year of great productivity, resulting in
The Magic Flute, his final piano concertos, a clarinet concerto, his
last great string quintets, the revision of his Symphony No. 40 and
his unfinished Requiem. His finances began to improve, but he
fell ill in September and died in December 1791.

Symphony No. 40 in G Minor

At no time was the gulf between Mozart’s personal life and his
transcendent music more apparent than in the summer of 1788,

when at the age of 33 he had only three years to live. His wife
was ill, his own health was beginning to fail, his six-month old
daughter died, he had small prospects of participating in any
important concerts, and he was in such debt he would not answer
a knock on the door for fear of creditors. Yet, amidst all these
difficulties he produced in less than two months the three
crowning jewels of his orchestral output, the Symphonies No. 39,
40 and 41.
The G Minor may reflect the composer’s distressed emotional
state at the time. It is through these great works that epitomize the
structural elegance of the waning classical era while looking
forward to the passionately charged music of 19th century
Romanticism. French Musicologist F. J. Fetid defines the G Minor
with “the accents of passion and energy that pervade and the
melancholy color that dominates it result in one of the most
beautiful manifestations of the human spirit.”
The tragic restlessness of the first movement begins with a
brooding murmur in the lower strings before the main theme is
introduced. Masterful contrasts of dynamics, rhythm and pacing
underscore Mozart’s mastery of orchestral color.
The gentle, relaxed second movement’s Andante moves away
from the turmoil of the first with imaginative contrasts of color with
rich chromatic harmonies and melodic half-steps
The third movement, conventionally a minuet, but this time in
name only as it moves back to a minor mode with irregular
phrasing and dense texture.
An energetic finale begins with a rapid ascending of over an
octave, then moving to a more lyrical pace. A final relentless
tempo blazes to a dramatic ending like a tragic opera.

Program notes compiled by Karin Anderson-Sweet

Learn more about our Young Artist Auditons.

Akshar Barot is Clinton Symphony Orchestra’s 2023 Young Artist Audition Winner

Akshar Barot, the winner of the Clinton Symphony’s 2023 Young Artist Auditions, is a junior at Rock Falls High School, his music teachers are Patrick Anderson and Ramiro Martinez. He is a flute student of Julie McCord. In school, he is an active member of Scholastic Bowl, Speech Team, Knights Alumni Drumline, and of Sterling Municipal Band and Jazz Band. In addition to flute he plays Marimba, Xylophone, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Indian Bamboo Flute, and Tabla. He plans to study aerospace engineering in the future, while continuing his passion for music. He will perform Mozart’s Concerto in G for Flute as part of the Symphony’s February concert, “Stories in Music” at 2:00pm on Sunday, February 19, in Morrison High School Auditorium. Learn more about the concert here.

Music of Friendships – Chamber Concert

Clinton Symphony Chamber Concert January 15, 2023 2:00 PM Zion Lutheran Church, Clinton, IA

Join us on Sunday, January 15 at 2:00pm at Zion Lutheran Church, 439 3rd Ave S in Clinton, to enjoy chamber music featuring members of the Clinton Symphony Orchestra. Tickets are available online or at the door. Learn more about the musicians and the music in the following program notes:

Gabriel Fauré……………………..“Pie Jesu” from the Requiem
arranged for Violas by Tracey Rush

Elaine Fine……………………..Three Dances for Five Violas


Jotham Polashek • Ann Duchow • Natalie Delcorps • Hana Velde • Tracey Rush

Vasyl Barvinsky……………………..Piano Trio in A Minor
Second Movement – Andante

Nadia Wirchnianski, piano • Asa Church, violin • Avery Kerley, violoncello

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart…………………………………….Piano Quartet in G Minor
Allegro (Rondo)

Nadia Wirchnianski, piano • Asa Church, violin • Julie Marston, viola • Avery Kerley, violoncello

JANTH Quintet

The quintet of violists on today’s program are all residents of Dubuque and active musicians in the area.
Jotham Polashek is from Ames, and attended University of Northern Iowa. He
teaches strings in the Dubuque Schools.

Ann Duchow has a teaching studio and teaches strings in the Dubuque area
colleges. She serves as principal second violin with Clinton Symphony.

Natalie Delcorps is from the Chicago area, and attended Luther College. She
teaches strings in Dubuque Schools, and is a regular member of Clinton Symphony’s
viola section.

Hana Velde is a native of Seattle, and regular in the Symphony’s violin section. She
holds a degree from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and teaches
mathematics at University of Dubuque

Tracey Rush is founder of the Northeast Iowa School of Music and the Dubuque
Community String Orchestra, has taught in the public schools, and is presently
conductor of the University of Dubuque String Ensemble. She is a widely recognized

Piano Trio and Quartet

Pianist Nadia Wirchnianski has been an enthusiastic contributor to our chamber
music programs, and is pianist for Clinton Symphony. She is a native of Chicago with
degrees from DePaul University and Northwestern University. She lives in Lanark and
teaches in Dixon Schools and Highland Community College in Freeport.

Violinist Asa Church is a member of Clinton Symphony’s violin section, and a native
of Normal, Illinois, where he graduated from Illinois State University. He is an orchestra
teacher in the Sterling Public Schools.

Violist Julie Marston is an orchestra teacher in the Clinton Schools and a graduate
of Eastern Michigan University. She is a violinist with Clinton Symphony and performs
with other area orchestras and ensembles as well.

Cellist Avery Kerley is new to Clinton Symphony, a resident of Dixon, Illinois, and teaches
music classes in the Amboy, Illinois schools. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University and
a native of Vienna, Illinois.

“Pie Jesu” from REQUIEM
by Gabriel Fauré
arranged for Violas by Tracey Rush

Gabriel Fauré was a French composer, renowned organist and teacher, one of the
most influential composers of his generation.
This much-loved movement from Fauré’s magnificent Requiem is known for its
profound feelings of hope and loss depicted with simplicity. Fauré eliminated the
traditional movements of a requiem which depicted hell and damnation in favor of an
emphasis on the hope of eternal peace for the loved one.
The Pie Jesu is arranged here for violas by Dubuque comoser/arranger Tracey Rush.

THREE DANCES for Five Violas
by Elaine Fine

Playing violin and flute, Elaine Fine graduated from Julliard, playing and teaching in
Austria before eventually relocating to Eastern Illinois University where she found a
vibrant artistic community in the small collegiate town. She made a career in music
performance and instruction, volunteering for benefit concerts to ensure public music
accessibility. Performing with the LeVeck String Quartet from 1994 to 2005, she began
composing over 70 pieces of chamber music, 3 operas and many arrangements, which
she has made available in the public domain to help other musicians.

“Andante” from PIANO TRIO in A Minor
by Vasyl Barvinsky

Composed in 1910 when Barvinsky was only 21, the Piano Trio illustrates the
composer’s late romantic and impressionistic style underscored with local folklore,
marking him one of Ukraine’s first composers to receive worldwide recognition. Referred
to as “the composer without notes” he was brutally imprisoned for 10 years by the
Soviets who burned his scores in public in 1948. Now known for his music of resilience
despite repression, he was able to reconstruct some of his lost works, and many others
were rediscovered after his death in 1963.

by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart himself loved to play viola with small chamber groups, and added this
instrument to the usual piano trio of his time. Filled with complexity, drama and operatic
conversations between the instruments, his composition was initially deemed too difficult
for most casual musicians. The stormy G minor key, his famous “key of fate”, was one
Mozart reserved for his most turbulent music.
The work consists of 3 movements, beginning with a large sonata form as the
instruments play in unison. A melodious slow movement follows with an exuberant rondo

Program notes by Karin Anderson-Sweet

Holidays with the Symphony

7:30 p.m. — Saturday, December 10, 2022

Vernon Cook Theater at Clinton High School

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Join us for a night of holiday favorites this coming Saturday, December 10, as we gather at 7:30pm in CHS’s Vernon Cook Theater. We’ll be ringing in 100 years since the “Carol of the Bells” was introduced to America by a choral group from Ukraine. For Charles Schulz 100th birthday, we will enjoy the music written by Vince Guaraldi for the beloved Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Many other favorites, including a carol sing-along are on this year’s program, detailed below.

This is a wonderful concert to introduce people to symphonic music, so round up your friends and family! Students always enjoy free admission, and one adult brought by the student may enjoy a 50% discount on their ticket….ask at the ticket table!


Bells of Christmas
Skater’s Waltz
Sleigh Ride
Charlie Brown Christmas
A Christmas Festival
Carol of the Bells
Parade of the Wooden Soldiers
The Nutcracker
Polar Express

Please enjoy the following program notes:

The Bells of Christmas, arranged by Bob Kronstadt
A collection of traditional holiday favorites, this creative mix of styles and treatments
includes Ding Dong Merrily on High, The Carol of the Bells, Silver Bells, I Heard the
Bells on Christmas Day and Jingle bells.

Les Patineurs (“Skater’s Waltz”)
by Emille Waldteufel

One of the most famous wintery pieces in classical music, The Skaters’ Waltz was written in 1882 and inspired by the sight of Parisians skating on the frozen Seine river. Waldteufel wrote over 200 works, but this is the piece he is best remembered for.

Waldteufel set out to capture the atmosphere of a winter day in Paris, with ice-skaters venturing onto the frozen Seine River. In the manner of his older rival Johann Strauss, Waldteufel’s piece offers a sequence of contrasting serene and exuberant waltz themes, rather than just a single melody. A slow opening passage for solo horn is followed by graceful rising and falling lines in the strings and woodwinds that lead to the first waltz theme. There, again, the horn takes the central role. The wintry ambience of the piece is enhanced by the use of sleigh bells in the percussion section.

Sleigh Ride and A Christmas Festival
By Leroy Anderson
Famously beloved as the “voice of the Boston Pops” and composer of light concert
music, Leroy Anderson displayed his musical talent early to his Swedish immigrant
parents. His first composition at the age of 12 led him to study piano at the New
England Conservatory of Music and later, Harvard. Also adept at languages, he
became fluent in at least 9, making the practical decision for a regular salary by
becoming a language teacher. Conducting and composing for popular orchestras on the
side soon spread his musical reputation until he was discovered by Arthur Fiedler of the
Boston Pops.
Many of his clever, inventive compositions have been used as themes for radio and
TV shows. Deemed an American original, he earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of
Fame. He has been widely lauded as the “Norman Rockwell” of American music for his
ability to capture the familiar and turn it into art.”
Composed on a hot summer day in July, Sleigh Ride remains the most popular of
holiday music. With its cheerful melody and the sounds of sleigh bells, horse whinnies
and a whip, it has been recorded over 8000 times. Any
musician will insist they can play it without a conductor, and the horse whinny
has become a must-learn skill for every fledgling trumpet player.
For A Christmas Festival, Anderson chose 8 popular Christmas songs to represent
the spirit of the holidays. Composed for the Boston Pops, it has become a Christmas
staple, inviting audiences to sing along to familiar

A Charlie Brown Christmas, by Vince Guaraldi and
Lee Mendelson, arranged by David Pugh
On December 9, 1965, nearly half the TV sets in America tuned into a Christmas
special based on a popular comic strip that CBS executives predicted to flop. But by

1966 A Charlie Brown Christmas would go on to earn a Peabody and an Emmy for
outstanding children’s programming. It then ran annually on CBS for 35 years and
became the first of more than 45 animated Charlie Brown television specials featuring
the hapless little round-headed boy.
The popular cartoon strip Peanuts had been a staple of American newspapers since
1950, its characters giving readers the chance to relive childhood angst through the
antics and quips of Charlie Brown and his gang for the next 50 years.
Peanuts creator Charles Schulz called on pianist Vince Guaraldi and his trio to
compose and perform music that would reflect the humor, charm and innocence of the
gang. Guaraldi strung together elegant, enticing arrangements that reflect the spirit of
Schultz’s work while introducing graceful contemporary jazz to youngsters.
Simple drawings and a meandering storyline tell of Charlie Brown discovering the
true meaning of Christmas, the image of his forlorn but endearing tree cleverly
paralleling his character. As that sad fir is brought to life, Charlie’s melancholy lifts with
a timeless message of holiday spirit.
Songs include Lucy and Linus with its fresh, energetic feel and tantalizing meter
changes. Christmas Time is Here, the album’s most endearing moment, is a soft lullaby
with percussive flavors. The romantic gem Skating blends musical references to falling
snowflakes with a dashing feel of swing. Christmas is Coming brings the listener into the
joyous light of the Christmas spirit.

Carol of the Bells, by M. Leontovich and P. Wilhousky
Arranged by Richard Hayman

Carol of the Bells has its roots in old Ukrainian folk songs, a way of blessing one’s
neighbors or worshiping ancient gods before the advent of Christianity. In 1899,
Mykolaiv Leontovych was supposed to become a priest, but when the choir director of
his seminary died, he was put in charge and eventually became a music teacher,
composer and arranger of his country’s ancient songs. One of these was a simple, four-
note melody called “Shchedryk”, what we know today as Carol of the Bells.
Ukrainian conductor Oleksander Koshyts liked it enough to make it his choir’s signature
piece for its first international tour. The driving, dancing energy of the arrangement
found its way to the United States, eventually making its way to a performance at
Carnegie Hall.
Peter J. Wilhousky, a popular American composer of the time among Ukrainian
ethnicities, wrote English lyrics for the song in 1936. Renaming it into Carol of the Bells
for American audiences, it quickly became associated with Christmas in widespread
performances all through the 1940s recorded by well- known groups such as Fred
Waring and the Roger Wagner Chorale.
This year, on December 4, Carnegie Hall hosted a holiday celebration to benefit
Ukraine as choral groups from North America and Europe honored the 100th
anniversary of Carol of the Bells.

Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, by Leon Jessel,
Arranged by Morton Gould
This sprightly march was originally written as a solo piano piece in 1897 by the
German composer Leon Jessel, then titled Parade of the Tin Soldiers. In 1905, Jessel
orchestrated it, and it became a popular favorite worldwide. John Phillip Sousa’s band
played it with the name changed to Wooden Soldiers, and it was published in many
different arrangements used in vaudeville routines, Broadway shows, films and
Since 1933 the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes have marched to this tune in their
Christmas Spectacular. Renowned American composer and pops orchestrator Morton
Gould worked as a pianist at Radio City Music Hall and later made his own colorful
The charming fantasy-like quality of the music has become a beloved children’s
Christmas tradition.

The Nutcracker by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

In his last years, Tchaikovsky earned his greatest successes matched only by his
growing depression. He was to die less than a year after The Nutcracker ballet debuted
in 1891 at the height of his career. Arguably the best known Russian composer of all
time, his works include 7 symphonies, 11 operas, 3 ballets, 3 piano concertos, a violin
concerto, 4 cantatas, 20 choral works and over 100 songs and piano pieces. Although
his operas had limited success, he was able to transform ballet into staged musical
drama, revolutionizing the genre. He took ballet seriously, seeing it as an art form equal
to all others when detractors were writing it off.
Nutcracker is based on the romantic writer E.T.A. Hoffman’s tale of Clara and the
nutcracker she receives as a Christmas gift. After Clara saves the nutcracker in a fight
with the mouse king, he transforms into a handsome Prince and sweeps her off to the
magical Kingdom of Sweets. Coming off his tremendous success with Swan Lake, a
weary Tschaikovsky found the structure difficult and limiting and even asked to be
removed from the project. Instead, he was given an extension and was able to create
another masterpiece. It has become a ritual for the Christmas season among children
and adults alike.

The Polar Express, by Alan Silvestri and Glen
Ballard, arranged by Jerry Brubaker
The soundtrack for this 2004 film based on the book by the same name, was written
by prolific American composer- arranger Alan Silvestri. Nominated 4 times for a
Grammy Award, Silvestri also wrote music for Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger
Rabbit, Forrest Gump, Cast Away, the Avenger series, and many more films.
The book’s author, Chris Van Allsburg, won the Caldecott Medal in 1985 for his
haunting tale showing it’s never too late to dream. The storyline involves a young boy
who sees a mysterious train outside his bedroom window on Christmas Eve. Other
children also embark on the train’s journey to the North Pole to visit Santa as he
prepares for Christmas.
The first all-digital capture film, it features human characters animated using live-
action and motion-capture CGI animation. Although underperforming initially at the box
office, later re-releases helped propel the
film’s gross to $324 million worldwide. The soundtrack is the best-selling
soundtrack/holiday album in history.
Songs in this arrangement include Believe, which won a Grammy in 2006, The Polar
Express, When Christmas Comes to Town, and Spirit of the Season.

Program notes by Karin Anderson-Sweet

Friends of the Clinton Symphony partner with Applebee’s

Friends of the Clinton Symphony invite you to take part in Applebee’s Together We Care Tuesday.  On Tuesday, December 6, Applebee’s will donate 50% of orders of five favorite entrees: Three Cheese Chicken Penne, Fiesta Lime Chicken, Classic Bacon Cheeseburger, Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad, and the Chicken Tenders Platter.  The event lasts the entire day….11 am to 11 pm, and is valid for dine in and out.

November 5 Clinton Symphony Concert features Sirena Huang

7:30 p.m. — Saturday, November 5, 2022

Centennial Auditorium – Sterling High School

Violinist Sirena Huang is the 2022 winner of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and was the 2017 first prize winner of the Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition. She is one of her generation’s most celebrated violinists, praised by The Baltimore Sun for her “impeccable technique….deeply expressive phrasing….and poetic weight.” She will play the Dvořák “Violin Concerto” with us. Also on the program is Wagner’s “Siegfried Idyll” and Mendelssohn’s “Symphony No. 3 (Scottish Symphony)”.

Tickets are available online, or at the door. Students are always admitted free, and the Symphony would also like to extend a half price ticket to one adult the student brings with them. Ask at the ticket table for this offer.

In partnership with Community State Bank, we offer a bus from Clinton, through Fulton and Morrison to the concert in Sterling. Reservations: 563-219-8084

Learn more about Ms. Huang’s recent win, and enjoy video of the competition, including the Dvořák piece she will play with the Clinton Symphony.

Praised by The Baltimore Sun for her “impeccable technique…deeply expressive phrasing…and poetic weight,” Sirena Huang is one of her generation’s most celebrated violinists. She brings not only technical brilliance and powerful artistry to the stage, but also a profound sense of connection to her audience.

Sirena made her solo debut with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra in 2004 at the age of nine, and, since then, has performed in seventeen countries across three continents. She has been featured as a soloist with more than fifty prestigious ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic, the Symphony Orchestras of Cleveland, Baltimore, Shanghai, Russia, and Singapore, and the Staatskapelle Weimar in Germany. She has appeared as a guest artist at the Verbier Music Festival, Ravinia Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival, Sarasota Arts Series, Albuquerque Chamber Music Festival, “The Great Music for a Great City” series in New York City, and many others.

Motivated by a deep wish to inspire peace and harmony with her music, Sirena has performed before world leaders, thinkers and humanitarians. At age eleven, she gave a TED talk that garnered more than 2.5 million views. In 2006, she received the honor of playing for thirty Nobel Prize Laureates at the World Peace Conference held in Petra. In 2007, she played in the Opening Ceremony of the “Forum 2000 World Conference” in Prague. In 2008, she was invited to perform during the ceremony in which the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity presented its Humanitarian Award to President Sarkozy of France.

Please enjoy the following Program Notes:

Richard Wagner 1813-1883
One of the world’s most famous and controversial composers, Richard Wagner is famous for
his epic operas, including the four-part, 18-hour Ring Cycle. He is also known for his tumultuous
love life involving several scandalous affairs.
Born Wilhelm Richard Wagner in Leipzig, Germany, he displayed none of the expected
musical genius of major composers, but apparently quickly made up for that with confident
ambition. Although an early piano teacher said he “tortured the piano”, at 11 he wrote his first
drama and at 16 he was already composing music. On his death, a New York Times obituary
noted that “even in the face of mortifying failures and discouragement, he never lost
confidence in himself.”
Attending Leipzig University, his first symphony was performed in 1833, inspired by
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony which Wagner called “that mystic source of my highest ecstasies.”
Th following year he became chorus master of the Wurzburg Theater and wrote his first opera,
Die Feen. In 1836 he married the singer and actress Minna Planer, and his Das Liebesverbot was
produced. Wagner called his concept “Gesamtkunstwrek” (total work of art) – a method he
often used of weaving German myths with larger themes of love and redemption.
After moving to Russia, he began work on his next opera, Rienzi, but had to flee to avoid
creditors. In Paris he took whatever work he could find and became part of the revolutionary
“young Germany” movement, his leftist politics reflected in his opera. He sent his score to
Dresden, Germany, where it premiered successfully. The Flying Dutchman followed the next
year to great critical acclaim and he was on his way. Appointed director of the Dresden Opera,
in 1845 Wagner completed Tannhauser and began Lohengrin. Politically vocal, Wagner was
forced to flee to Switzerland, unable to return to Germany for 11 years. He began work on his famous
Ring Cycle which anticipated the future of film by combining literature, visual elements, and music.
His use of leitmotifs would influence composers including John Williams and film scores such as
Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.
In 1862 Wagner was invited to return to Germany by King Ludwig II, an ardent admirer who
financially supported him. Separating from his wife, he famously conducted several notorious
affairs, finally marrying Cosima van Bulow in 1870 after they had two children together while
she was still married to her conductor husband Hans. The first two operas of the Ring Cycle, Das
Rheingold and Die Walkure, were presented in Munich by 1870, and the entire 18-hour
performance was staged in 1876 – all 18 hours. His last opera, Parsifal, was performed in 1882
followed by Wagner’s death in 1883 at age 69.
Because Hitler was such a fan, Wagner’s legacy became all the more controversial, leading a
New York Times article to write, “How did such sublime music come from such a warped man?
Maybe art really does have the power to ferret out the best in us.”

Siegfried Idyll
Tribschener Idyll, the original name, is a symphonic poem for chamber orchestra presented to
Wagner’s second wife after the birth of their son Siegfried in 1869. It was first performed in
typical Wagnerian elan by a small ensemble on the stairs outside the new mother’s room. His
opera Siegfried premiered in 1876, incorporating the Idyll’s theme sung by Brunhilde in a love
duet with Siegfried. Also incorporating a German lullaby, the piece first intended as a tender,
private tribute was later sold to help cover the composer’s many debts.
Most of the musical themes in Siegfried Idyll relate to pastoral passages in the third act of
the opera Siegfried, although far differently in an untraditional three-part sonata form.
Wagnerian fans will recognize Familiar horn calls, bird songs and bucolic contours. Ecstatic and
flowing, it begins at sunrise with beautiful shades of tone using clever combinations and bold,
simple colors. Unlike operatic Wagner, the mighty, heroic melodies are transformed here into
gentle, intimate poetry.
A brief motif in the first entrance of the flute in counterpoint against the main theme recalls
Brunhilde’s magic sleep from the opera as she awaits Siegfried. A gentle refrain in the horn
against the upper strings leads into the second theme group. A new theme, introduced by the
oboe, is from a German lullaby. After further theme development, the clarinet introduces yet
another theme portraying the lovers in their final duet. Next is the theme of the forest bird who
leads Siegfried to Brunhilde’s rock protected by a magic ring of fire, combined with one of
Siegfried’s horn motifs. The Idyll ends by very gradually and dramatically slowing down and
fading to a whisper.

Felix Mendelssohn 1809-1847
A German composer, pianist, conductor and teacher, Felix Mendelssohn is one of the most
celebrated figures of the early Romantic period. Born into a prosperous middle-class family,
Felix had already composed four operas, 12 string symphonies and many chamber and piano
pieces by the age of 12. Four years later he had written an accomplished String Octet and, only
a year later, the magical overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, considered two of the most
stunning displays of youthful talent in western music.
He traveled widely, and often to Britain. In 1829 Mendelssohn conducted his Symphony No. 1
at the London Philharmonic, visiting Scotland that summer. Merging pictorial and musical
elements, he described the waves breaking on the Scottish coast in the opening bars of The
Hebrides. Between 1830 and 1832 he traveled in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland,
publishing his first book of piano music, Song Without Words. In 1842 he enjoyed his first
personal contact with Queen Victoria, dedicating his ‘Scottish’ Symphony to her. Britain loved
him, and in 1846 he directed the first performance of his oratorio Elijah as the chief attraction
of the Birmingham Festival. The Queen referred to him as “the greatest musical genius since
Mendelssohn gradually became the most popular of 19 th century composers in England. The
fashion for playing the Wedding March from his Midsummer Night’s Dream originated from its
performance at the wedding of the Princess after Mendelssohn’s death. He was the first to
conduct Beethoven’s Emperor and was among the first to play a concerto from memory as well
as becoming known for his organ works. The popularity of his oratorio Elijah established him as
a composer equal to George Frederic Handel. In 1843 he founded a conservatory of music in
Leipzig where he taught composition along with Schumann. After the death of his beloved
sister his energies deserted him and he died at only 38 of a ruptured blood vessel.

Symphony No.3 ‘Scottish’
Dedicated to Queen Victoria, the symphony opens with a dark and brooding introduction in
the rich, mid-range orchestration of the oboe, clarinets, bassoons, horns, and violas. The violins
enter, then the full orchestra with impassioned strains, at the same time, quiet, yet simmering
with loud outbursts. The introduction fades, then builds volume and texture into a full gallop.
The Scherzo features repeated staccato strings until the winds enter with fanfare-like outbursts.
A solo clarinet takes up the main theme. The Adagio movement mixes Mendelssohn’s signature
sweet, songlike melodies with darker passages. A breathless, energetic Finale switches to a
brighter A major near the end as low woodwinds, horns, and violas conclude with a hymn of

Antonin Dvorak 1841-1904
One of the best-known composers of all time, Antonin Dvorak contributed to the
dissemination and appreciation of Czech music throughout the world. Applying the Romantic
tradition, he used the rhythms and other aspects of his country’s familiar folk music. His
portfolio includes around 200 works in all genres including 9 symphonies, 14 string quartets and
12 operas.
Born September 8, 1841, in Bohemia, his early musical talent was recognized and nurtured;
by the age of six he had begun violin, and at 12 he moved in with an aunt and uncle to begin his
formal musical studies of harmony, piano and organ. His first professional years were lean as he
played viola in inns and theater bands and took on private students to augment his small salary.
But even in those early years he had composed 2 symphonies, an opera, chamber music and
numerous songs, yet to be heard. The first public performance of his work in Prague was in
1872, impressing Johannes Brahms who became a close personal friend.
As an adult, he eventually earned worldwide attention with his Moravian Duets and Slavonic
Dances. Although suffering from an unrequited love, Dvorak eventually married and settled in
the small village of Vysoka where he composed some of his best-known works. His fame spread
quickly abroad, leading to successes in England, Russia and eventually the United States where
he famously made his way to Spillville, Iowa, the inspiration for his New World Symphony. He
had become director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York in 1892 but became
homesick and returned to Czechoslovakia in 1895.
Dvorak’s nationalist movement in music quickly came to rank in popularity with those of his
great German contemporaries, his talent for melody and fresh character in music offering a
welcome contrast to the heavier fare of many other composers.

Violin Concerto in A Minor
Composed in 1879, Dvorak’s Violin Concerto in A Minor finally premiered in Prague in 1883.
Written in the classic concerto structure, it features three movements: fast – slow – fast. The
Allegro opens with a bold orchestral fanfare introducing the first half of the movement’s theme,
followed by the soloist who enters with the graceful second portion. The Adagio follows
without pause as the soloist introduces the flowing, expressive principal melody, contrasting
with episodes of bravura passages. The Finale most reflects the spirit of Czechoslovakian folk
music. The soloist sings the principal theme, a vigorous dance taken up by the orchestra. The
piece concludes with a solo flourish and four emphatic chords to a vibrant finish.

Compiled by Karin Anderson-Sweet