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October 17, 2013

Sinfonietta concert celebrates music that was ‘Made to Last’ Oct. 20

The Sinfonietta Pops Orchestra will perform a concert with the theme “Some Things Were Made to Last” at 3 p.m. on Sunday in the Cecilian Auditorium on the campus of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. It will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Conservatory of Music, the home venue for the orchestra’s rehearsals and concerts.

Music selected for this concert was composed or popular at least 100 years ago and has stood the test of time. The concert begins with “The Overture to the Wasps” and a companion piece, “The March Past of the Kitchen Utensils,” written by English composer Ralph Vaughn Williams.

Next are two familiar tunes, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and “Play a Simple Melody.” The composer of these songs was Israel Isidore Baline, who is best known to American audiences as Irving Berlin.

The Cecilian Auditorium was named for St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music and musicians. Charles Gounod composed a Solemn Mass, also known as the “St. Cecilia Mass,” which was first performed in Paris on St. Cecilia’s Day, Nov. 22, in 1855. The Sinfonietta will play “Hymn to Saint Cecilia,” a part of that work.

The Sinfonietta will play the waltz from Richard Strauss’ opera “Der Rosenkavalier,” which premiered in 1911 and was popular from the beginning.

Claude Debussy disliked the term “impressionistic music,” even though his compositions are noted for their ability to invoke images in the mind. He was regarded as one of the most influential composers to almost all of the major musical figures of the 20th century. His work had a profound impact on the contemporary soundtrack of composers such as John Williams. The Sinfonietta will perform one of Debussy’s most popular pieces, “Clair de Lune,” or “Moonlight” from the “Suite Bergamasque.”

James N. Chesterson, music director of the Sinfonietta Pops Orchestra, noted that the audience will be able to view posters and other memorabilia related to the construction of the Conservatory in the lobby area before the concert and during intermission. Chesterson took over the leadership of the Sinfonietta after the death of the founder, Dr. Earle Melendy, and is now in his sixth year in the role.

Admission to the concert is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Children under the age of 10 are free. The Sinfonietta thanks Arts Illiana, the Indiana Arts Commission, the Wabash Valley Community Foundation and the city of Terre Haute for grants that support the concerts.

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