THSO opens season Saturday

The Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra’s 96th season kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday with Scheherazade Tells Stories at Tilson Auditorium in Tirey Hall at Indiana State University.

The Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra’s 96th season kicks off  at 7:30 p.m. Saturday with Scheherazade Tells Stories at Tilson Auditorium in Tirey Hall at Indiana State University.

Audiences will experience Rimsky-Korsakov’s colorful Scheherazade, Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, Wagner’s famous Flight of the Valkyries, and the recognizable Raiders March from the movie Indiana Jones by John Williams.

“I cannot begin to express how excited the THSO is to return as a full orchestra to the Tilson stage this Saturday. After 18 months of performing in different venues throughout Terre Haute with fewer musicians, it is extremely emotional to perform this opening concert with our friends and colleagues,” said executive director and principal clarinet Samantha Johnson-Helms.

Rimsky-Korsakov represents Scheherazade and the tales she told in his piece filled with orchestral color and virtuosity, forging it as one of the most compelling and exciting works ever written. In his program notes for the event, Dan Powers writes that the piece is a symphonic suite loosely based on selected tales from The Thousand and One Nights (sometimes known by the shorter title, Arabian Nights), a collection (actually several collections) of Arabian folk tales that first appeared in Europe beginning in 1704. 

Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite musically depicts five stories including Sleeping Beauty, Hop-o’-my-thumb, the Empress of the Pagodas, Beauty & the Beast, and the Fairy Garden. Each of the five movements of the suite was inspired by old French fairy tales, drawing chiefly on the stories of Charles Perrault and Madame d’Aulnoy. Rather than a complete retelling, each movement in Ravel’s suite is in effect an illustration, depicting a single moment within the story.

Raiders March is one of several John Williams film cues that have become repertory items in the concert hall. It is taken from Williams’ music for Raiders of the Lost Ark’s end credits and features two of the most memorable melodies in the film featuring Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones character.

Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries is one of the most recognizable pieces in the symphonic repertoire. Beginning around 1848 and continuing off and on for the next 26 years, Wagner worked on a monumental cycle of four Music Dramas (the term he came to prefer over “operas”) collectively titled The Ring of The Nibelung (or simply “The Ring Cycle” for short). 

This concert is sponsored by the Argentum Group of Morgan Stanley, Jack Ragle, Bill Fenoglio and Stephanie Salter, and Old National Bank. The concert is being presented in honor of Laney and Lu Meis for their significant support of the THSO and the arts in the community.

Patrons can purchase tickets at or by calling Hulman Center at 812-237-3737. Ticket prices for adults are $17, $38 and $54. Low-cost student and youth tickets also are available. Prices do not include facility and venue fees.

Per ISU policy, all patrons will be required to wear a mask while indoors at Tilson Auditorium regardless of vaccination status.

Patrons can park in the Indiana State parking garage at 750 Cherry St. for free between 4 and 11 p.m. on the day of the concert. This parking garage is across the street from Tilson Auditorium.

To keep patrons safe, the THSO will not have a supper at the symphony event or host Concert Conversations for this concert.

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