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From the Podium...

Fall Concert

We open the 2016-17 season with another very special Fall Concert. Our theme, "Rip-Roaring Wild West Concert," will provide us with the opportunity not only to delight our regular audience, but to create a program to be enjoyed by younger listeners as well. Our host, for the second year, will be Dan Wardell of Iowa Public Television's Kids Clubhouse. In conjunction with IPTV, we will have many surprises to entertain small children and hope to have a large number in the audience. This free concert will be at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 6, 2016, at Drake's Sheslow Auditorium in the Old Main.

You are cordially invited to the pre-concert talk that I will be offering as the music director/conductor of the orchestra. The talk will take place in Levitt Hall (directly above the auditorium) at 1:00 p.m. and will last about forty minutes, allowing time for all of us to get downstairs for the concert.

Much of the music for this program involves music related to the American west, either directly or via films and cartoons. The first half of our concert will present music from three films and one ballet. Our first selection will be The Magnificent Seven by Elmer Bernstein. This will be followed by two selections from Copland's Rodeo ballet titled "Saturday Night Waltz" and "Hoe-Down."

John Barry's Oscar-winning score to Dances with Wolves and the John Williams score to The Cowboys will round out the first half.

The second half of the concert will begin with the famous finale to the William Tell Overture, during which young members of the audience will be invited to bring stuffed animals to participate in a "stampede." We will then feature concertmaster Kris Shay on violin and Steve Bilingsley on celeste for "On the Trail" from Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofé.  Our second "hoe-down" is a clever reworking by Richard Hayman of many well-known folk tunes, his "Pops" Hoe-Down.

Following a medley of memorable melodies from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma!, we will conclude the concert with the Light Cavalry Overture by Franz von Suppé.

I am certain that you will find much for all ages to enjoy on this concert; and the orchestra looks forward to presenting it. We do appreciate your support and we hope that you will be able to attend both the concert and the talk beforehand.

As always, we offer to anyone attending our dress rehearsal (9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, November 5th, in Sheslow Auditorium) the unique opportunity of sitting onstage among the orchestra members. This is informal, for all ages, and free!


Carl B. Johnson, Music Director and Conductor