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From the Podium...

Spring Concert

For this season's Spring Concert, I have chosen the theme of "DMCO and Guests." This free concert will be at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 13, 2018, at Drake's Performing Arts Hall in the Harmon Fine Arts Center on the Drake University campus.

You are cordially invited to the pre-concert talk I will be offering as the music director/conductor of the orchestra. The talk will take place in Monroe Hall adjacent to the Performing Arts Hall  at 1:00 p.m. and will last about forty minutes, allowing time for all of us to get in position for the concert.

We will feature several guest artists on this concert. We will begin with our Associate Conductor, Tyler Bainter, leading the orchestra in two selections from the incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream by Felix Mendelssohn. The first will be the "Nocturne," a beautifully evocative piece representing the calm of a summer evening. The other will be the ever-popular "Wedding March."

David DeBoor Canfield has written his Concerto after Mendelssohn for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra for David Camwell, formerly a professor at Simpson College. We are delighted to have Mr. Camwell join us from Troy University in Alabama, where he now teaches, for the world premiere of this piece with full orchestral accompaniment. The attentive listener will hear a quote from the pieces conducted by Mr. Bainter, as well as similarities to Mendelssohn's style.

Henri Tomasi wrote in a very personal style, combining lyricism with modern harmonies and rhythmic complexity. His Divertimento Corsica is a fine example of this style, as he captures some of the moods he felt while traveling in Italy. Our guest artists for this are The Driftless Winds, a reed trio comprised of oboe, clarinet, and bassoon. It is our pleasure to include them on our concert.

The second half of the concert will feature another soloist, Shana Liu, the 2016 grand prize winner in the Bill Riley Talent Search. She will play the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor.

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, May 12th, in the Performing Arts Hall in Drake's Harmon Fine Arts Center) 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