WSO Concert to Feature Beethoven, Hummel, and an Orchestral World Premier

WOOSTER, Ohio – The Wooster Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Jeffrey Lindberg, will present two performances with narrator Richard Figge, trumpeter Amanda Bekeny ‘00, mezzo-soprano Audrey Johnson, bass-baritone William Powers, and composer Ronald William Hill, on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21 and 22, at 7:30 p.m. each evening, in Gault Recital Hall of Scheide Music Center (525 E. University St.).

The concert will feature Ludwig von Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 73, Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Concerto in E-flat for trumpet and orchestra, and the orchestral world premiere of Ronald William Hill’s “Songs of Sac Prairie,” based on poems written by August Derleth. The “Songs of Sac Prairie” cycle consists of six musical portraits framed by two philosophical bookends, according to Hill. Each piece is written in a style that is intended to be evocative of the mood perceived in the individual poem and each describing some personality characteristic or significant incident in the life of the individual.

Figge is the Gertrude Gingrich Professor of German Emeritus at The College of Wooster. He has appeared in numerous regional productions during the past 30 years and is best known for his one-man performance as Clarence Darrow, with which he has toured in the U.S. and Europe.

Bekeny, a 2000 graduate of Wooster, is a trumpet instructor and the Brass Chamber music coach at Wooster. She is an active performer as a member of the Diamond Brass, City Music Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, Firelands Symphony, and Olympic Brass Quintet.

Johnson’s artistic focus throughout her career is of modern vocal works and the delivery of classical music to American audiences. She recently founded “Of Thee I Sing: American Heritage Through Song,” a solo touring company featuring educational, interactive concert programming that brings American heritage to life through music.

Powers has performed over 100 operatic roles with the major opera companies in the U.S., Europe, and South America. He has a dark, penetrating color to his voice thus the portrayal of rogues and villains has dominated his career.

Hill has a style that is both undeniably American and uniquely his own, his works include choral and symphonic, pieces for piano, and art song.  Performances of his work have been featured by award-winning soloists and ensembles across the U.S. as well as in Europe.

Lindberg, professor of music at Wooster, is also the director of the highly acclaimed Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Chicago’s oldest professional jazz orchestra in continuous operation.

Tickets are $10 and are available at Buehler’s (Milltown and Towne Market), the Wilson Bookstore on campus, and at the door of the concert. All students are admitted free of charge, and C.O.W. faculty and staff may obtain complimentary tickets at the Wilson Bookstore. For more information call 330-263-2419.