MHC Orchestra to Perform November 12

Posted: November 1, 2006

"The Chronological Concert: A Romp through Six Centuries of Western Music," a brisk, entertaining, and informative sampling of Western musical history from the fifteenth century to the present day, will be presented at 3 pm Sunday, November 12, in Pratt Hall's McCulloch Auditorium.

"A concert is a classroom with some walls knocked out and an emphasis on learning, while being entertained and moved. It's a concert that addresses both head and heart," said Eric Benjamin, the new director of Instrumental Ensembles at Mount Holyoke. He also conducts the MHC Orchestra, which will do the bulk of the playing at the concert, which is free and open to the public. Special guests on the program will be members of the Mount Holyoke Glee Club under the direction of Kimberly Dunn and the Five College Early Music Ensemble directed by Robert Eisenstein.

"Kim and Bob and their groups will sample some music from the Middle Ages and early Renaissance." Benjamin said.

The orchestra will then offer selections from the wide range of orchestral music, beginning with Monteverdi's Sinfonia to L'Orfeo (1607) and conclude with Circular Dancing (2000) by American composer Roger Zahab.

In between, the orchestra will perform music of Purcell, Mouret, Mozart (movements from his Symphony No. 40 in G minor), and Antonin Dvorak. The program continues with Bela Bartok's Rumanian Folk Dancesand Charles Ives' visionary 1909 tone poem The Unanswered Question.

"I want to give the students in the orchestra and the members of the audience a brisk tour of some the incredibly rich music of the Western musical tradition." Benjamin said. "There will be some gaps and glaring omissions, which we'll fill in somewhat in the remainder of this year and in future editions of this same concert in years to come."

For more information please contact Michèle Scanlon.

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