The Southern Symphony Orchestra will present “Gershwin Tonight!” – featuring works by acclaimed composer George Gershwin – at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 4, in Taylor Performing Arts Center.
The orchestra, comprised of students and community members, is under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Macomber.
“Technically, it’s a very challenging program,” said Macomber. “Gershwin, when he wrote for the voice and for the stage, was one composer. When he wrote purely orchestral music, he was a different composer … it’s much more adventuresome.”
Selections will include “Cuban Overture,” inspired by a two-week vacation the composer spent in Cuba in the early 1930s; “Song of the Flame,” from a play of the same title; and “The Man I Love,” a tune from one of Gershwin’s early shows that “now stands alone as a standard from the Great American Songbook,” said Macomber.
For “Concerto in F,” the orchestra will be joined by Roger Wright, a concert pianist from Los Angeles, Calif.
Wright has appeared as a soloist with the Houston Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Costa Rica, among others. He has also given solo recitals at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and Steinway Hall in New York, the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., the Chicago Cultural Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s “Sunday’s Live” series.
In addition to his orchestra performance, Wright will offer a Master Class for piano students at noon Thursday, April 3, in Webster Hall’s Corley Auditorium.
Wright’s appearance with the Southern Symphony Orchestra and the Master Class are made possible by a gift from the Vivian León Fund and assistance from the Missouri Southern Foundation. Both are free and open to the public.