DePauw Orchestra prepares for season opener Sunday

Thursday, September 17, 2015
The DePauw University Orchestra offers its first concert of the fall semester at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Green Center's Kresge Auditorium. (Courtesy photo)

Inspired by the recent campus visit by the conductorless orchestra A Far Cry, the DePauw University Orchestra concert this Sunday will open with a conductorless performance of the overture to Mozart's opera "The Abduction from the Seraglio," providing an avenue into the students' new 21st-Century Musician curriculum.

The orchestra, led by music director Orcenith Smith, presents its first performance of the fall semester at 3 p.m. Sept. 20 in Kresge Auditorium, located within the Judson and Joyce Green Center for the Performing Arts.

Featured on the program will be Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich's monumental "Symphony No. 5." Written in 1937, during the oppressive years of the Stalin regime, the piece provides a powerful viewpoint on music's capacity to sound the fear of backlash from the regime, while also generating triumphant hope for the future.

"In the face of desperate times, the young Shostakovich, whose family members had already been kidnapped and were likely dead, was struggling to understand the oversight of the politicians who deemed his music inappropriate," said Smith. "He feared for his life. What he wrote as 'An Artist's Reply to Just Criticism' was his Symphony No. 5.

"This now famous, emotionally power-packed work plumbs political oppression, desperation and ultimately triumphs. Our DePauw students are giving their all in portraying this setting and understanding the dynamic of the narrative and the technical commitment needed to get there."

Winner of an ASCAP Award for "Adventuresome Programming of Contemporary Music," the DePauw Orchestra maintains an active schedule. An all-undergraduate organization, the orchestra focuses on performing and reading music of the standard repertoire, creating a four-year overview that is a cross-section of music including most style periods, regional influences and genres.

General admission tickets to DePauw Orchestra's concerts are $3; tickets for seniors, children and all students are free.

For more information and online purchases, visit

To obtain tickets in person on any weekday, stop by the School of Music main office in the Green Center. The GCPA box office will also be open beginning one hour prior to Sunday's performance.

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