Power of 'Art and Transformation' theme of concert

Thursday, October 29, 2015
Music students rehearse with the DePauw University Orchestra in preparation for its Sunday, Nov. 1 concert at 3 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium, a part of DePauw's campuswide ArtsFest 2015.

The great Germanic tone poem "Death and Transfiguration," by Richard Strauss, and American composer Michael Torke's joyful "Javelin, "written for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, are the featured works to be performed by the DePauw University Orchestra for its upcoming concert on Sunday.

Part of a 10-day celebration of events during DePauw University's 14th annual ArtsFest, the concert will be given at 3 p.m. Nov. 1 in Kresge Auditorium, located within DePauw's Green Center for the Performing Arts. Music director Orcenith Smith will conduct.

"How these works speak to this year's festival theme of 'Art and Transformation' is very different," Smith said. "While Torke's piece shows how minimal musical gesture unfolds from the tiniest seed to reveal a magnificent musical theme, Strauss's music tells an emotion-filled story of a man's life through its transfiguration to a soul in the afterlife."

Also included on this ArtsFest concert will be Samuel Barber's "First Essay for Orchestra"--a work that was student-selected.

Smith explained that the composer, Michael Torke, wrote to them about how pleased he is that they are performing his "Javelin," and Smith offered the students an opportunity to learn about programming concerts through consideration of how to position a work with the other pieces on the program.

"The students then submitted works of interest," the director said, "and the Barber (piece) was selected."

Similar to a literary essay, the idea behind Barber's orchestral essay is the development of a single melodic thesis into a complex, well-reasoned work, an idea that fit well with this year's theme.

General admission tickets to Sunday's orchestra concert are $3. Tickets for seniors, children and all students are free.

For more information and online purchases, visit www.depauw.edu/music/tickets. An automatic ticket kiosk now located on the first floor of the Green Center is available for making walk-up ticket purchases at any time of day using a credit or debit card. The venue's box office will also be open beginning one hour prior to the performance.

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