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BARD COLLEGE ORCHESTRA, CONDUCTED BY JOAN TOWER, FEATURES FULL LENGTH CONCERT ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 10, AT 8:00 P.M. Works by Sibelius, Beethoven, Copland, Mendelssohn, and Griffes to be Performed
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard College Community Orchestra (BCCO) offers its first full-length concert on Friday, December 10, at 8:00 p.m. The concert, free and open to the public, will be held in Olin Hall.
Founded and directed by composer-conductor Joan Tower in February 1999, the orchestra will present its first full-length evening of music. The evening features Sibelius's Valse Triste; Griffes's Poeme for flute and orchestra, featuring Barbara Smith, flute; Beethoven's Seventh Symphony (first movement); Copland's "Dance" from Music for the Theatre; and Mendelssohn's Capriccio for piano and orchestra, featuring Ali Meah, piano.
The forty-four-person orchestra made its debut appearance last May, during the Music Program's gala concert. "We were able to form a student orchestra because the Music Program has grown over the past few years, and more students are available to play a variety of instruments," Tower explains. The orchestra is now only two violinists short of standard chamber orchestra size. Many of the members of the freshman class have filled the gaps that were previously filled by community musicians. Six of the current members are from the outside community; three high school students from Rhinebeck and Hyde Park, and three adults from the area. Two of the adults serve as coaches for the orchestra: Rachel Handman, violinist with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, and Cornelia MacGiver '99, bassoonist and Bard College graduate.
The orchestra staff is also composed of Bard students. Erin Watson '00 is concert mistress; Barbara Smith '01, is the orchestra manager; David Homan '01 is the assistant manager; cellist Anna Callner is the orchestra librarian; and John Coyne is the public relations manager.
Joan Tower is Asher B. Edelman Professor of Music at Bard College and one of the most highly regarded composers in the United States today. In 1998, the year of her sixtieth birthday, more than twenty concerts were presented in her honor throughout the country. She received the Delaware Symphony’s Alfred I. Dupont Award for Distinguished American Composers and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 1990 was the recipient of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. Tower, whose orchestral works have been commissioned and performed around the world, is currently composer-in-residence with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York City. She was active as the founder and pianist with the 1973 Naumburg Award-winning ensemble, the Da Capo Chamber Players. She was composer-in-residence with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and is currently co-artistic director of the Yale/Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and composer-in-residence at the Institute at Deer Valley in Utah. Her most recent recording is Fanfares for the Uncommon Woman (Koch International Classics), with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop, conductor.
For further information about the concert and the Bard College Community Orchestra, call 914-758-7520.
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