The Hays Symphony Orchestra's first performance of the 2009-2010 season will have a distinctly North American flavor.
"American Originals," which will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 in the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center, includes pieces from various compositions.
"Rodeo," by Aaron Copland, was written in 1942 as a ballet depicting American cowboys in dance. "Hoedown" is the best-known dance number from the ballet, made even more famous when adopted for television commercials advertising beef.
"9.3," by Tim Rolls, was written in remembrance of the victims of the Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami that hit Southeast Asia. The title is in reference to the approximate size of the earthquake that caused the tsunami. The main theme of the work is meant to depict the people who were affected by the disaster.
"West Side Story," by Leonard Bernstein, is one of the best known and loved works from American broadway. While most associate the music with Bernstein, who composed the musical, fewer are aware that the lyrics of the musical were written by Stephen Sondheim. The work performed by the Hays Symphony is a compilation of some of the best-known songs from this favorite.
"Danzón," by Arturo Mårquez, features native music of Cuba and the Veracruz region of Mexico. Márquez is a renowned Mexican composer who uses native Mexican forms and styles in original orchestral compositions.
"Rhapsody in Blue" was the first classical composition of George Gershwin, and has proved to be his most popular and enduring work. The work is true to its name with diverse juxtaposed sections that create a tapestry of rhythms and themes. Gershwin described the piece as "a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America, or our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our blues, our metropolitan madness."
Tickets are available at the door: free for FHSU students, $6 for the public and $4 for seniors and children. For more information, contact the Department of Music at (785) 628-4533.