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Symphony orchestra sets family concert

Mar. 03, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The Marshall University Symphony Orchestra will be presenting its annual Family Concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, in the Smith Recital Hall.

The concert is part of a collaboration of the Marshall Symphony Orchestra with the Women's Club of Huntington and Cabell County School Board. Earlier in the day students from the fifth grade in Wayne and Cabal counties will be given a private performance at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center. The event is geared at families with children.

"Our Family Concert is an annual event we hold every spring," said Marshall professor Dr. Elizabeth Reed Smith. "The Women's Club of Huntington sponsors a competition for one high school student who will solo with the symphony. We have Christianna Dixon, the winner of the competition soloing with us."

Dixon is a high school junior who won the 2013 Young People's Concert.

The concert will be hosted by Dr. Larry Stickler, professor of Music at Marshall University. Stickler will also be providing the role of narrator for the concert's main piece, Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf."

Other works at the concert will also include Verdi's Sicilian Vesper Overture, the final movement of the Mozart Piano Concerto in B Flat Major, K. 595 and the Sea Songs Quick March by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

"We try to do pieces that will be varied and education for the children," Smith said. "We represent four different countries represented in the works. We have a mix of fast and slow pieces. Verdi's Sicilian Vesper Overture is very dramatic. Prokofiev's 'Peter and the Wolf' is a standard children's piece with a story."

The concert is free to the public and is scheduled to last less than one hour.

"The fact that we do a family concert every year makes it very hard because there's a limited repertoire geared toward children," Smith said. "We don't want to do the same pieces over and over, so I do a lot of work to try to choose pieces that other people might not have thought of to present to children. They are pieces that are still dramatic or in some way can be used as teaching tools. I also usually write a script for our narrator to show children how different parts of the music work. Our narrator, Dr. Stickler, is a very good music educator who often adds a lot to the pieces."

The Marshall Symphony Orchestra will be returning for a second concert of the semester at 8 p.m. April 24, at the Smith Recital Hall. Dr. Michael Stroeher will be soloing with symphony on trombone.

For more information, call 304-696-6609 or email Smith at smither@marshall.edu. For a guide to upcoming events visit www.marshall.edu/cofa/music/.