Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College Student Government is hosting a free symphony concert, open to the general public.
The concert is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 11, beginning at 7 p.m. in Colebank Hall on the shared campus of Pierpont and FSU.
The FSU Community Orchestra, under the direction of John Ashton, will perform featuring Hillary Barlow, soprano.
The performance is part of the FSU/Pierpont Family Weekend. The string section of the orchestra will play the Serenade for String Orchestra of Peter Tschaikowsky. Barlow will sing "Una voce poco fa" from the Barber of Seville by Rossini, and the orchestra will also include music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Mozart and Bela Bartok.
The FSU Community Orchestra has been a fixture of the FSU Music Department for 40 years. In addition to playing classical concerts each semester, the FSUCO has performed concerts for children and regularly features music students who compete in the orchestra's annual concerto competition as soloists. Saturday's soloist was one of the recent winners of that competition.
Hillary Barlow, senior music education major, plans to graduate in May 2010 from FSU with a B.A.E. degree in Music Education with an emphasis in voice. Upon graduation, she plans to obtain a teaching job in West Virginia. She first began singing in church by her mother's side. She joined the Madrigal Choir in high school and realized she had a love for singing. During her senior year, she auditioned for the All-State Chamber Choir and was the first chosen from Preston High School.
"Without formal training, I was nervous about pursuing a musical career, but I have enjoyed every minute of it at Fairmont State. I would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Jeff Poland and the Fairmont State music faculty for making my time at Fairmont State a wonderful learning experience," Barlow said.
The program will be conducted by John Ashton, emeritus professor at FSU. In addition to his years at FSU, Ashton also served on the faculties of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and Carnegie Mellon University, and he is also the conductor of the Community Arts Orchestra at West Virginia University. He was the associate conductor of the Bedford Festival Orchestra in Bedford, Pa., and was principal trumpet of the Savannah Symphony Orchestra and the Radio Telefis Eireann Symphony Orchestra (Dublin, Ireland) as well as a member of the New Orleans Philharmonic. His compositions have been widely performed and his most recent orchestral work, Sonata for Trumpet and Classical Orchestra, was premiered last year by the Fairmont State University Community Orchestra with Timothy Leasure as trumpet soloist. A work with local connections, "A Fairmont Overture," was recorded by the Slovak Symphony Orchestra in Bratislava, Slovakia under the direction of Robert Black.