The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra returns to Fairmont for its 14th season on the Fairmont State University campus on Monday, Sept. 26. Maestro Grant Cooper, will conduct the Fairmont program titled “Folk Traditions.”
The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Colebank Hall on the FSU campus. Tickets are available through the FSU Box Office (located on the fourth floor of Wallman Hall) by calling (304) 367-4240, or at Colebank Hall the night of the performance beginning at 6 p.m. Those who wish to become a Friend of the Symphony may obtain information by calling Dr. Anne Patterson at (304) 367-4897.
The program features two works based on regional folk music: Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály’s “Dances of Galánta” and Cooper’s own composition, “Appalachian Autumn,” which draws upon the music of our region. The “Appalachian Autumn” suite opens with a Scottish fiddle tune, “Bovaglie’s Plaid,” and includes the folk songs “The Cruel Ship’s Carpenter” and “I Wish I Was a Child Again,” before concluding with the familiar “West Virginia Hills.”
“This music speaks to our heritage and recognizes modern day West Virginia as well,” said Dr. Anne Patterson, Coordinator of Fairmont State’s Department of Music. “It’s a beautiful composition, which I know our audience will love.”
Galánta is a small town now in Slovakia, but for over a thousand years it was part of Hungary. Zoltán Kodály spent much time in Galánta and, in 1933, composed a set of atmospheric dances for orchestra based on the music of the region.
Other pieces on the program are Gabriel Fauré’s suite, “Pelléas and Mélisande,” which features a beautiful extended flute solo in one movement, and a second piece composed by Maestro Cooper: “A song of longing, though…” for soprano and orchestra. This piece was commissioned by WVSO horn player Tom Beal for his wife to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Soprano soloist is Janet Brown, who has been praised by critics for her warm, clear voice and direct expression.
“The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra truly is the state’s orchestra. We are proud to once again bring great music to a number of the communities in the Mountain State. All people deserve great art, and we are dedicated to bringing live music to all of West Virginia,” said WVSO President, Joe Tackett.
This concert is jointly funded by the Daywood Family Foundation, Herscher Foundation, Jacobson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Fairmont State University, FSU School of Fine Arts, the Fairmont State Foundation and the local Friends of the Symphony.