The denizens of Roswell, New Mexico, have long looked to the stars, not just for answers, but also for inspiration. It seems only fitting, then, that in celebrating his 50th anniversary leading the Roswell Symphony Orchestra, Maestro John Farrer would include one of the world’s most iconic and moving orchestrations in his seasonal repertoire: Gustav Holst’s The Planets suite. The Roswell Symphony Orchestra will present The Planets by Gustav Holst on Saturday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m., on the campus of the New Mexico Military Institute at Pearson Auditorium.
The concert will feature The Planets in its entirety, as well as Sunrise from Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss, an arrangement for orchestra of Debussy’s Clair de Lune, and two works by Antonin Dvorak – Carnival Overture and Song to the Moon from the opera Rusalka with guest soloist Shari Perman. The RSO is also joined by the Roswell Symphony Chorus, vocalists from Eastern New Mexico University, and alumni of the University of Texas – El Paso choral program.
Who’s Who Among The Stars
One of the most original composers of his generation, Gustav Holst drew influences from the English madrigal and folk song tradition, as well as Hindu philosophy. Though his considerable output included everything from opera and ballet to chamber music and song, he is perhaps best known for his sonic, celestial showpiece The Planets. The seven-movement orchestral suite – composed over nearly three years, between 1914 and 1917 – premiered at the Queens Hall in London, on September 29, 1918. Since that time, The Planets has been cited as an influence by composers the world over, and been repeatedly referenced in popular culture, from films and television to computer games.
Now in the 63rd season, the Roswell Symphony Orchestra’s musicians come from all major cities within a 200-mile radius of Roswell: Lubbock, Amarillo, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, El Paso, Portales, Alamogordo, and Roswell. Maestro John Farrer became the director of the RSO for the 1972 season. Under his leadership the RSO has earned a reputation for musical excellence by sharing with the underserved target audience of southeast New Mexico the talents of professional musicians, many of whom have performed renowned symphonies across the United States as well as in Canada and Europe.
The symphony is also offering a pre-concert event on Saturday at 6 p.m., at the chapel on NMMI’s campus. It will be held outside, weather permitting, and the ticket price includes light refreshments. Guest speaker Dr. James Shearer, principal tuba of the Roswell Symphony Orchestra and professor of tuba, euphonium, music history, and music appreciation at New Mexico State University, will present on The Planets.
In collaboration with the Roswell Museum and Art Center, the Goddard Planetarium is offering a showing of Universe on Friday, April 28, at 7 p.m. Universe is a historical look at how we have envisioned the universe through the ages, from some of the ancient sites where our ancestors erected great structures to discoveries by today’s scientists and space explorers. Admission is free with proof of an RSO ticket purchase for the April 29 concert. Seating is limited.
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Adult tickets for the Roswell Symphony Orchestra pre-concert event are $10 each and students of all ages can attend at no cost. Concert tickets for the Roswell Symphony Orchestra’s performance of The Planets range from $15 – $40 and $5 tickets are offered to students 14 – 18, as well as college students with a valid ID. Children under 13 can attend the event for free. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit the website or call 575-623-5882.This article was posted by David Salcido