California’s Central Valley is such a beautiful place. I don’t think there’s another single area in the entire United States filled with as much geographic variety, whether the elegant stone-fruit orchards that surround the city, the stunning beauty of the foothills or the giant sequoias and Mt. Whitney itself (tallest in the lower 48). Paralleling that variety is the incredible agility of this orchestra. There’s nothing this orchestra can’t do. From their electrifying performance of The Rite of Spring this March or their passionate and moving accounts of Mahler 1st and Daphnis and Chloe, they somehow raise the bar at each and every concert. What a thrill to be a part of the blossoming of these musicians into a versatile, powerful and exciting orchestra. Handily, this has been one of the highlights of my musical life.
Two classic symphonies from the “Great North.” Tchaikovsky’s short, sweet “Winter Daydreams” opens the program while Sibelius’ masterful Symphony No. 2, travels from the shimmering loneliness of doubt to a grand symphonic finale that rivals Beethoven’s best.
A tour through our country’s regions and history is anchored by Copland’s setting of Abraham Lincoln’s powerful words, while we also visit the jazz influences in symphonic repertoire, including Gershwin and William Grant Still.
What makes a hero? We all know our favorite movies themes from our heroes and heroines. Our annual film concert celebrates all of them, from the obvious to the not so obvious. Characters and costumes will abound!
Brilliant locations close our year of Destinations. A quick trip through Italy and Spain gives us three brilliant masterworks, including Rodrigo’s guitar concerto played by our brilliant soloist, joining the Sequoia Symphony for her debut. Flash, pomp, mystery and brilliance wrap up our year with one of Visalia’s favorite pieces, Respighi’s “The Pines of Rome.”