Annual Spring Concerto Concert May 13

Ponca City Public Schools - May 9, 2022 2:09 pm

Ponca City Schools Concert Hall

The Ponca City High School Symphony Orchestra will be presenting their Annual Spring Concerto Concert Friday evening, May 13, at 7:00 pm, in the Ponca City Schools Concert Hall on Overbrook. The group is under the baton of Paula R. Cochran, Director of Orchestras at the high school. Katie Rolf and Ella Gordon assist each day and teach orchestra at the middle and elementary schools. Cassidy Broome rounds out the orchestra team in her role as Cello Technician. Andrew Orr, Britany Lawrence, and student teacher, Joshua Chrisman, have assisted with the wind and percussion section of the Symphony Orchestra. Retired maestro Dan P. Larson has been invited back to conduct five pieces on the program. The Finale will include alumni from the classes of 2020 and 2021.
The community is cordially invited to the last performance to be given by this award-winning group of musicians. “This orchestra senior class has worked hard to continue Dan Larson’s legacy,” said Paula Cochran. “They are an amazing group of young people that have left footprints in our hearts.”
There is no admission charge to the event.
The 2022 OSSAA Outstanding Achievement Award-winning symphony opens the night with a virtuous march, Procession of the Sardar, by Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov, directed by Paula Cochran. Taken from the famous Caucasian Sketches, this piece depicts a Persian military commander with its rhythmic intensity and dramatic dynamic changes. The symphony orchestra received straight superior ratings on their performance of this piece at OSSAA State Orchestra Contest in February.
Next, the orchestra presents Ancient Echoes of Time by Douglas E. Wagner. Directing this piece will be Joshua Chrisman, student teacher from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and Po-Hi Alumnus. Ancient Echoes of Time combines soaring melodies and expansive harmonies to present an imaginative musical landscape that takes the audience on a tour of the different tonal facets of the orchestra.
Following, the orchestra demonstrates the many definitions of “love” in an interpretation of Evan Call’s Across the Violet Sky arranged and conducted by Jaryd Hinch. Love comes in many forms – parental love for a child, platonic love for a best friend, romantic love between partners, and even, as experienced by Po-Hi’s orchestra program, a bus driver’s love for his kids. The piece closes by painting a sentimental picture of looking up to the evening sky and experiencing the joys and woes of remembering a lost loved one – and knowing, across that violet sky, the loved one is listening.
We next invited retired maestro, Dan Larson to the stage to conduct senior symphony member Alyssa Walker’s performance of the first movement of Concerto in B Minor for Violin and String Orchestra by Oskar Rieding. Ranked as a ‘classic’ in violin literature, Miss Walker effectively demonstrates the tonal beauty required for this concerto.
Senior Madyson Mason will then transport the audience to Seville, Spain in George Bizet’s Intermezzo from Carmen Suite No. 1. The opera Carmen tells the story of the downfall of Don Jose, an innocent soldier who falls for the fiery gypsy Carmen. This pastoral flute solo depicts Don Jose’s expression of his deep love for Carmen. Assistant band director and East Middle School math teacher, Britany Lawrence, will conduct this piece.
Using syncopated rhythms and dramatic accents, the symphony orchestra next presents Artemis Rising by Jeffrey S. Bishop, conducted by assistant orchestra director Katie Rolf. The energetic and lively moods featured in this piece as the orchestra moves from a minor to a major key portray the fierce and fickle characteristics of the Greek goddess, Artemis.
To conclude the first half of the concert, director Paula Cochran will again take the podium to lead the orchestra in a performance of You Raise Me Up, made popular by recording artist Josh Groban. Featured soloists in this piece include seniors Abby McIntosh and Anna Siemers.
Following the closure of You Raise Me Up, the senior members of the symphony orchestra will be recognized with an escorted walk to the stage. The Symphony Orchestra has 20 seniors this year, of which 14 are string musicians.
After the senior recognition, the group is ready to present Richard Meyer’s extremely powerful and emotion filled overture, Millennium. Complete with a foreboding introduction, lyrical themes, and a wild and energetic march, this “tour de force” for the orchestra will be conducted by assistant band director, Andrew Orr.
Once again, maestro Dan Larson will take the podium to direct the orchestra in three pieces. First, Serenata by Enrico Toselli. Featured in this sentimental, light, and tuneful piece are senior violists Jillian Boynton, Alexis Mills, Anna Siemers, and Isabella Sutterfield.
Next, senior violinist Emma Bartley will perform Romance from Henryk Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Lush and moving melodies and harmonies rise to a heartfelt climax in one of the most popular violin concertos from the Romantic period.
Lastly, the symphony string players will perform Richard Meyer’s The Idylls of Pegasus. Depicted in this piece are the adventures of Pegasus, the wondrous winged horse from Greek mythology. From the birth of Pegasus to Pegasus’ ascension to Olympus, this six section work features senior soloists Emma Bartley, Clay Cain, Madi Jernigan, Abby McIntosh, and Kendall Ware.
For the final symphonic piece of the night, the group takes to the seas for Hans Zimmer’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. In Lavender and Longfield’s arrangement, themes from the film flow seamlessly into one another, featuring auxiliary maritime percussion, a haunting oboe solo, and a triumphant finale by the brass section. This selection will be conducted by director Paula Cochran.
It has become a tradition of the string section to conclude the final concert of the year with On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss by David Holsinger. This beautiful work is based on the moving hymn It is Well with My Soul. Retired Maestro Dan Larson says, “This is one of the orchestra’s favorite pieces to perform. They know the history of the hymn and how to bring the music to life. I can’t believe there is a group anywhere who performs this selection any better than they do. They play with such heart.” We are thrilled to invite our alumni to join us on the final piece.

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