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Symphony orchestra concert is homecoming finale

Sept. 29, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Music Director Bruce Uchimura and the Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra will present their first all orchestral concert of the 2008-09 season at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, in Miller Auditorium.

The concert, which is the finale event of WMU Homecoming, will celebrate music composed by significant American composers and a work written in the U.S. The concert will open with the attractive "Variations on 'America'" by the highly idiosyncratic composer Charles Ives. An insurance salesman by profession, Ives was also a highly creative and unique American composer.

The WMU orchestra will also perform "Medea's Meditation and Dance of Vengance," Op. 23a. This work is an arrangement of the intriguing and highly rhythmic music scored for the original ballet, "Madea," composed by Samuel Barber in 1946 for the Martha Graham Dance Company.

The Oct. 5 concert will close with the famous "Concerto for Orchestra" by Bela Bartok. One of the foremost Hungarian composers of his generation, Bartok devoted his life to the assimilation and study of complex Hungarian Folk idioms into his works. The "Concerto for Orchestra" was composed as a commission for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and was the last piece he wrote before his death. It is a tremendous tour de force for the orchestra and is played frequently by symphonies around the world.

Media contact: Kevin West, (269) 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

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