Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ashland Choirs Join ASO for "An American in Paris"

Celebrating 44 YearsThe Ashland University Choir and Ashland Area Chorus join the Ashland Symphony Orchestra to perform a grand finale of a concert as its swan song to Ashland Middle School’s McDowell Auditorium. The symphony’s “An American in Paris” concert is 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 18 at McDowell, and the concert will be the symphony’s final performance in the venue before the school is demolished. 

As part of the “An American in Paris” concert, the symphony will perform four compositions with French influences. To begin, Lipsky will lead the orchestra through Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms,” which features Ashland University Choir, Ashland Area Chorus and 13-year-old treble soloist Francesco von Bülow. 

“The ‘Psalms’ is a serious piece by Bernstein, but you can hear especially his ‘West Side Story’ roots, the influence of jazz and lighter music on this piece,” Lipsky said. “And the chorus is singing in Hebrew, so they’re excited about this. It makes it tricky to sing in a nonEuropean language.” 

Following “Chichester Psalms” is “The Muse and the Poet” by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, which features solos by Michelle Abraham on violin and Miles Richardson on cello. After an intermission, the symphony will perform “Prelude to the Afternoon of the Faun” by Claude Debussy, which features a flute solo throughout the piece. 

The concert conclude’s with George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris,” which Lipsky said is one of Gershwin’s “most recognized pieces.” The piece is influenced by jazz and blues and features a trumpet solo and even the percussion section’s “taxi horn” instruments.

There will be a reception backstage following the concert. Tickets are available online at www.ashlandsymphony.org or by calling 419-289-5115.

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