CSO kicks off the 2020-21 Season with Stunning Strings on Oct. 17th, 2020 with performances at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM, at the Cheyenne Civic Center. Social distancing measures will be in place and patrons will be required to wear masks.
The concerts will last about 90 minutes. The 7:30 PM performance will also be livestreamed for those who prefer to watch from the comfort of home.
CSO Music Director and Conductor, William Intriligator says, “I am so excited to begin a new concert season with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra! Yes, our concerts will have safety measures in place and will look and feel different; yet the music is powerful enough to get past all those differences and really move us! Our concerts October 17th feature just the string instruments of the orchestra. Back in the day, orchestras in Western music began with just strings. The other instruments were developed and added later. So you could say this concert brings us back to fundamentals, in one sense. Yet in another way, there is tremendous spirit and innovation in this program!”
The season begins with a wonderful work by female African-American composer, Florence Price. Price’s Five Folksongs in Counterpoint was scored for string quartet but will be played by string orchestra at these concerts. Price uses familiar folksongs like ‘Clementine,’ ‘Shortnin’ Bread,’ and ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ and creates brilliant counterpoint and variations around them.
Next, CSO Principal Harp Tonya Jilling is featured in Debussy’s ethereal and beautiful Dances Sacree et Profane. “Whenever we feature Tonya as a harp soloist, it is always a special occasion and you know you’re in for something especially beautiful,” adds Intriligator.
George Walker was the first African-American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize in music. His Lyric for Strings was written in the 1940’s when the composer was in his 20’s. He wrote it originally as the second movement of a string quartet and as a memorial for his grandmother; it is now mostly played by full string orchestras.
Intriligator notes, “The piece does have a sad, ‘Adagio for Strings’-like quality about it, but it’s gorgeous, and it became one of the most frequently performed pieces of classical music by a living American composer during his lifetime.” Walker lived a long, productive, and prolific life, and he passed away just two years ago at age 96.
The concerts conclude with Grieg’s vivacious and lively Holberg Suite. A masterpiece for string orchestra, it uses melodies in a purposely old-fashioned style to create exciting and beautiful dances and a powerful and deep, singing slow movement.
“I’ve been wanting to program this piece with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra for many years,” Intiligator says. “It is always a favorite that makes me, the players, and the audience
The Classic Conversations educational seminar that precedes each concert will now be livestreamed on the CSO Facebook page on the Friday prior to the concert at noon and made available on the CSO website for on-demand viewing. Media interviews with Maestro Intriligator or Tonya Jilling can be arranged by calling Lindsey Reynolds at 778-8561.