VSO Announces Their Season Finale Featuring Music from The Beatles on April 5

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Maestro Peter Dabrowski
Maestro Peter Dabrowski

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The Valley Symphony Orchestra presents its season finale concert, “The 3 Bs: Beatles, Brahms, and Beethoven” on Friday, April 5, 2019. Under the direction of Maestro Peter Dabrowski, the orchestra and chorale will perform Johannes Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture,” Henry Mancini’s “Portrait of the Beatles,” and the fourth movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, the “Ode to Joy.”

“This concert features three pieces by some of the greatest musicians, classical or modern,” said Maestro Peter Dabrowski. “Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” is one of the most famous melodies ever written, and The Beatles are possibly the most iconic and well-known rock band in the world. Attendees will hear something familiar in an entirely new way at this concert, performed by the 80-member orchestra and 120-member chorale.”

The Valley Symphony Orchestra Chorale will perform as part of “Ode to Joy.” Under the direction of Dr. David Means, the Chorale is made up of 120 individuals from the community and performs with the Orchestra twice annually. Vocal soloists Soon Cho (Soprano), Christina Marie Pier (Alto), Eric Schmidt (Tenor), and David Grogan (Bass), also perform on this piece, one of the first to ever use voices along with an orchestra. The “Ode to Joy” is regarded by many critics and musicologists as one of Beethoven’s greatest works and one of the supreme achievements in the history of western music.

Henry Mancini’s Portrait of The Beatleswas written in 1967 and highlights six of the beloved British band’s most popular songs from the mid-1960s. Concertgoers will recognize A Hard Day’s NightYesterday, and And I Love Her,among other selections. Mancini was an American musician known for his movie music compositions and arrangements and his unique choice to feature jazz and popular music as a part of his works. His knack for arranging pop music and The Beatles’ exemplary songwriting skills come together in this fun, nostalgic composition that music lovers of all ages will enjoy. 

“Academic Festival Overture” was written by Johannes Brahms on the occasion of receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Breslau. Written with a sense of humor and relying heavily on popular student drinking songs of the time, the piece is a favorite of concertgoers and musicians alike. It features colorful performances from the bassoons, strings, and oboes.

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Tickets are on sale now for “The 3 Bs: Beatles, Brahms, and Beethoven” at the McAllen Performing Arts Center (M-F, 10 am – 5 pm) and online at www.valleyorchestra.org. For more information, patrons may also call the VSO office at (956) 661-1615.

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