Texas Tech University

University Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Leonard Bernstein Centennial

Benjamin Robinette

November 17, 2017


The celebration is a concert featuring "Romeo and Juliet."


The Texas Tech University School of Music will host a concert featuring the University Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 19) in Hemmle Recital Hall. Philip Mann will lead the orchestra in celebrating the Leonard Bernstein Centennial, a worldwide celebration of the 100th birthday of composer Leonard Bernstein. The concert is free and open to the public.

The orchestra will open the concert with Soviet Composer Sergei Prokofiev's second suite from his ballet adaptation of William Shakespeare's tragedy "Romeo and Juliet." The suite contains contrasting music to fit crucial sequences of action from the play, allowing all sections of the orchestra to shine.

Students from the Texas Tech School of Theatre & Dance will collaborate with the orchestra to perform specific scenes from the play in between movements of Prokofiev's music. Alec Gallardo will portray the role of Romeo and Malana Wilson will portray the role of Juliet, with rehearsal direction provided by Presidential Fellow and doctoral student Patrick Midgley.

The orchestra also will perform "Symphonic Dances" from the score of the famous musical "West Side Story," written by Bernstein in collaboration with Stephen Sondheim. The number will include recognizable excerpts from the musical, including "Mambo," "Cha-cha," "Cool" and "Rumble."

The program will finish with American composer and clarinetist Stephanie Berg's "Ravish and Mayhem," inspired by a daydream she had about a bacchanal-esque Arabian street festival. Berg sees her creation as someone traveling from scene to scene, witnessing wild dancers, street performers and amorous couples until the elephants arrive to announce the grand finale.

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