The Mukilteo Community Orchestra will present its final concert of this season on Sunday, May 22, with performances of traditional Gaelic and Irish orchestral works. The concert concludes the orchestra’s return to in-person performances following a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The free concert is at 2 p.m. at the Rosehill Community Center in Mukilteo. It will be preceded by a stage-side audience conversation at 1:20 pm with conductor and artistic director Trevor Lutzenhiser.
The final season’s concert will feature a performance by the orchestra of Gaelic Symphony, Op. 32 in E minor by Amy Marcy Cheney Beach. Opening the concert will be the orchestra’s woodwind and brass musicians performing Irish Tune from County Derry (Londonderry Air), Arranged by Percy Granger.
Irish Tune from County Derry, also sometimes called Londonderry Air,is the setting of a now famous tune from the Irish county of Derry in the north. The classical arrangement features woodwinds and brass, each in turn highlighted in the piece. The tune has a rich history of lyric settings and is widely associated with “Danny Boy”.
Gaelic Symphony, Op. 32 in E minor by Amy Marcy Cheney Beach was the first symphony by an American woman composer to gain public attention. Born in New Hampshire in 1867, by her teenage years Cheney was widely regarded as the greatest musical prodigy in the United States.
She became the first successful American female to achieve widespread international recognition as a composer of large-scale works with orchestra. Ms. Beach succeeded without European training and was one of the most respected and acclaimed American composers of her era.
Gaelic Symphony, Op. 32 in E minor debuted in Boston on Friday, October 30, 1896 to public and journalistic acclaim. It is one of two major pieces of great significance written by Amy Beach. At the time she stated that she was influence by old English, Scotch, or Irish songs. The influence of folk songs in the Symphony is shown by the traditional Irish melodies and original folk-inspired songs written by the composer herself.
Gaelic Symphony is comprised of four contrasting movements. The first movement, Allegro con fuoco, offers a basis for the romantic style of the symphony. In the second movement, Alla siciliana, Gaelic themes are introduced in variation. The third movement, Lento con molto espressione, is expressive and melodic, while the last movement, Allegro di molto, resolves the piece with a thematic and energetic conclusion.
“I’m really very excited to perform again with the Mukilteo Community Orchestra and am especially pleased to have the opportunity to bring the Beach symphony to our audience”, said Trevor Lutzenhiser, conductor and artistic director. “The symphony is a magnificent work, tempestuous and tender, brooding and full of light and joy.”
Lutzenhiser went on to say, “We have always sought to bring both well-known classical orchestral works and lesser-known but equally important pieces to our audience. The Beach symphony is one of the latter, and while lesser-known it is rich and complex nonetheless. I’m very pleased after all these months of not being able to perform live music that our first foray back into regular concert programming includes this excellent and exciting work”.
More information about the concert can be found at www.mukilteoorchestra.org.