The Westmont Orchestra, back from its tour of China in May, opens its seventh season, performing the Fall Orchestra Concert on Friday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m. in the Music Academy’s Hahn Hall and Sunday, Oct. 21, at 3 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. General admission is $10 and students are free. To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact Trinity Hokama at (805) 565-6040.
The orchestra will perform the profound and popular “New World Symphony” by Dvorak, Erich Korngold’s first popular film score overture, “Captain Blood,” and “Jerusalem” by Sir Charles Hubert Parry, which was prominently featured in the opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics and in the film “Chariots of Fire.”
The repertoire includes a world premiere by renowned composer Emma Lou Diemer, who celebrates her 85th birthday this season. Her Concerto for Violin, which includes the three movements, “A Little Parlour Music (After Poulenc),” “Remembrance of Things Past” and “Santa Barbara Rag,” is dedicated to Westmont violin professor Philip Ficsor and the orchestra. Coincidentally, the Santa Barbara Symphony opens its season honoring Diemer by performing her “Santa Barbara Overture” on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m.
“I decided not to write a huge, complex, lengthy work but rather one that might be pleasurable to hear rather than disturbing,” Diemer says. “I am grateful for the fine talents of Professor Ficsor and Professor Shasberger and the Westmont Orchestra for presenting this new work.”
Diemer’s works are widely published, and her second piano concerto received a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award in 1991. Diemer, who joined the faculty at UC Santa Barbara in 1971 and became professor emerita in 1991, has been commissioned for many chamber, orchestral and choral compositions. She was composer-inresidence with the Santa Barbara Symphony in the early 1990s, and the orchestra performed five of her works. She was one of only two women composition majors in her class at Yale’s School of Music, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1949 and 1950.
The Westmont Music Department will continue its Adopt-A-Musician program again this year, pairing concertgoers with an orchestra musician for the 2012-13 season. Supporters may adopt a musician for $100, which includes a card with a photo and basic information about the student musician. All funds received through the program support the students’ performances and tour expenses. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the program.