Orchestra Concert Honors Reformation

The 2017-18 Westmont Orchestra

The 2017-18 Westmont Orchestra

The Westmont Orchestra Fall Concert features musical celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and solo performances by two Westmont piano students on Friday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. at Santa Barbara Community Church, 1002 Cieneguitas Rd., and Sunday, Oct. 22, at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. Tickets, which cost $10 for general admission (students are free), may be purchased at the door. For more information, please contact the music department at (805) 565-6040 or email music@westmont.edu.

The orchestra performs Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5, which was written for the 300th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession as a centerpiece. “This dramatic work begins with echoes of Renaissance polyphony reminiscent of the music of Palestrina and the Roman Catholic tradition and concludes with the bold strains of Martin Luther’s ‘A Might Fortress Is Our God,’” says conductor Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship. “It is a musical journey outlining the era of the Reformation.”

Also included on the program is Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantata for Reformation Sunday, “God the Lord is Sun and Shield,” with the Westmont College Choir and soloists. “The cantata opens with baroque trumpets, oboes and strings in a celebrative mood followed by entrances of the choir with the main chorale (or hymn) melody highlighted in dramatic variations,” Shasberger says. “Solo movements alternate with choir movements to tell the story of God’s faithfulness in times of challenge and adversity, ending in the final verse ‘Preserve us in the true path, Grant everlasting freedom, To raise thy name in glory, Through our Christ Jesus. Amen.’”

Junior Zelin Luan, who came to Westmont from Harbin, China, will perform the first movement from Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor. Junior Jay Real, a student-composer from Woodland, is the featured soloist in George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

The program includes the hymn “To God Be the Glory” by Daniel Goeller and a finale with Elmer Bernstein’s “The Magnificent 7.”