Concert Highlights Music of Ireland, UK

Conductor Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship

Conductor Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship

The Westmont Orchestra performs its final concert of the academic year, celebrating the music of Ireland and Britain on Friday, April 27, at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church. Tickets, which cost $10 for general admission (students are free), may be purchased at the door. For more information at the Spring Orchestra Concert, please contact the music department at (805) 565-6040 or email music@westmont.edu.

The concert serves as a springboard to the orchestra’s tour of Ireland and the United Kingdom from May 8-19.

“Our musical salute to our host countries on tour ranges across two centuries and the diverse cultures of Ireland the British Commonwealth,” says conductor Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship. “Our repertoire is also laced with beautiful settings of hymns that highlight both the symphonic and spiritual character of our mission.”

The concert features “Uilleann Sunrise” by Sean O’Boyle, a contemporary Australian composer of Irish heritage. Originally performed and recorded in 1997 by Orchestra Victoria (Australia) and subsequently performed by the Queensland Symphony, the work has never been formally published.

“I knew very quickly that I wanted to program the music but was dismayed when the composer informed me a few days later that he could not find the orchestra parts and could not produce them since the software he had used to create the scores was no longer functional,” Shasberger says.

After a search of the musical score proved fruitless by the librarian at the Orchestra Victoria, Jay Real, junior music composition major and violist, copied out the parts with modern software.

The performance includes “Norfolk Rhapsody No. 1” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, “Irish Rhapsody No. 1” by Charles Villiers Stanford and “The Lord of the Dance” by Ronan Hardiman.