Pride in the USA label has returned. Today, Americans ask; was it made here? Dearborn Symphony’s music director, Kypros Markou answered this question with a concert “Made in the USA!”
Markou directed the melting pot extravaganza, April 15, when the Dearborn Symphony showcased four American composers. Their homegrown melodies echoed at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. Featuring guest artists Arianna Harp Duo — Kerstin Allvin and Jung Wha — the symphony “harped” on American composer James Hartway.
The night’s performance opened with Steven Errant’s “Finale” from Symphony No. 2. The Wilmington Symphony Orchestra commissioned the symphony in 1990. The piece commemorated the 250th anniversary of the city of Wilmington, N.C. The impressive work blended jagged and lyrical ideals after a short calm into a sweeping rapid conclusion.
Next, on hand, Hartway gave insight into his “Island Dances for Two Harps.” Inspired by a trip to Aruba, Hartway described the influences of his playful work. Hartway bundled calypso, tango and hot jazzy sounds in his whimsical tourist type tribute. The Arianna Harp Duo played the hypnotic rhythms with masterful ease.
The second part of the night’s performance featured Christopher Theofanidis’ “Rainbow Body.” Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Thofanidis is an all-American composer. He wrote, “In the past few years I have been listening to the music of medieval mystic Hildegard von Bingen a great deal … I am constantly amazed by its staying power … This work is based on one of her chants … I hope it will convey my love for the beauty and grace of her work.”
“Rainbow Body” is one of the most often performed orchestral works written by a living composer. The celebrated work, performed by more than 100 orchestras around the world was enchanting.
The great quintessential American Aaron Copland’s “Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo” concluded the night’s performance. Copland’s tribute expressed a cowgirl‘s first failed attempts to attract the romantic attentions of the head cowhand. The musical adventure ends well, as we imagined the coupled riding off into the American prairie sunset
The Dearborn Symphony’s 49th anniversary season series concludes May 20. The concert “Fire and Water” will feature the youth artist solo completion winners. The winners will play side-by-side with the Dearborn Symphony.
Tickets range from $10 to $30.
For more information call (313) 565 or go to www.dearbornsymphony.org.