Reminder: Vespers Concert to kick off holiday music season

11/27/17

HAYS, Kan. – The winter musical season begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at St. Joseph Church, 215 W. 13 St., with the Hays Symphony Orchestra’s Winter Vespers Concert.

An introductory talk on religious symbolism in art will be presented by Fort Hays State University art and design instructor Erica Bittel and FHSU Department of Music and Theatre Chair Ben Cline at 7 p.m. This is a change from the originally scheduled speaker.

The concert will feature the orchestra’s string section. “Elegy for Strings,” by Elliott Carter, followed by Ennio Morricone’s heartrendingly beautiful “Gabriel’s Oboe,” with Kay Werth, oboe, will transport the audience into a world of joy and peace.

Kristin Pisano, clarinet, continues the thoughtful mood with the first movement (only) of Aaron Copland’s “Clarinet Concerto,” originally commissioned by Benny Goodman.

John Tavener’s “Protecting Veil,” with Benjamin Cline, cello, will end the concert. The piece celebrates the feast of the Intercession of Mary, an important holy day in the Russian Orthodox Church. The “veil” conveys the image of Mary spreading out her robe to protect us all.

Tavener has said of his piece, “I have tried to capture some of the almost cosmic power of the Mother of God. The cello represents [her] and never stops singing throughout. One can think of the strings as a gigantic extension of her unending song.”

While all ages are always welcome at Hays Symphony concerts, younger audience members may be challenged by the length (45 minutes) and by the slow, meditative nature of “Protecting Veil,” said Cathy Drabkin, publicity coordinator for the orchestra.

The concert is free, but tickets will be available at the door 30 minutes before the concert or in advance at the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau. In addition, ticket vouchers may be requested by contacting hayssymphony@fhsu.edu. Post-concert treats are sponsored by the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

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