Hays Symphony announces season focused on American, English masterworks

HSO Brochure

By Cathy Drabkin
HSO Publicity Coordinator
HAYS, Kan. - The FHSU Hays Symphony Orchestra's 2017-18 season will feature music of American and English composers over the course of seven concerts.

The performances range from combined symphony-choir masterworks to intimate chamber concerts, from jazzy musical valentines to a children's Halloween drama, from the countryside of England to the broad expanse of America's heartland. A melting pot of musical styles, ensembles, musicians, and tributes to homeland will be presented.

All performances except the Winter Vespers Concert will be in the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center in Sheridan Hall on the FHSU campus.

The season's concerts:

Opening Gala Concert, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30. FHSU's Shah Sadikov conducts an all-American program of works by Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein, with Brenda Meder of the Hays Arts Council narrating. The Gala will feature special activities to kick off the season. Dr. Paul Laird, professor of music at the University of Kansas, will present a pre-concert lecture on the evening's music at 6:45 pm. The concert is sponsored by a generous donation from Auto World (Kay and Dick Werth), with a post-concert reception sponsored by Werth Wealth Management.

Children's Halloween Concert, 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29. "A Fairy Hallow's Eve," an original musical drama written by nationally-recognized and local playwright Catherine Trieschmann, will be presented with the symphony providing musical accompaniment. Directed by Erin Renard and conducted by Jonathan Lane, the performance features local adult and youth actors. The afternoon also includes a variety of pre-concert activities for children, starting at 2 p.m. This project is supported by a grant from the Dane G. Hansen Community Grant Fund through the Heartland Community Foundation. Trick-or-Treat Goodie Bags for participants are sponsored by Keith and Sandra Gottschalk.

New Music Festival, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4. Under the direction of Artist Director Dr. Kristin Pisano, this concert will feature the music of living composers. Musicians include Hilary Shepard, flute, Pisano, clarinet, Jim Pisano, saxophone, Sadikov, violin and viola, Ben Cline cello, Dr. Joe Perniciaro, tenor, and Dr. Irena Ravitskaya, piano. A post-concert reception will hosted by Nex-Tech.

Winter Vespers Concert, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Hays. This performance features FHSU faculty soloists Kay Werth, Pisano and Cline, accompanied by the HSO strings offering a relaxing program of introspective, lyrical and spiritual music of the 20th century. A pre-concert talk will be presented by Sadikov at 7 p.m. Post-concert treats are sponsored by the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Cottonwood Festival Concert, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27. This string chamber music festival will feature FHSU and guest artists performing works of Elgar and Schoenberg. Artists include Véronique Mathieu, violin; Evgeny Zvonnikov, violin; Rodolf Haken, viola; Sadikov, viola and conductor; Sunnat Ibrahim, cello; Cline, cello; and Ravitskaya, piano. A pre-concert talk offered by Cline and Sadikov will start at 7 p.m. This concert and the Cottonwood Festival are sponsored by a generous donation from Claire Matthews. The post-concert reception is sponsored by Cathy's Breads.

Valentine's Concert, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. FHSU's Brad Dawson, flugelhorn soloist and conductor, and Sadikov, conductor, present romantic music of Edward Elgar, Duke Ellington, Percy Grainger and Frank Mantooth. The pre-concert talk will be presented at 7 p.m., and the post-concert reception is sponsored by Insurance Planning.

Grand Finale Concert, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 28th. The FHSU Choirs and the Smoky Hill Chorale take the stage with the Hays Symphony in a performance of the Carmina Burana, with Dr. Terry Crull conducting. Crull will present a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. This concert is sponsored by a generous grant from Dr. Michael Meade. The post-reception is sponsored by Downtown Hays Development Corporation, and a President's Donors Party (by invitation) is sponsored by Chartwells.

Like last season, the symphony will continue offering all its concerts free of charge to the public, though free-will donations are welcome. Free tickets are available at the door 30 minutes before the concert start, or in advance by contacting hayssymphony@fhsu.edu.

Hays Symphony season brochures with additional details about each concert will be mailed out at the end of August and may be requested by contacting hayssymphony@fhsu.edu. In addition, the symphony maintains a Facebook page which features additional information about the music, soloists and special events associated with each concert.

For additional information, contact FHSU Department of Music and Theatre, (785) 628-4533.

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