The Bedford Community Orchestra will be performing its Fall Benefit Concert for the Performing Arts programs on October 28th at 7:30 in the Bedford Middle School Auditorium. This concert will be featuring music from many different styles and flavors. While each piece is unique in its own way, the orchestra plans to create an overall musical experience for the audience to enjoy.
West Side Story, by Leonard Bernstein, is one of many of Bernstein’s musical masterpieces. West Side Story is a musical that debuted on Broadway in 1957. The story revolves around two rival gangs: the Jets and the Sharks. The music of West Side Story ranges from soft and serene, too jazzy and powerful. The Bedford Community Orchestra will be playing selections from the musical; “I Feel Pretty”, “Maria”, “Something’s Coming”, “Tonight”, “One Hand, One Heart “, “Cool ” , and “America”.
One of the most well known classical waltzes is Johann Strauss, Jr.’s On the Beautiful Blue Danube. Composed in 1867, The Blue Danube Waltz is written with a short introduction, followed by five unique sections and is tied together by the coda. Due to the Viennese influence, it is considered an unofficial Austrian national anthem. This waltz has been played in many movies as well as cartoons.
“Farandole” from L’Arlesienne Suite No. 2 by eorges Bizet is another well-known piece in the classical literature. L’Arlesienne No. 2 was published after Bizet’s death. Ernest Guiraud collected themes from Bizet’s L’Arlesienne No. 1 to create the second suite, but Bizet is credited for writing the suite due to the suite being based on his themes. “Farandole” is a dance that is popular in the area of Nice, France.
Johannes Brahms’ “Blessed Are They” from A German Requiem, was written between 1865 and 1868. The work was originally written for orchestra and chorus, with various soloists. The piece is sacred but non-liturgical. German from the title refers to the language of the piece and not of its intended audience. “Blessed Are They” begins as a very quiet peaceful moment and gradually increases into many musical lines with strong deliberation incorporating many tonal textures and eventually ends in much of the same way that it begins.
As with most Bedford Community Orchestra Fall Concerts, the orchestra will be playing a piece for the holidays. This season will be the traditional tune Greensleeves. Greensleeves is a traditional English folk song that is about a love for a lady that has been rejected. While the song is not of the holiday spirit itself, the song “What Child is This?”, based on this beautiful and haunting melody, is considered a Christmas carol. The Orchestra will be performing an arrangement by Alfred Reed who embellishes the traditional classic song in his own unique style.
The BCO will also be playing two pieces with Mexican influences. The Children of Sanchez, a composition by renowned flugelhorn player Chuck Mangione, was the title song of the 1978 film of the same title. The film, directed by Hall Bartlett, was based on a book written by Oscar Lewis about a widower farmer trying to take care of his family in Mexico City. The song won the 1978 Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
Grenada, written by Mexican composer Agustin Lara, is of Spanish influence. Lara was given a house in Grenada by the El Caudillo of Spain, Francisco Franco, in 1965. Grenada is based on the city to which his house in Spain resided. Grenada contains many different styles, from the fanfare- ish “bullfighter” beginning, the soothing dance in the middle, to the fast and frenetic finish.
By using many musical styles, the BCO endeavors to carry the listeners through a musical journey around the different styles that will be performed. The Fall Concert hopes to not only expose the audience to familiar tunes, but to others that may not be as well known. Through the use of the familiar and the not-so familiar, the BCO will provide an overall enjoyable music experience for both young and old to enjoy.