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Orchestra To Present Passionate Program On Oct. 5

Sept. 27, 2012
SHSU Media Contact: Kim Mathie

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Zachary Carrettin, orchestra conductor
Zachary Carrettin, who has performed all over the world, is one of the School of Music's newest faculty members. He will be leading the Symphony Orchestra this year, including for its first performance on Oct. 5. —Submitted photo

Conductor Zachary Carrettin will lead the SHSU Symphony Orchestra in a dynamic season-opening program that traverses the complicated terrain of “Love, Betrayal and Tragedy” on Friday (Oct. 5).

Designed to “challenge the orchestra and excite the audience,” as well as “keep the student musicians interested and involved,” the concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center’s Payne Concert Hall, according to Carrettin, an accomplished conductor, composer and violinist who joined the School of Music this fall as visiting conductor for the orchestra.

“I’m really impressed with the unequivocal love of music these students express, their excitement about art and music,” said Carrettin. “They’re very interested in the music we’re playing and in the way we’re playing it.”

“Love, Betrayal and Tragedy” will open with “Montage,” by Carl Ahrendt, of whom Carrettin said “has his own harmonic language.”

“The work is pieced together as a montage and could easily be incorporated into a film score,” he said. “The content of the work is distinctly American, lyrical, driven and exciting.

“It definitely shows off our excellent student brass instrument players,” continued Carrettin. “It also reveals that sublime acoustic space of the Concert Hall.”

The next piece is one of two suites that inspired the title of the program “Pelleas et Melisande Suite” by Gabriel Faure.

“It’s based on a story of love, betrayal and tragedy and is an important orchestral works for the students to learn,” Carrettin said. “‘Pelleas et Melisande’ features beautiful, lush string harmonies and expansive woodwind solos. The trumpets tend to play a supporting role in this piece, so they have the opportunity to exhibit subtle orchestra playing, controlling the tone colors, dynamics and articulation.”

The concert will then transition from the heady passions of love and betrayal to an 18th century baroque piece, “Bassoon Concerto in E Minor” by Vivaldi—described as rock and roll of the 18th century—that will feature new School of Music faculty member Nathan Koch as bassoon soloist.

“Dr. Koch is a virtuoso bassoon player who performs with aplomb and captivating expression. I’ve reduced the size of the string section to a size more appropriate to the early 18th century,” Carrettin said. “We’ll also have a harpsichord in the ensemble as well.

“Vivaldi’s music has a kind of rock and roll quality to it: a driving, rhythmic force, a repetitive quality but with variation that makes it interesting, and accentuated writing that makes me think of power chords on the guitar. It’s not very conservative at all,” he said. “Sometimes there are renditions of his music that are pleasant, and I think that does a disservice to him.”

The last piece on the program is “Suite No. 1 from Carmen” by Bizet, who wrote the opera “Carmen,” as well as this version for the concert stage.

“It has all the great tunes that we know and love,” said Carrettin. “This suite features exotic percussion parts, a tambourine player and great woodwind solos—bassoon, clarinet, oboe and flute—as well as large string parts, including two harps. We get to really bring everyone on stage for this.”

Though he has been at SHSU for a short time, Carrettin, who has performed around the country and abroad, said he impressed with the caliber of students in the School of Music.

“Some of the students in the orchestra are playing in five ensembles. In any given week they have two rehearsals per ensemble. So they are playing 10 rehearsals a week plus a full load of classes, plus private practice. The commitment from the students is extraordinary,” he said. “I wanted to reciprocate the students’ commitment by programming a diversity of music that would speak to everyone.”

Carrettin said he hopes that he can provide thoughtful programming throughout the year that not only teaches these students important repertory pieces but also challenges them with each new program so that they progress as musicians.

“When planning an entire year of programs, I consider what the students need to learn as future professionals and as future teachers of music,” said Carrettin. “My challenge and my goal is to inspire the orchestral musicians to go beyond what they thought was possible in their own playing.”

Tickets for the “Love, Betrayal and Tragedy” concert are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, and $5 for SHSU students.

To make reservations, contact the GPAC Box Office at 936.294.2339 or to buy online, visit http://www.shsu.edu/academics/fine-arts-and-mass-communication/online-boxoffice.html.



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