The Division of Fine and Performing Arts
The Department of Music
JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY
The Jacksonville State University
Auditorium, Anniston High School
Sunday afternoon, 3:00 pm
April 25, 1999
The Red Mountain Chamber Orchestra
AMATEUR (from amator, lover): one who engages in a pursuit ... as a pastime rather than as a profession. -- Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. The Red Mountain Chamber Orchestra, founded 18 years ago, wears its amateur status proudly. Its members typically number about 50. They include a physics professor, an emergency room chief, two dentists, a CPA, several research scientists, the head of the string education program at ASFA, and many band and string teachers.
With ages ranging from 17 to 79, the most veteran of us played in the Birmingham Civic Symphony of the 1930's; the youngest of us are students at a university, college, or high school in the area. All of us are bound together by a passion that leads us to work on concert material well before rehearsals for the sake of the music. Most of us studied our instruments seriously in university music departments and at conservatories before finding other sources of daily income.
RMCO is based in Birmingham, though with several members outside Jefferson County. Although completely independent as to policies, we have for several years rehearsed and performed at Birmingham-Southern College thanks to the generosity of the College. We are proud to be an adjunct of the Birmingham-Southern College Division of Fine and Performing Arts. We are grateful to Jacksonville State University for the opportunity to combine with the Jax State players for this concert.
We exist as a musical force because of the support of many who like what we do. They include not only 'Southern, but financial supporters such as the Alabama State Council on the Arts and a number of private donors. RMCO would like to thank Jim Pipkin for assisting with rehearsals for this concert. We are grateful to Dr. Jan Hurd, Superintendent, Anniston City Schools, and to Dr. Sidney Brown, Principal, Anniston High School, for making it possible for us to perform here. And our volunteers. You know who you are.
The Jacksonville State University Chamber Orchestra (JSUCO) is a college-community orchestra founded in January 1994 by Dr. Victor Vallo, its Music Director. Under the auspices of Jacksonville State University, JSUCO is primarily a string ensemble that specializes in the music of the Baroque, Classical, and early Romantic eras of music. It is open to all high school and college students, JSU faculty and staff,and to all community members from the region. Performances have included the annual Kaleidoscope series at JSU as well as at various churches and community centers in the Jacksonville and Anniston areas. For more information on membership, rehearsals, concerts, etc., please call the JSU Music Department at 782-5559 or 782-5048.
VICTOR VALLO is an Associate Professor of Music at Jacksonville State University, where he is University Supervisor for Student Teaching (Music) and Music Director of the JSU Chamber Orchestra, now in its 6th season. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Syracuse University, a Master of Music from George Washington University and a Ph.D. in Music Education with an emphasis in orchestral conducting from the University of Florida.
Dr. Vallo has been guest conductor and orchestral clinician for the Arkansas and Alabama Music Educators Associations, where he is presently the President of the Higher Education Division. He has conducted orchestras in Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, and Alabama and is presently the Conductor of the Alabama Youth Symphony (Alabama School of Fine Arts-M.O.P. Program).
Clarinetist GREGORY BARRETT has been a member of the music department at Jacksonville State University since 1996. He is a native of Buffalo, New York, and holds degrees from Indiana, SUNY/Buffalo, and Northwestern Universities. His principal teachers were James Pyne, James Campbell, and Clark Brody. Inspired by the music of Jean Sibelius, Dr. Barrett has developed a wide-reaching interest in Finnish music and culture. In 1992 the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs sponsored his research in Finland, which resulted in his dissertation on works by three contemporary Finnish composers and a recording project for ALBA CDs, The Finnish Clarinet. Dr. Barrett regularly performs with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and has been a member of orchestras in Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia. In 1998 he performed at the Finnish Embassy in Washington, D.C., and at the International Clarinet Association's ClarinetFest '98.
Soprano MELANIE WILLIAMS is assistant professor of voice and opera at the University of Montevallo. She received her M.M. and D.M.A. in voice from Louisiana State University, where she studied with Martina Arroyo. Dr. Williams has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras and performed roles with opera companies throughout the region. She most recently sang the role of Monica in the Alabama OperaWorks production of Menotti's The Medium and was a guest artist with the Arkansas Symphony for a Valentine's program of the music of Lerner & Loewe.
The Jacksonville State University Chamber Orchestra Players
Susie Francis Dempsey
THE RED MOUNTAIN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA PLAYERS
Brian van Tine
The Jacksonville State University
Victor Vallo, Conductor
Overture to "The Magic Flute" K. 620 Wolfgang A. Mozart
Clarinet Concerto K. 622 W. A. Mozart
Gregory Barrett, Clarinet
--- Intermission ---
Exsultate, Jubilate (Motet) K. 165 W. A. Mozart
Melanie Williams, Soprano
I. Exsultate, jubilate
Symphony No. 35 ("Haffner") K. 385 W. A. Mozart
I. Allegro con spirito
III. Minuetto and Trio
Overture to "The Magic Flute"
Mozart finished his final opera on September 28, 10 weeks before he died at the age of 35.
The Magic Flute is an entertaining pantomime-like tale about a prince, attended by a comic bird-catcher, who is ultimately united in an ideal marriage with a damsel formerly in distress.
It is also a serious allegory about the nature of man and his search for harmony within himself. Both aspects are heard in the Overture.
The very first three chords are drawn from 18th century central European music from the Freemason rituals. Betweenthese profound chords we hear a quick, carefree, almost frivolous theme.
Clarinet Concerto in A
Mozart's love of the clarinet began when he was a boy of seven. As a touring prodigy, he first heard the instrument in the Mannheim Orchestra, then in London and Paris. Today's concerto was written for his friend, the virtuoso Anton Stadler, a member of the Imperial Court Orchestra and fellow Freemason. It was the last major work from Mozart's pen before his death.
A week after The Magic Flute premiered he wrote his wife that he had orchestrated the concerto.
The orchestral introduction opens with a gently caressing theme in the strings. The clarinet solo sections all begin on a dynamic and pitch level that brings out the almost velvety, sensuous tone of the instrument. When the solo clarinet takes up the theme the effect is gentler. Touches of melancholy are never far away, even in the sunniest moments of the lively first and third movements.
The slow movement opens with a melody that must be one of the most beautiful ever written. It is sung by the solo clarinet without any orchestral introduction. It is hard to believe this seraphic melody is based on one of the most popular cliches of 18th century classicism – a phrase used perhaps hundreds of times, by Mozart's contemporaries, but never with this unexplainable magic.
W.A. Mozart: Exsultate, Jubilate
In Mozart's day composers wrote sacred music as a matter of course. this motet, written at age 16, depicts the Madonna. The opening exclamation is in the Neapolitan style of opera. the finale is complete with virtuoso fioriture. It was first performed by the "promo uomo" (the principal singer and castrato) in 1773 in the Thiatine Church in Milan.
Symphony No. 35, the Haffner
When Salzburg's mayor Sigmund Haffner was elevated to the nobility, the town's favorite son was asked to write a serenade for the festivities at the mayor's mansion.
Six months later the composer needed a new symphony in a hurry for a series of concerts. He trimmed the serenade's six movements to four, and added flutes and clarinets. The dignity of Mayor Haffner's new rank is depicted in the opening theme of the first movement with its lordly octaves for the entire orchestra, and the added pomp of kettledrums. The development section is richer and bolder than was customary in light entertainment.
The slow movement has the simpler graces of the serenade style, with its seductive melodic lines of the violins. The minuet recalls Haydn, with vigorous peasant dance inspiration.
Mozart asked to have the finale performed as fast as possible. It is airy and witty.
Notes by Oliver Roosevelt
Did you enjoy today's program?
Contributions are much needed by the Red Mountaineers for the purchase/rental of music and other expenses. A cash contribution would be appreciated. If you have questions, call Suzanne Beaudry at 254-3774. We qualify as a non-profit organization under Chapter 401-C.
Please sign our registration book in the foyer so that we may keep you informed of future RMCO concerts. Thanks.
1998-1999 - 18th Season of the RMCO
October 18, 7 pm, Hill Hall, Birmingham-Southern College.
Tom Gibbs of Birmingham-Southern College conducting.
Haydn, Symphony No. 82, The Bear
Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto, with Ken Watson, soloist
November 22, 3 pm, Tyson Hall, Vestavia Hills Methodist.
Mark Ridings, music director, Vestavia Hills Methodist Church and Birmingham Concert Chorale, conducting.
Tschaikovsky, Andante Cantabile, from String Quartet, op. 11
Leopold Mozart, The Toy Symphony
January 23, Saturday, 7 pm, Trinity Methodist Church. Benefit Concert for Lithuania, in conjunction with the General Global Ministries of the Methodist Church. With members of the Magic City Orchestra
Steve Barnett of Minnesota Public Radio, conducting
Butterfly Songs, by Jeanne Barnett
February 21, 3 pm, Auditorium, Altamont School.
Robert Wright of University of Montevallo, conducting.
Beethoven, Symphony No. 8, op. 93, in F
Mozart, Exultate, Jubulate, and a work by J.C. Bach
April 25, 3 pm, Anniston High School, Anniston, AL.
Victor Vallo of Jacksonville State University, conducting.
All-Mozart program, with the strings of Jax State Orchestra
May 9, 3 pm, Birmingham Botanical Gardens,
upstairs in the Ireland Room.
A Mother's Day concert of small ensemble works
May 23, 3:30 pm, location TBA.
A band concert by the Red Mountain Symphonic Winds, conducted by Harry McAfee of Shades Valley High School.
June 23, 3 pm, Auditorium, Birmingham Museum of Art.