EYO opens season Thursday in Oxford with Fall Formal
The Etowah Youth Orchestra’s 2022-23 season, carrying the theme “Darkness Into Light,” gets underway Thursday with the Fall Formal, to be held at 7 p.m. at the Oxford Performing Arts Center.
"The EYO’s exploration of the concept of dark and light addresses topics of war and peace, minor and major keys, tension and release, conflict and resolution, good guys and bad guys, etc.," Music Director Michael Gagliardo said of the theme, which applies to all three of the group's scheduled performances. "We can also look at things on a more global basis — the 'end' of the pandemic, the struggles in Ukraine, etc."
Thursday's installment is called “Songs of Strife, Songs of Unity,” and will feature art, classical, film and theater music focusing on themes of conflict resolution.
The EYO’s three ensembles will, according to a news release, “delve into themes of war and peace, good over evil, tension and release and more" in the Fall Formal.
The Etowah Youth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by EYO Music Director Michael Gagliardo will perform the overture from George Frideric Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks,” Aaron Copeland’s “Letter from Home,” the Turkish March from Ludwig von Beethoven’s “The Ruins of Athens” and Michael Kamen’s “Band of Brothers” suite for orchestra.
The Etowah Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Deborah Boos, will perform a fantasy on Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Sleepers Awake,” Jay Ungar’s “Ashokan Farewell” from Ken Burns’ “The Civil War,” an arrangement of “Amazing Grace,” Ralph Ford’s “Go West!” medley of Western film themes, Ludwig Goransson’s “The Mandalorian” from “Star Wars: The Mandalorian” and Dennis Eveland’s “Hill Country Celebration.”
The Etowah String Sinfonia, conducted by Bryce Anderson, will perform Lettie Niehaus’ “Rondo for Strings,” Aleksandr Borodin’s “Polovetsian Dance,” Bach’s “Badinerie” and Don Brubaker’s “Procession of the Knights.”
The EYO’s other two concerts, the Rock and Roll Christmas on Dec. 17 and the Spring Formal on April 16, also will be at the Oxford center, 100 Choccolocco St., which Gagliardo called “an amazing facility.”
He added, “Audience members who have not yet experienced a performance there will be absolutely blown away by the venue. While it is our hope to get back into Wallace Hall when all of the HVAC renovations are 100% completed, we want to make sure that for this season we give our performers and our audience members the opportunity to present and attend concerts in a first-class space.
“We know that audiences will definitely not be disappointed,” Gagliardo said.
The Christmas concert, titled “Lux Tenebras Expellit,” will feature selections by Mariah Carey, Rodney Crowell, John Lennon, Kacey Musgraves, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Carrie Underwood.
“From Discord Emerges Harmony” is the theme for the Spring Formal. According to the news release, the program will be designed to “take listeners on a sonic journey, examining the traditions of both Western classical and popular music. Audience members will get a crash course on what makes music sound pleasing to the ear, and how dissonance is an important part of the musical process in arriving at a harmonious conclusion.”
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students (K-12 and college) and $5 for children, and are available at https://my.oxfordpac.org/0/709?z=0.
The Etowah Youth Orchestras is a project of the Gadsden Cultural Arts Foundation.