Symphony to present first concert of 2016-17 season Tuesday


The Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra will perform its first concert of the 2016-17 season Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall.

Dr. Douglas Bakenhus is musical director of the orchestra. Tickets are $10. Northwestern State University, BPCC@NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts students are admitted free with a current student I.D.

The program is “Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg” Prelude by Richard Wagner, Mozart’s “Symphony No. 34 in C Major,” Franz Schubert’s “Symphony No. 8 in B Minor Unfinished” and “Russian Sailor’s Dance” from “The Red Poppy” by Reinhold Gliere.

The concert is dedicated to Dr. Steve Horton, executive director of the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts. Horton, a member of Northwestern State’s faculty for 26 years served as vice provost, chief academic officer, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School and head of the Department of Journalism. He is a former president of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Society and a supporter of the School of Creative and Performing Arts.

The work by Wagner is a story about a singer’s guild contest.

“These contests among members of the singer’s guild were quite common and were a popular form of entertainment,” said Bakenhus. “It has several themes including a love theme where the winner of the contest wins the girl. The work ends with all of the themes at the same time which is quite majestic.”

Bakenhus said scholars have been unable to determine why Schubert did not finish his “Symphony No. 8.”

“He contracted an illness while he was composing this symphony, but he later went on to complete another symphony,” said Bakenhus. “The first movement was cloudy while the second was sunny. Perhaps he wasn’t inspired to do anything else.”

The season will include a performance by the NSU Chamber Orchestra at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. The concert will feature Louisiana composers Kenneth Olson, Nettie Chenevert and Northwestern State faculty.

The annual Pops Concert will be on Monday, Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. The concert will feature Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” and Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” along with music from the films “Harry Potter” and “Psycho.” The orchestra will be lead by a special guest conductor recently called up from the beyond.

On Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, the symphony will be part of the annual Christmas Gala in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium.

The first concert of 2017 on Tuesday, Feb. 7 will feature oboist Leah Forsyth, a member of NSU’s faculty, performing Mozart’s “Oboe Concerto.” The program will also include Ravel’s “Mother Goose Suite,” Beethoven’s “Fidelio Overture” and “Huapango” by Jose Pablo Moncayo.

Winners of the annual NSU Concerto Competition will be featured in a concert on Monday, March 13. The orchestra will perform Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 8.”

The final concert of the season will feature the symphony with the NSU Symphony Chorus on Tuesday, April 25.