February 16th, 2010 by Adam

Photo: Jonathan McPhee

Plymouth, N.H.— The Nashua Symphony Orchestra (NSO), New Hampshire’s oldest professional orchestra, has been delighting New Hampshire audiences for generations.
Led by Music Director Jonathan McPhee, the NSO will be joined by its affiliated Symphony Chorus and celebrated baritone Phillip Lima for a family-friendly program celebrating this state’s history of creative inspiration, at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26 at Plymouth State University.

In addition, the Kennett High School chorus from North Conway will join the NSO Chorus for “Help is on the Way,” by composer Kevin Siegfried, a resident of Dover.

The program will be presented in Hanaway Theatre at the Silver Center for the Arts.

“Made in New Hampshire” will feature music that has a connection to the Granite State, either through history (Bernard Herrmann’s “Devil and Daniel Webster”), the MacDowell Colony (music of Bernstein and Gershwin), or by presenting the music of a current New Hampshire composer, Joseph Schwantner, whose “Chasing Light …” is a kind of musical love letter to the natural beauty of the state.

Schwantner, a Pulitzer Prize-winner, was selected as composer for the second round of the “Ford Made in America” program, the largest orchestral co-commissioning program in U.S. history.

“Chasing Light …” is inspired in part by a poem written by Schwantner. Explaining his sources, Schwantner said, “‘Chasing Light … ‘ draws its spirit, energy and inspiration from the celebration of vibrant colors and light that penetrate the morning mist as it wafts through the trees in the high New England hills. Like a delicate dance, those images intersected with a brief original poem that helped fire my musical imagination.” [Shott Music]

Schwantner has enjoyed particular success in the orchestral world. After winning the Pulitzer Prize for “Aftertones of Infinity,” Schwantner composed “New Morning for the World: Daybreak of Freedom” for narrator and orchestra, based on words from Martin Luther King Jr., which has since entered the standard repertory of orchestras nationwide.

Tickets are $35-20 for adults, $33-18 for seniors and $25-10 for youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-ARTS (2787) or (800) 779-3869.

For information contact Diane Jeffrey, djeffrey@plymouth.edu or (603) 535-2874.

This NSO tour is sponsored by Citizens Bank and generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Joseph Schwantner’s “Chasing Light…” is made possible by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The Plymouth concert is sponsored by The Common Man Inn.

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