March 13, 2015 – 7:30 PM – Friday

First United Methodist Church – Round Rock – Directions

March 14, 2015 – 7:30 PM – Saturday

Klett Performing Arts Center – Georgetown – Directions

Dr Thomas E. Rainey, Director of Music, has selected the theme “March Madness” for the Williamson County Symphony Orchestra’s spring 2015 concert series. The Orchestra continues its “pops” concert format mixing classical, contemporary, and movie/tv based music into a highly entertaining concert tailored for all: families with children, seniors, adults. The Friday March 13 concert will be performed at First United Methodist Church in Round Rock and the Saturday March 14 concert at Klett Performing Arts Center in Georgetown, both starting at 7:30 PM.

While the nation is into Basketball March Madness, the Orchestra’s FREE “March Madness” concerts actually focus on the “March” style of music. Across the spectrum of music, listeners are constantly surprised by the versatility of this musical form of composition.

The concert will start off with Georges Bizet’s dazzling interpretation of toreadors marching into the Spanish bullring in the famous “March of the Toreadors” from his opera Carmen. Then it is on to Cairo where Johann Strauss Junior paints the musical picture of a processional march of Egyptian soldiers. The piece, “Egyptian March” was played shortly after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.

Robert Wendel, US renown contemporary composer of music, has created a piece which puts on display the wondrous sounds that a percussion section can generate. The “Parade of the Percussionists” spotlights all five of the Orchestra’s percussionists and special guest, Professor of Percussion George Frock, rapidly moving between the numerous percussion instruments accompanied by the orchestra.

The Orchestra next tackles a purely classical piece. Shakespeare in 1596 penned the comedy play Midsummer Night’s Dream. In 1842, starting first at age 17 and then again at 33, composer Felix Mendelssohn set the classical play to music and, as a part of the play, created the world famous “Wedding March“. Then for a complete change of pace, the Orchestra performs the world premiere of its Composer-In-Residence Dr M L Daniels’ arrangement of a musical theme that he has titled “Creation Dawns” which portray the slow march of creation into full glory.

Denmark’s greatest composer, Carl Nielsen, created his “Aladdin Suite” in 1918 for the Danish verse describing the story of Aladdin. The Orchestra next performs the rich, dark, haunting sounds of the “Oriental Festive March“. And what concert dedicated to marches could ever be played without including the European audience favorite “Radetzky March” by Johann Strauss Senior which always gets the Viennese audiences clapping.

The Orchestra loves to perform John Williams music since he is one of the greatest movie composer of all. He really knows how to compose a march which will be heard next. Who can ever think of superman, no matter how many other movies come out, without hearing his driving rhythms and triplet note start to the musical theme in “Superman March” from the 1978 movie. Finally, the musical theme of the true super men of the Roman world – the Roman Legions – is found in Respighi’s finale from his tone poem the Pines of Rome. The Orchestra finishes the concert with “The Pines of the Appian Way” which portrays the early morning approach of the troops marching toward the city with their shields reflecting the morning light, their spear tips sparkling, approaching nearer and nearer, steady pace, until the ground shakes as the mighty legion reaches glorious, ancient Rome.

This is the nationally-recognized Orchestra’s 97 & 98 concerts in its thirteen season; and, just maybe, there is also a John Phillip Souza march to be played.