KEARNEY – Kearney Symphony Orchestra will present “Love Stories Old and New” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Merryman Performing Arts Center, 225 W. 22nd St.
The concert features the UNK Brass and Percussion Ensemble, as well as the full orchestra, and includes works by George Gershwin, Felix Mendelssohn, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and UNK associate music professor Anthony Donofrio.
Tickets for the in-person performance are $10 for adults and free for UNK students and children younger than 18. They can be purchased by calling the UNK Box Office at 308-865-8417 and are also available at the Merryman Performing Arts Center one hour before the concert. Seating is general admission and socially distanced. Attendees are required to wear face masks. The concert will also be livestreamed at unk.edu/music.
The program opens with Gershwin’s iconic work “An American in Paris,” arranged for brass and percussion, followed by the fiery and musically athletic third movement of Mendelssohn’s “Concerto for Violin in E Minor” featuring UNK Concerto/Aria Competition winner Joshua Wetovick, an English and music double major from Fullerton. Wetovick has studied violin since the age of 8 and performed with the Kearney Symphony Orchestra and UNK’s Choraleers, Collegium and Thornton String Quartet. He plays his great-grandmother’s violin.
Following a 20-minute intermission, the second half of the concert premieres Donofrio’s “Poem,” a new work commissioned by the orchestra. Donofrio’s music has been featured nationally and internationally. He teaches composition, theory and 20th century music history and directs the New Music Ensemble at UNK. Donofrio also organizes the UNK New Music Series and Festival. Tuesday’s concert concludes with Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet Fantasy – Overture.”
“The seasonal theme of this concert reflects the emotional mood or story of each piece,” said Kearney Symphony Orchestra conductor and director Alison Gaines, an assistant professor of music and Ronald J. Crocker Chair of Orchestra at UNK. “The warmth and glow of autumn is reflected in the third movement of the Mendelssohn piece, while the sorrowful story of Romeo and Juliet is reminiscent of the cold and bleak winter in the lives of these star-crossed lovers. The Gershwin work reveals the hustle and bustle of a warm summer day in Paris, filled with cars and pedestrians sharing crowded streets. Finally, the new work by Anthony Donofrio mirrors the hope of spring and KSO’s return to live performances.”
Kearney Symphony Orchestra is comprised of UNK faculty and students and instrumentalists from communities across the region.