Marshall Orchestra to present diversity-themed family concert

The Marshall University Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Elizabeth Reed Smith, will present its annual Family Concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, in Marshall’s Smith Recital Hall.

The Family Concert features the winner of the Young People’s Concert Competition, sponsored by the Huntington Women’s Club. This year’s winner is Charleston pianist Matthew Sivaprakasam, who will perform George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the orchestra. A senior at George Washington High School, Sivaprakasam studies piano with Vicki Berneking-Cavendish and plays violin in the West Virginia Youth Symphony.

The title of this year’s Family Concert is “A Musical Diversity.” The program includes a march by Anne Amalia, Princess of Prussia, written in the 1760s; a 1780 overture by Chevalier de Saint-Georges, mixed-race son of a Frenchman and an African slave; the “Sobra las Olas” Waltz by Mexican composer Juventino Rosas; “Rhapsody in Blue” by the Jewish composer Gershwin; “Ragtime Dance” by African American Scott Joplin; and three of the “Saudades do Brasil” by Darius Milhaud, who spent much of his life in a wheelchair. The concert will open with Michael Torke’s “Tiger in the Sun,” a fanfare commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund in 2011 to call attention to the endangered status of tigers in the wild due to human encroachment on their territory, poaching and climate change.

Families with children are welcome to attend. The concert will be narrated by Gabriel Gray, senior vocal music education major at Marshall, and will last no more than an hour.

The performance is free and open to the public; donations will be accepted.

Now in its 56th year, the Young People’s Concert also takes place the morning of March 7 at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center for all the fifth graders in Cabell County. The evening Family Concert is an expanded version of the same program.

For further information, please contact the Marshall University School of Music at 304-696-3117.