Independent Minds, Working Together

Wooster Symphony Orchestra to premiere music of Wooster's award-winning composers

21 February, 2014 by Karol Crosbie

The Wooster Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Jeffrey Lindberg, Wooster professor of music, will perform the music of living composers Friday, February 28, at 7:30 p.m. in McGaw Chapel (340 E. University St.), on the campus of The College of Wooster.

Jung Yoon Wie, pianist and composer, will perform the premiere of her Jindo Arirang Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. Wie, who incorporated variations of a Korean folk melody in her composition, explains its title: “’Jindo’ is an island located off the southernmost edge of Korea. ‘Ari’ means ‘beautiful.’” A senior in composition from Seoul, South Korea, Wie is the winner of the 2012 Young and Emerging Composers Competition and received honorable mention in the International Sejong Music Composition competition. Wie, who has received numerous awards for piano performance excellence, has also performed as violinist in the Wooster Symphony Orchestra, has sung in the Wooster Chorus, and performed with a Wooster jazz combo.

Also premiering is the first movement of Symphony of the Fallen, by senior Daniel Catalano. A music major and religious studies minor, Catalano found the inspiration for his five-movement symphony in the story of Lucifer, the fallen angel in John Milton’s Paradise Lost. The entire symphony, (Catalano’s Independent Study) will be performed as his senior recital on April 13. Catalano will conduct the concert, which will include two vocal soloists, 53 instrumentalists, 40 chorus members, and a 20-member children’s choir.

Also premiering is Concertino for Oboe and String Orchestra, by senior composition major Spencer Brown. The symphony represents an orchestration of Brown’s earlier quartet for oboe, violin, viola, and cello. Solo oboist is Cynthia Warren, who teaches oboe and English horn at The College of Wooster and plays English horn and oboe with the Canton, Akron, and Wheeling Symphonies, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, and the Pittsburgh Opera.

Bookending the evening’s concert are two overtures by father and son, Jack and Ryan Gallagher. Jack Gallagher, the Olive Williams Kettering Professor of Music (and major professor for student composers featured on this concert), wrote Diversions Overture for the Wooster Symphony Orchestra in 1986. Recorded by the Kiev Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra, the piece has been broadcast throughout the U.S. and Canada and is scheduled for performance by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra next year.

The concert concludes with Throwback, an overture by Ryan Gallagher, commissioned in 2010 by the Cornell University Symphony Orchestra. Gallagher’s compositions have also been performed by ensembles such as the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Juilliard Orchestra, and New York Youth Symphony. Describing Throwback, Gallagher writes, “After having written a series of harsh and dissonant orchestral works, I felt the need to compose a piece that was both more genial in nature and one that adhered to a more classical architecture.”

Tickets are $5 and are available at The Wooster Book Company, Buehler’s (Milltown and Towne Market), the Lowry Center Wilson Bookstore on campus, and at the door of the concert. There is no charge for C.O.W. students, faculty, and staff.