Saturday, June 23 , 2018, 10:10 am | Fog/Mist 63º


Gerald Carpenter: Westmont’s Fall Orchestra Concert Offers International Bouquet

The Westmont Orchestra, conducted by professor Michael Shasberger, presents its Fall Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara, at 21 E. Constance Ave.

The program will include John Williams’ “Hymn to the Fallen,” from Saving Private Ryan; Scott Joplin’s “Ragtime Dance,” orchestrated by Gunther Schuller; Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 in d-minor, D. 759, “Unfinished,” (1822); Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1; Aaron Copland’s Variations on a Shaker Melody; and Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol, Opus 34 (1887).

What a delectable transatlantic potpourri, gathered from St. Petersburg to the Bay Colony, from New Orleans to the Brazillian rain forest and back to Vienna.

There may be orchestrators as great as Rimsky-Korsakov — Richard Strauss comes to mind — but there are none greater. No one wrote sweeter or more memorable melodies than Franz Schubert. And the “Shaker Melody” taken up by Copland is called “Simple Gifts,” and it is the most beautiful tune ever produced by an American religious community.

The words ain’t bad, either:

Tis a gift to be simple
Tis a gift to be free
Tis a gift to come down|
Where we want to be
And when we find ourselves
In the place just right
It will be in the Valley of Love and Delight.

General admission is $10; students are free. To buy tickets, or to get more information, call 805.565.6040.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

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