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Veridian Symphony to perform with 'Sizzle and Spice'
Concert series set for this weekend in Yuba City
'Sizzle and Spice'
Presented by Veridian Symphony
TIMES: 7 p.m. Saturday; 4 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 1390 Franklin Road, Yuba City
TICKETS: $5 to $20
A musical potpourri awaits the audience at the Veridian Symphony Orchestra's upcoming concert series "Sizzle and Spice."
Featuring the Yuba-Sutter Youth Symphony and works composed by the winners of Veridian's recent Call for Scores competition, the concert series, conducted by Ryan Murray, is set for 7 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Yuba City.
Soloists include Chris Bautista, guitar; Nikolay Shpurik, mandolin; and Jan Roberts-Haydon and Judy Coe, flute.
"It's a pretty exciting program," Murray said. "I think there is something for everyone. I think that there are lots of chances for the orchestra to shine and lots of lovely lyrical music but also some really fast and tour-de-force type of music that will show off the virtuosity of the orchestra."
Murray, of Sacramento, serves as music director for Townsend Opera in Modesto; choral director for Music in the Mountains in Grass Valley; assistant conductor for VITA (Vocal Instrumental Teaching Academy) in Sacramento; "and I'm on the faculty of the Opera Academy of California out of San Francisco. So I drive all over the place like most other musicians do nowadays," he said.
"The concert title is 'Sizzle and Spice'; it centers around Mozart's 'Linz Symphony.' Mozart finished that symphony in four days, so it's kind of a flurry of music that fits along with the theme. Then I built the program around that," Murray said.
The three Call for Scores winners are Yuba-Sutter residents Dean Estabrook and Justin McKay; and Alberto Colla, professor of composition at Alessandria Conservatory in Alessandria, Italy.
McKay, of Brownsville, was born in Sydney, Australia. He currently teaches and performs mainly in Chico. McKay described his winning score, "Coiffure," as "a lyrical work, lyrical and expressive. It draws on influences from the past several hundred years of music history. Not just the recent past, but all the way back to the baroque period.
"I find myself inspired by the composers from the baroque and classical the most. I'm very excited about the premiere, and I hope that the audience will be moved by this work," he said.
"It is wonderful for the community to have an orchestra of this caliber here. We are so lucky to have such great musicians playing for us," McKay added.
Dean Estabrook, longtime Yuba-Sutter resident and retired music teacher for Yuba City Unified School District, said of his winning score, "Soliloquy for Flute and Orchestra": "I wanted to write something specifically for Jan Roberts-Haydon — who is one of my former students and a very fine flautist — in memory of her mother, Jane Roberts, who died last spring.
"Jane was almost like a second mother to me. She was just an amazing person and had a humongous effect on my life. So that's why I was inspired to write something for flute, and the offer from the orchestra made a happy combination of circumstances," he said.
Estabrook said his piece has a relatively modern feel because of its compositional techniques. "Musically, I hope it evokes the particular emotions surrounding Jane's death and, in my assessment, Jan's feelings about that because I think they pretty much match mine — only mine are obviously on a less intense level. It's reminiscent, I think, of the spirit — yes — of sadness, but also of calmness and looking forward," he said.
In an email, Colla said his piece, "Musica per archi," "is very intimate and melancholic. An extremely simple and sweet melody develops and coexists with unexpected tensions and energy.
"In my music, I try to transfer experiences, emotions, people and events that affect my life, like a bolt of lightning strikes a lightning rod. My hope is that a good part of this will move to the audience. For me, that acknowledgment is the beauty in music," Colla wrote.
All three composers expressed excitement about the premiere of their new works. "It's always special for a composer to hear for the first time something they've written being played live. It's just great," Estabrook said.
The program includes Gluck's "Orfeo E Euridice"; Handel's "Water Music" performed with the Yuba-Sutter Youth Symphony; and Vivaldi's "Concerto for Lute and Mandolin."
"These concerts are an opportunity for people to hear an extremely high level orchestra playing in their home town. It's an opportunity to hear some of the great master works of the repertoire, some of the most popular works of all time, and to get to hear new works and to get to see the youth of Yuba-Sutter and the skills that they bring to the table," Murray said.
"If people haven't been to a classical music concert before, I think this is a very accessible concert, and I encourage anybody to come, not just classical music lovers," he added.