Thursday Scholarship Series’ 2017-2018 premiere features UGASO, faculty soloists

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The students of the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra (UGASO), along with an unconventional combination of faculty soloists, usher in a new year of concerts for the Thursday Scholarship Series when the orchestra performs in Hodgson Concert Hall on Thursday, Sept. 7, at 7:30 p.m.

The Hugh Hodgson School of Music’s flagship concert series opens with one of its most notable large ensembles performing classics from Barber, Haydn and Tchaikovsky.

The concert opens with Barber’s Second Essay for Orchestra. Premiered in 1942, the single-movement orchestral work clocks in around 11 minutes.

“The Barber is a lush and energetic concert opener that displays the orchestra's virtuosity,” said Mark Cedel, conductor of the UGASO.

Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante follows, a part-symphony, part-concerto work in which four instruments compose the solo group: violin, cello, oboe and bassoon.

“This is an unusual combination of soloists, making it a unique and very enjoyable work,” said Cedel.

Hodgson School faculty members will perform as soloists: Kristin Jutras, director of the UGA Community Music School, violin; Reid Messich, assistant professor of oboe; Amy Pollard, associate professor of bassoon; and David Starkweather, professor of cello.

The final piece of the concert is Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

“Tchaikovsky’s 4th is a real barn burner to close out the concert,” said Cedel. “And interestingly, the last time UGASO performed this work was in the opening concert of the 1999 Thursday Scholarship Series.”

Often going by the nickname “Fatum,” or “Fate,” this symphony is one that was originally met with unfavorable critical reception but has become a standard in orchestral repertoire. 

Even at its 1878 premiere, however, critics granted that certain elements were undeniably impressive, and these judgments were amplified over time—noted musicologist Hans Keller describes the symphony’s opening movement as “one of the most towering symphonic structures in our whole literature.”

Tickets to the concert are $20 each or $6 for students and children and can be purchased at pac.uga.edu or the PAC box office. Those unable to attend can watch the concert live on the Hodgson School’s website: music.uga.edu/streaming.

The Thursday Scholarship Series began in 1980 and, as the flagship concert series at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, continues the tradition of “Music Appreciation Programs” started by Hugh Hodgson himself in the 1930s. Proceeds from contributions and ticket sales to these concerts are among the primary means through which School of Music scholarship funds are raised each year.

The UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music sponsors more than 350 performances each year. To view the performance calendar, subscribe to the weekly email concert listing, and learn more about the School of Music, go to music.uga.edu.