We celebrate the 70th season of the orchestra with the glitz and glam of an opening gala concert featuring light orchestral music and operatic hits. Ring in the holiday season with the return of our family Christmas concert. We continue the party with the 250th birthday of Beethoven with each concert throughout 2020 featuring a major composition including his Symphony No 5. Finally, our most significant concert commemorates the 100th anniversary of suffrage in the U.S. and the 150th in Wyoming with the commission of a new piece by American composer Stephanie Ann Boyd.
Apart from fantastic orchestral music featuring world class soloists, what stands out about our 19/20 season is that each concert is unique. This is undoubtedly the orchestra’s most adventurous season yet, and we hope you will join us on this new and exciting journey.
-Christopher Dragon, Music Director
John F. Walsh Auditorium
Trisch Trasch Polka
Je veux vivre
O Mio Babbino Caro
Meine Lippen, sie kussen so heiss
Blue Danube Waltz
Girl Crazy: Overture
West Side Story: Symphonic Dances
The WSO’s 70th concert season is all about celebration, so let’s ring it in with a roaring gala concert! First, the orchestra will capture the audience with light, orchestral selections from the Strauss family that will make you feel like you’re
dancing through the streets of Vienna.
From there, we transition into operatic favorites from Puccini, Lehar, and Gounod, featuring the velvet soprano voice of Elena Perroni — an Australian native who has risen to international esteem performing in title roles with the West Australian Opera, in concert with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and in venues all over the world.
We finish the evening with a celebration of American composers. George Gershwin’s Girl Crazy Overture will have you singing along to classic melodies like Embraceable You and I Got Rhythm. Then, we take a trip to the west side with Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, featuring standout melodies like Somewhere, Maria, and Mambo.
John F. Walsh Auditorium
Excerpts from the Nutcracker
Holy Night of Angels
The Night Before Christmas
RANDALL ALAN BASS
Irving Berlin's Christmas
This Christmastide (Jessye's Carol)
Sponsored by the McMurry Foundation
Even during the cold Wyoming winter, a concert comprised of beloved holiday standards will surely keep you warm. Jerry Hou returns to conduct this merry performance. The orchestra begins the night with selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, with its familiar melodies to remind us of the holidays at home.
Singer Devin DeSantis, who has worked all over the country performing in musicals like Hairspray and Les Miserables, will take the stage with Wyoming Choral Arts Ensemble for a Christmas carol spectacular including White Christmas and The Night Before Christmas. We finish the night with a joyous Sleigh Ride sing-along for the whole audience.
Brave the Wyoming winter for a celebration of revered musical traditions from the classical period — a musical movement known for its emphasis on form and structure. These pieces highlight the principles that create the steadfast foundation of orchestral music and composition.
We begin with two works from father and son Loepold and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, respectively.First, Leopold Mozart’s Toy Symphony will come to life with the help of some extra special guest soloists. We follow with the explosive urgency of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s most popular symphony and one of the last he ever wrote — his Symphony No. 40.
Virtuosic pianist Steven Lin returns to the WSO as we begin our exploration of Beethoven’s music in 2020. We kick off the tribute with Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto — a shining example of the more “polite” works of the composer’s early period. Steven Lin’s distinct, fervid style will perfectly highlight the quirky complexities of the piece.
Celebrate esteemed pieces from the world’s musical masters! This spring concert begins with the vibrant fervor of Brahms’s Hungarian Dance No. 5. This romping folk tune was originally composed as a four-hand piano piece. Brahms garnered praise, popularity and profit for the piece during his life as well as long after.
American violin virtuoso Simone Porter will continue our 2020 tribute to Beethoven with a masterful rendition of his Violin Concerto. With its robust musical depth and striking innovation, this work shattered the early conventions of the Romantic concerto. Porter has debuted with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Her signature tenacity and immaculate technique will serve to invigorate the timeless concerto.
We conclude with Modest Mussorgsky’s best-known piano piece — Pictures at an Exhibition. Mussorgsky composed Pictures as a memorial to his friend, the late Russian artist Viktor Hartman, modeling each movement after a piece of Harman’s artwork. After Mussorgsky’s death, Maurice Ravel transformed the compositions into shimmering, orchestral color.
John F. Walsh Auditorium
Stars and Stripes Forever
Made in America
Julia Louisa Esther*
Symphony No. 5
*This piece was made possible with a donation in celebration of the life of Paulann Doane.
The Doane Family
Made possible by the Doane Family & the Casper College Foundation
We open on an upbeat note with John Phillips Sousa’s patriotic standard Stars and Stripes Forever. Then, we transition into Joan Tower’s Made in America. Tower is largely regarded as one of the most important living American composers. Made in America explores the theme of America the Beautiful with powerful dissonance, creating compelling images of American idealism and the hunger for change.
This concert comes as a celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the USA and 150th in Wyoming. The WSO has commissioned an original work from rising American composer Stephanie Ann Boyd, known for her ethereal melodies and exploration of feminine themes. We hope this composition will act as an enduring token of this significant anniversary of women’s suffrage as well as a reminder of Wyoming’s rich history of remarkable women.
The orchestra will finish the season with a grand finale of Beethoven’s illustrious 5th Symphony. It begins with the most famous four notes of music ever written and goes on to explore the overall struggle between darkness and light with its distinct, intricate melody that blends light and airy motifs with intense, dark chords to create its unique vigor.