Symphony concert was amazing

My friend Siobhan, my son Simon and his girlfriend Sheena attended the first concert of the new season of the USM Symphony Orchestra.

It was a bit shocking to see a less than full house on the season’s opening night. Normally there are plenty of concertgoers at every show. I guess the economy is really starting to impact every area.

The program featured “the world premiere of ‘Celebrations’ by award-winning composer and Southern Miss alumnus James Sclater.”

I guess it is a good thing that the premiere was at USM. The audience was less than enthusiastic about the piece.

Maybe it was because it was the first time anyone had heard it. Maybe the orchestra was a little too timid working with an unfamiliar selection. Or maybe it was just plain old blah. I’m not sure. I’d like to hear it again before I pass judgment. I have a feeling it didn’t go over very well because of a combination of reasons.

On the other hand, Cuban pianist and fellow USM alum Adonis Gonzalez gave a rousing performance of  Sergei Rachmaninoff‘s Piano Concerto No. 3. Even the orchestra came to life, and the student musicians rose to the occasion to perform with gusto.

Gonzalez received a standing ovation and demands for an encore, and he indulged the audience after several bows of thanks.

After intermission, the concert wrapped up with a beautiful performance of Pyotr Tchaikovsky‘s Symphony No. 4.

We enjoyed after-concert dessert and coffee at JavaWerks, one of my favorite places in Hattiesburg for fair-trade coffee and homemade sweets.

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