Lincoln-Sudbury Civic Orchestra Winter Concert

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 Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School 390 Lincoln Rd. Sudbury  See map
Matt LaRocca conducts LSCO in rehearsal
Matt LaRocca conducts LSCO in rehearsal

Lincoln-Sudbury Civic Orchestra celebrates 40 years with Winter Concert

On Sunday January 12 at 3:00 PM, the
Lincoln-Sudbury Civic Orchestra (LSCO) celebrates forty years of music-making
with its winter concert of the 2013-2014 season at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional
High School. The program is the first of two full concerts in the 2013-2014
season. Interim Conductor Matthew LaRocca will direct the orchestra in Capricco Italien by Peter Tchaikovsky, Bela Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances, and the Symphony # 6
(“Pastorale”) by Ludwig von Beethoven.

Founded in 1973 by then instrumental music
director Don March, the LSCO is a volunteer community orchestra comprising high
school students and adult community members who share a love of preparing and
performing professional orchestral repertoire. 
The members have classical music training at the intermediate to
advanced level.  Although the scores
studied and performed are the original professional scores (not arrangements
for school ensembles), professional performing experience is not a requirement
for membership.

has been around a long time, and has had a very strong relationship with the
high school.  The 2013-2014 is a season
of transition, though”, according to Interim Director William Nicholson.  “After the retirement of Pip Moss in May
[2013], we had to rally together to form a new leadership team to keep the
orchestra alive.  Pip was the longest
active conductor, for twenty-seven years, and his departure meant we had to get
into gear.”

The new team formed by Nicholson over the
summer of 2013 indeed got into gear and searched for a new conductor.   “There were so many qualified candidates,
and we worked hard interviewing and auditioning conductors to find one that
matched the unique personality of LSCO. In the end, we found two, and decided
on an interim strategy, deferring a decision on a permanent post until the
summer of 2014. “

Finding a conductor wasn’t the only
challenge though. Membership coordinator, Wayland resident and violinist Lucia
Longnecker worked alongside Nicholson to recruit new musicians.  “Student musicians and their musical growth
are the focus of LSCO. But there are plenty of adults in the Metrowest
community who are dedicated to playing great orchestral music, and we feel the
combination of students and adults makes for a fantastic opportunity to make
that happen.”

The program opens
with the fanciful Capriccio Italien by the great 19th
century Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.  After a string of disastrous events in his
personal life, Tchaikovsky spent considerable time away from his home in
Moscow, Russia.  Although he underwent a
period of self-doubt and uncertainty during this time, he created some of his
most famous compositions, including the Violin Concerto and 1812 Overture.  Tchaikovsky traveled extensively throughout
Europe and rural Russia in 1879.  He
found himself in Rome in mid-December of that year where he spent the holidays
and took part in the uninhibited festivities of Carnival. 


brief respite of happiness led to the composition of the Capriccio
.  Conductor LaRocca
says that “Tchaikovsky was inspired by the local songs he heard during his time
in Rome, and incorporated them into a beautiful collage of melodies.  The music opens with a trumpet fanfare
inspired by a bugle call he heard every evening from a barracks adjacent to his
hotel, and progresses through a wide range of songs and dances inspired by the
Carnival. “

The concert
continues with the Romanian Folk Dances
by Hungarian composer Bela Bartok.  A
deep respect and love for central European folk music lies at the heart of Bela
Bartok’s compositional style.  Between
1909 and 1913 the composer traveled throughout Romanian villages, recording
folk songs on phonograph cylinders.  He
would then transcribe these melodies and use them extensively in his own works,
combining them with rich, complex and original harmonic coloring and a more
strict rhythmic foundation. 

LaRocca continues: “The
Romanian Folk Dances was originally
composed for piano in 1915, and orchestrated for chamber orchestra in
1917.  Bartok remains very faithful to
the original folk melodies modal and rhythmic exoticism, and captures a wide
range of moods, from stoic to hauntingly beautiful to exuberant.  The dances steadily gain momentum, and the
final three, like the Beethoven to follow, are performed without pause. “

Following the
intermission, the orchestra closes the program with the wonderful Symphony #6, Op. 68, (“Pastorale”) by Ludwig von Beethoven.  During his life,
Beethoven broke almost every rule of composition, creating new ones in the
process. The Pastoral Symphony is no exception. 
It is the first real substantial work of programmatic music, and
reflects Beethoven’s love for the outdoors. 
The titles of the movements evoke specific moods or actions that the
composer, who was well known for his daily walks in the woods, may have experienced.
The symphony also breaks the traditional symphony form with its five movements,
the last three of which are played without a pause.

Beethoven, LaRocca again: “he expresses the moods and sounds of the
countryside, creating vivid pictures of rivers, fields, birds and a giant
thunderstorm.  Often hailed as the
beginning of programmatic music, and the inspiration for Berlioz, Liszt and
countless others, Beethoven’s sixth symphony is certainly some of the most beautiful
music he ever wrote. “

Nicholson again: “We have enjoyed working
with Matt’s on all the pieces we’re playing. 
We’ve been able to attract a number new students, and some great new
adult players.  Membership is up, and the
music-making is impressive. We are looking forward to giving students and
community members many more years of classical music making.”

Interim Conductor Matthew LaRocca has
composed for and conducted orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the US,
and is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts in composition at
Boston University, where he also teaches as a graduate assistant. Mr. LaRocca
studied composition at Carnegie-Mellon University where he earned Master of
Music. He received his BA at Middlebury College, double-majoring in chemistry
and music.   He spent several years as a
professional chemist after graduating from Middlebury, but music drew him away
inexorably. He is best known for his Arctic Circle Expedition from Svalbard, Norway, a multi-disciplinary
arts/sailing venture with other artists, scientists, writers and activists, and
for his Artward Bound projects in 2010 and 2013,
a series of workshops and performances for young talented musicians at the
Holderness School in New Hampshire.

spring LSCO concert is on June 8, and will be conducted by Ray Daniels, the
current associate conductor of the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra.

to the concert is a suggested donation of $10 for adults, $5 for students and
senior citizens.  A reception will follow
the concert.  Lincoln-Sudbury Regional
High School is located at 390 Lincoln Rd in Sudbury. Directions to the school are available at
the school web site http://www.lsrhs.net/whatsnew/directions.html or through many online mapping

LSCO is an organization
of like-minded musicians dedicated to providing opportunities for talented
students and supportive adults to perform orchestral literature of the great
classical composers. Over the past forty years LSCO has provided playing
opportunities for over 500 student musicians and given over thirty student
concerto artists an opportunity to show their skills and love of classical
music.  Membership is open to the
community regardless of town of residence. 
The orchestra
rehearses every Tuesday evening from 7:30 – 9:30 PM in the large ensemble room
at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School (LSRHS), 390 Lincoln Rd in


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