On Thursday, Shoals On Stage will bring back the Alabama Symphony Orchestra for a performance at Norton Auditorium on the campus of the University of North Alabama.
Harriett Edwards, board member of Shoals On Stage, said the Alabama Symphony Orchestra is popular in the Shoals, and On Stage has been looking forward to their return.
“They’ve always been a stimulating orchestra,” Edwards said. “We are always hoping to fill the auditorium with young music lovers. There is a growing interest in symphonic.”
The orchestra will play three pieces in the concert, which will conducted by Roderick Cox, the symphony’s assistant conductor and music director.
Those pieces will be Alvin Singleton’s “Miaka Kumi,” Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet overture-fantasy” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No.5 in C minor.”
While “Romeo and Juliet” and Beethoven’s 5th are well known works of classical music, the orchestra also will be presenting a relatively new piece, “Miaka Kumi.”
Cox said “Miaka Kumi” is Swahili and translates to “10 years.” The piece was written for the 10-year anniversary of the music directorship of Robert Spano in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Artistic director Pierre Ruhe heard the piece when it premiered and brought it to the orchestra.
“It’s a piece that has a celebratory fanfare,” Cox said. “It starts out with joyous rhythms in the brass and upper woodwinds and then the strings take over the melody.
“It also has a haunting quality to the fanfare. It’s about four minutes, and it’s a very interesting piece that I’m excited to do.”
The mix of new and classic, to the immensely popular Beethoven’s 5th, should draw a wide variety of people, said Edwards.
“With an introductory contemporary piece with well beloved classics,” Edwards said, “the Alabama symphony has done a great job of keeping their concerts dynamic.”
Cox said they’re bringing a romantic-sized orchestra — about 60 members — to Norton.
Usually, when you go to a classical music concert, Cox said, you’ll get one big piece, which usually is the Beethoven piece.
“I think this concert is special because you get two gigantic pieces — the Tchaikovsky and the Beethoven — which stand on their own, and they don’t need another piece surrounding them to complement them,” Cox said. “It’s like you get two for one, which I think is a pretty sweet deal. I think that’s what makes the program so exciting.
“I think it’s great that we can offer that kind of exposure and experience to the Florence audience.”
Tickets to the 7 p.m. concert are $35, general admission; $25, baldony: and $15, students. Tickets are available at shoalsonstage.com or email@example.com.
Bobby Bozeman can be reached at 256-740-5722 or bobby.bozeman@ TimesDaily.com.