The Shoals area is well aware of the importance of music to this area, from the storied Muscle Shoals sound to the many newer genres performed today. Another proud tradition of music, orchestral and classical, is performed here but is less well publicized. Our Shoals Symphony at UNA is a significant regional orchestra that brings honor and enrichment to northwest Alabama.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Shoals Symphony has matured into a full symphony orchestra in residence at UNA, composed of professional musicians, students from UNA and players from north Alabama and surrounding areas. To celebrate its growth and status, the orchestra’s board of directors commissioned a symphony composed by Roger Briggs, a graduate of Coffee High School and an honored contemporary composer living in Washington state. Subtitled The Shoals, his Symphony No. 2 had its world premier Sunday at Norton Auditorium played by the Shoals Symphony at UNA.
The orchestra met the challenge of performing mature modern music never heard before. The movements interpreted sounds of the Singing River, the Trail of Tears, and boogie and blues from the Music Shoals sound. Those who missed the concert missed one of the highlights of music in the Shoals. I hope the TimesDaily will include discussion of the Shoals Symphony as part of the musical heritage of the Shoals.