Posted: 3/29/07

LPO Concert: Nearly 200 Take Stage at TAMIU Sunday



On Sunday April 1, 2007 at 4 p.m. the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) will present a concert at Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU) Center for the Fine and Performing Arts that traces the evolution of the symphony from 1750 through 2000.

“This concert dramatically demonstrates the advances in music over 250 years,” said LPO Music Director Brendan Townsend. The musical selections will include three symphonic works that showcase how development of style, form and size brings out the historical evolution of creative writing.

The concert opens with the “Sinfonia No. 2” of Jan Antonin Bende, a Czechoslovakian composer born in 1722. Townsend characterizes it as a simple and small orchestral selection.

“The style of writing in this work is very simple with an emphasis on very basic melody,” said Townsend, “It is also written for a very small orchestra with just one flute, an oboe and two horns joining the strings.”

Following is the “Sinfonia Concertante” of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, featuring soloists Dr. Yu Mei Huang, an assistant professor of strings at TAMIU and concertmaster of the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra, and Dr. Luis Casal, Laredo Community College (LCC) instructor and native of Panama. Huang said the famous selection is not truly a symphony.

“This is more of a concerto than a symphony,” violin soloist Dr. Yu Mei Huang said, “but the style of writing is closely related to what Mozart was doing in his symphonic compositions, so I understand Maestro Townsend's desire to include it.”

Townsend said the afternoon concert’s centerpiece will be the local premiere of the “Symphony No. 2” by New York composer Lowell Liebermann, commissioned by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in 1999.

“Lowell is a remarkable composer whose music is receiving praise from audiences, critics and musicians all over the world,” said Townsend, “I am very excited to bring the Laredo the opportunity to hear such wonderfully refreshing music.”

He noted that when Lowell Liebermann set about writing his second symphony he sought to focus on the idea of joy, and unity of man—and chose as his inspiration selected passages from Walt Whitman’s poetry.

The resulting symphony is a modern choral symphony that some critics have called the natural successor to Beethoven’s final symphony.

“The stage is going to be pretty crowded,” smiled Townsend.

The LPO will be joined on stage with a combined choir from TAMIU / Laredo Philharmonic Chorale, LCC Mixed Choir, United High School Longhorn Choir, V.M. Treviño Magnet School Choir, and the Coro Espiritu Santo of Nuevo Laredo—bringing nearly 200 people to the stage.

A special announcement of a dynamic gift to the LPO will also highlight Sunday’s performance.

Tickets for the concert, which begins promptly at 4 p.m., can be purchased at TAMIU and LCC business offices, Wells Fargo Bank downtown, IBC Plantation and Mall Del Norte  locations and at the door.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $17 for seniors. Students with an ID card are free.

For more information, call  Townsend at 956.326.3039 or e-mail btownsend@tamiu.edu.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu