LPO’s ‘Evolution’ Season Unveiled

LPO's 'Evolution'
Season Unveiled

At a reception hosted by International Bank of Commerce this week, the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra unveiled its plans for the 2006 - 2007 Concert Season entitled "Evolution."

David Slaughter, president of the Board of Directors for the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra, welcomed everyone to the gathering, making special mention of guests from Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), Laredo Community College (LCC) and members of the Board of Trustees of the Guadalupe and Lilia Martínez Foundation.

"Without the support of such wonderful patrons such as Mr. Martinez, organizations like the LPO would simply not exist in this town," said Slaughter.

Maestro Brendan Townsend, LPO music director, was asked to introduce the concert season and the programs. Guests were then treated to an often whimsical, inspiring look into how the concert season developed.

Quoting from a recent Boston Globe news article, Townsend began by telling the group that a Montreal study recently reported that music stimulates the same part of the brain as food and sex.

"And so, it seems an opportune time for the Philharmonic to announce a season entitled 'Evolution,'" Townsend joked.

Going on to describe the process of choosing repertoire and selecting musicians, he talked enthusiastically about the increased role of local musicians and, in particular, TAMIU and LCC students who are playing in the orchestra this season.

"Every concert has one piece for expanded orchestra, and we are going to offer those extra seats to young student interns," he said, "And this brings us ever-closer to the goal that we have had for many years of nurturing our own orchestral players."

Each of the concerts in the coming season has its own unique theme, but the over-arching theme of evolution and musical development links all. 

All are performed on Sundays at 4 p.m. with altering venues at TAMIU's Center for the Fine and Performing Arts' Recital Hall and LCC's Guadalupe and Lilia Martínez Fine Arts Building.

The first concert is set October 8, 2006 at TAMIU and is entitled "Discovery & Experimentation," featuring the works by Maxwell-Davies, Haydn and Saint-Saens. 

"This concert celebrates three very prolific composers who over the course of their long lives used experimentation and incorporated many discoveries into their music, which has led to these works becoming favorites with audiences around the world," said Townsend.

On November 19 at LCC the LPO's second concert is "Of Life and Death."  Townsend said American composer Christopher Rouse's composition "Rapture" encompassed all the ideas of bringing people to heightened states of being, and talked about the Four Last Songs of Richard Straus as being sublimely inspired, "as if Strauss knew he was dying."

On March 4, 2007, the third concert, "String Serenade," will be performed at TAMIU. Townsend made a passing reference to the familiar mariachi groups singing serenatas in Laredo. "We won't have any Mariachis in the concert, but we will use one section from that ensemble - the strings - and through repertoire for strings alone, we will trace the evolution of music over four centuries," he noted. Also included in this concert is a work by Mikolaj Gorecki, LCC music instructor.

The fourth concert, scheduled April 1, 2007 at TAMIU, is "Symphonic Evolution." Townsend said this is the program that inspired the whole season and features music from the earliest symphonies of the 18th Century to a symphony premiered in Dallas in 1999. The concert will also feature the Laredo Philharmonic Chorale, TAMIU Chorale and United High School Choir.

In describing the final concert of the season "American Influences," scheduled on May 6, 2007 at LCC, Townsend spoke about how for generations people have being immigrating to the US and how that has influenced musical compositions. The concert's main work is "Ellis Island; the Dream of America" and features seven actors as well as a multimedia display.

"This season has something for everyone. While I can't guarantee that attending LPO concerts will improve your love life," Townsend said, a reference to the Montreal study, "if you consider the part of the brain being stimulated, you have to agree, it can't hurt!"

For more information about the LPO or the "Evolution" concert season, contact Townsend at 956.326.3039 or 722.5258 or e-mail btownsend@laredophilharmonic.org

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