Akron Symphony’s season kicks off on Sept. 19, 8 p.m. at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron with “American Journey,” featuring works by Copeland, Gershwin and local composer Clint Needham.
The night will include Copeland’s classic “Rodeo” (complete ballet), as well as “Gershwin’s Concerto in F,” showcasing pianist Philip Thomson.
“Gershwin and Copeland are wildly popular for a reason,” says Music Director Christopher Wilkins. “There’s extraordinary rhythmic vitality to both, with great instincts for what makes a catchy melody. Most of all, there’s something quintessentially American about them. They’ve been imitated many times, but you still can recognize their signature styles immediately—direct, attractive, danceable, and absorbing.”
On opening night, audiences will be also treated to “Southern Air,” a piece by local composer Clint Needham. Currently a Composer-in-Residence/Assistant Professor of Music at Baldwin Wallace University, Needham has been commissioned to create a new composition using crowd-sourced sounds from the Akron area, debuting on April 16, 2016. Between now and mid-November, the community may record and submit sounds using the smart phone app Sounds of Akron.
According to Needham, “Every Akron resident or passerby can contribute to the symphony even if they have no musical background. The end result will be a symphonic portrait of the Rubber City.”
Opening night will be followed by the first Pops concert of the season, The Music of John Williams, Oct. 10. That evening will feature music from favorites like “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,” “Jaws,” and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”
Performances for the 2015-2016 Akron Symphony Orchestra season will take place at EJ Thomas Hall (198 Hill St., near the University of Akron). Despite public uncertainty and speculation, Akron Symphony Executive Director Paul Jarrett assures that “The University has stated that community rental events will proceed as planned. We do not see any changes to that relationship at this time, or in the foreseeable future.”
Season tickets and single concert tickets are on sale now. Discounts are available on subscriptions to the Classics and Pops Series, as well as on a flexible ticket package. Single concert tickets range from $25 to $60, with discounts available for students, seniors and groups of 10 or more. To purchase tickets, contact the Akron Symphony box office at (330) 535-8131 or order online at www.akronsymphony.org.