Pictou County Community Orchestra concert Sunday

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The Pictou County Community Orchestra offers up a smorgasbord of light classical music with a return concert at First Presbyterian Church (Upper Hall), 206 MacLean St., New Glasgow on Saturday, June 9 at 3 p.m. (Tickets: $10., Family $25.)

Conductor Ken Henderson will lead the orchestra through a program of music by Offenbach, Boccherini, Hummel, Dvorak, Max Bruch, and American composers Craig Bakalian and Scott Joplin.

The program will include Antonin Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance No. 1 (Op.72) which is part of a larger set of orchestral pieces composed between 1878 and 1886.  Originally written for piano four hands, the Slavonic Dances were inspired by Brahm’s Hungarian Dances and were orchestrated at the request of Dvorak’s publisher soon after publication.  Slavonic Dance No 1 is lively and full of national character, being well received at the time of publication and continues to be among Dvorak’s most popular works today, occasionally making appearances in popular culture.

For a lighter piece, the Orchestra will perform The Entertainer, composed by Scott Joplin and arranged for orchestra by Richard W. Sargeant Jr.  Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions for piano and was dubbed “The King of Ragtime”.  During his lifetime he wrote 44 ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet and two operas.  One of his early pieces was the Maple Leaf Rag, becoming ragtime’s first and most influential hit.  The Entertainer was composed by Joplin in 1902.

Sharing the stage with the PCCO will be the St. James Brass Quintet from Antigonish. Selections to be performed will include You Made Me Love You, made famous by Judy Garland’s vocal version.  This piece will feature solo flugelhorn by Bob MacMillan of the Quintet.  The Quintet enjoys presenting a wide variety of music in different styles and genres.  In this light, a Bouree by JS Bach will be given a swing-style treatment.  The Quintet will also be performing a lesser known piece entitled This Is It, which is based on a Croatian folk song and is in the blues style, quite unique.  The classic Irish tune Londonderry Air arranged in swing style by Lennie Neihaus will be performed and this is sure to be a version of this popular piece that has not been likely heard before.  Finally, for the classical music enthusiasts, the Quintet will play the Radetzky March by Johann Strauss.

The Pictou County Community Orchestra welcomes players of all ages and levels of experience, and includes members from Pictou, Antigonish and Colchester Counties. A great addition to the string section in recent years has been several young violinists, students with Hayley MacLeod. When not presenting concerts, the orchestra rehearses at the Westville Recreation Building on Drummond Road, usually on Sunday afternoons at 6pm. For more information, contact Lloyd MacLean (902-396-6731) or Allister Fraser (902-752-0754).

(Tickets: $10., Family $25.) Tickets are available from orchestra members, or at the door.  This Spring Concert will also include musical guests the Saint James Brass Quintet.