The Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra

The Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra

WEEKEND: Port Angeles Symphony to offer free Saturday performance

PORT ANGELES ­— To round out the 2011-2012 season, the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra is inviting children, teenagers, friends and families to “A Zoo Called Earth.”

And while they’re at it Saturday, the players also will offer “a miracle.”

Despite the dramatic words, this is not an overblown plan.

One realizes that when talking with Adam Stern, the orchestra’s conductor and the host of two performances of the program titled “Schubert Was a Miracle.”

The concerts will be at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Port Angeles High School auditorium, 304 E. Park Ave.

Admission is free for listeners 17 and younger — and their families — to the morning event.

Tickets to the evening concert are $15 for general admission, $12 for students and seniors, and $30 and $20 for reserved seats.

As always, the maestro will give a short talk prior to the second program at 6:40 p.m.

Month after month, interview after conversation, Stern fairly bursts with enthusiasm for the orchestra and its music.

But this pair of concerts is special in that he’ll offer newcomers a guide to the orchestra and classical music.

Diverse selection

And Stern has chosen a diverse foursome: Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 6 in C, Peter Schickele’s “A Zoo Called Earth,” Charles Gounod’s Ballet Music from “Faust” and William Walton’s “Crown Imperial” march.

“The entire concert stresses orchestral fun,” Stern said. “The interplay between the instruments in all four pieces is like a series of games devised by each of the composers.”

But that doesn’t mean these aren’t four significant works of art.

Gounod’s ballet music from “Faust,” tuneful and accessible though it is, is worthy of its inclusion in that rock-solid operatic masterpiece.

The Walton march, written for the coronation of King George VI — as in Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech” — is a grand celebratory piece.

Ecological statement

“A Zoo Called Earth” makes a pretty potent ecological statement while simultaneously letting the orchestra play everything from Eastern-inflected meditations to raucous blues.

“Yes, you’ll be entertained,” Stern promises, “and also enlightened.”

Tickets to Saturday evening’s concert are available at Port Book and News, 104 E. First St., and at the symphony office, 216-C N. Laurel St.

More information is available at 360-457-5579 and www.PortAngelesSymphony.org.

Tickets to both the morning and evening performances will be available at the door.

For music lovers in Sequim, a charter bus runs from two locations in and near town.

It departs at 6:25 p.m. Saturday from The Gathering Place, 135 Fairway Drive at SunLand, and from The Fifth Avenue retirement center, 500 Hendrickson Road, at 6:40 p.m.

For reservations, phone 360-683-4743.

________

Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5066, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

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