Temple Univ. Symphony Orchestra With Terell Stafford in NYC

Student group to play special works by American composers

Terell Stafford
Terell Stafford
Terell Stafford
Temple University Symphony Orchestra

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The Temple University Symphony Orchestra is trekking to the Big Apple to play a unique show in celebration of American composers at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. With the help of faculty member Terell Stafford, conductor Luis Biava will lead the group of students through the challenging concert material. The show will take place at Alice Tully Hall, Starr Theater on Friday, April 9 at 8 p.m.

Comprised of undergraduate and graduate students, the orchestra will play works by Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Bill Cunliffe and father and son team Chris and Dave Brubeck.

“This is a real moral builder for our department, and I think it sets a strong precedence to the public,” Stafford said of the concert. “I consider it an honor every time I play in New York because of the legacy New York has. It is a proving ground for any musician.”

The program begins with the orchestra playing Samuel Barber’s “Second Essay for Orchestra,” which was completed in 1942 and premiered by the New York Philharmonic. That piece is following by Leonard Bernstein’s “On the Town: Three Dance Episodes.” The composition was extracted from Bernstein’s 1944 musical and incorporates strong jazz and blues elements.

Up next is the New York premiere of Dave and Chris Brubeck’s “Ansel Adams: America,” which will run alongside nearly 100 projected images by the legendary photographer. The elder Brubeck has been designed a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, and his son has also earned acclaim as a composer, performer and leader of his own groups.

The night will conclude with Terell Stafford joining the students for Bill Cunliffe’s fourth stream composition “La Banda.” Commissioned by the Boyer College of Music, “La Banda” is Cunliffe’s nod toward the continually growing and overlapping worlds of classical and jazz music.

Stafford, who will join in on trumpet, has worked extensively with Cunliffe in the past, and said the piece offers ample opportunities for improvisation and places for the rhythm section to shine.

“Any time you are performing a commission there is always that adjustment period of figuring out what the composer wanted and how you want it,” Stafford said. Further expressing his excitement about this piece, he added: “This is a case of a friend writing for a friend.”

Tickets range between $20 and $35, and $10 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are available at the Alice Tully Hall box office, or by calling (212) 721-6500 or visiting Lincoln Center.