The University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra performed classical works from Europe and America during its March Musical Mix concert on Saturday, March 17.
The program included Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and the evolving versions leading up to the U.S. national anthem “The Star Spangled Banner.” The concert began at 7:30 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium.
Through research on the origins of “The Star Spangled Banner,” UMW Philharmonic Director Kevin Bartram learned it stems from a British drinking song. Its path through American colonial times gave Bartram the idea to present this patriotic piece as never before featured—from its musical roots to a modern symphonic rendition.
“We had to commission a special arrangement of ‘Anachreon’ to match the 18th century version, as the sheet music was not available. You’ll hear the true original,” Bartram said.
“To Anacreon in Heaven,” the underlying British tune from the 19th century, originated as a gentleman’s club song. Then, in Boston it became a patriotic tune and was labeled “Adam’s and Liberty” before Francis Scott Key’s poem formed the verses of “The Star Spangled Banner.” The UMW Philharmonic will be joined by vocalist Daryl Ott, a noted baritone who performed with the orchestra most recently for its Fourth of July concert.
The program also will include classical favorites at the concert, including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, featured in the 2010 film, “The Kings Speech.”
Although performances of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” sometimes include firing cannons, the Friends of the Philharmonic are planning a unique way to simulate the sound in an indoor setting.
“The UMW Philharmonic is committed to bringing the highest level of musical entertainment to the community and has recently begun to attract an increasingly more diverse audience representing multiple generations,” said Conrad Warlick, chairman of the Friends of the Philharmonic. “We are passionate about promoting classical music and education.”
Donations and concert fees fund music scholarships that help to attract talented musicians to the university and enable a variety of classical programs that also feature guest artists and celebrities.
Concert tickets can be purchased online at www.philharmonic.umw.edu or at the concert hall. For more information, call (540) 654-1012.
# # #
News release prepared by: Brynn Boyer