The Augustana Symphony Orchestra kicks off its season and fall tour with Second City Symphonists. The program features two composers who had deep connections to the city of Chicago. William Grant Still and Florence Price grew up in Little Rock, Ark., studied with the same childhood music teacher, and then spent significant portions of their professional careers in Chicago.
William Grant Still: Wood Notes
Florence Price: Symphony No. 3 in E minor
William Grant Still probably is best known for his Symphony No. 1 which he subtitled “Afro-American” and brought together elements of his musical upbringing with elements of his classical musical training. His pastoral, four-movement Wood Notes was actually premiered by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1948.
Price holds the distinction of being the first African American woman to have her music played by one of the major American symphony orchestras when she won the Wanamaker Foundation composition competition with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1933. Music critic Alex Ross draws connections between her style and those of Richard Wagner and Antonín Dvořák, but also points out the distinctiveness of her unique musical voice blends her European training with the styles of spirituals and African dance rhythms that comes through in her Symphony No 3 in C minor.
The orchestra will perform again on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Holy Family Parish, 2515 W Palatine Road, Inverness, Ill. That concert will feature the Glenbard East High School Orchestra, Timothy Fawkes, director, and the Palatine High School Orchestra, Dung Pham, Augustana class of ‘94, director.
The orchestra's home concert in Centennial Hall will begin at 7 p.m. Oct. 26, with the Rock Island High School Orchestra, Katie Benson, director.
New Life Lutheran Church
702 West Lynn Boulevard
Sterling, IL 61081