Thursday April 18, 2013

CHESTER -- On Sunday, April 28, at 4 p.m., at the First Universalist Parish in Chester, musicians from the Windham Orchestra will present a special prelude to their upcoming concert series.

The Windham Orchestra’s May concerts in Brattleboro and Putney, under the direction of Hugh Keelan, feature works by Ludwig van Beethoven and Chester composer and musician James Adams. Honoring the Chester roots of Adams and fellow musicians Sue Lemei and Stan Norsworthy, the orchestra presents this special opening for their local community.

Central to the Orchestra’s upcoming symphony concerts are Beethoven’s "Egmont Overture," in which a slow dour introduction climbs inexorably to blazing victory; and "Symphony No. 7," one of the most powerful and enduring masterpieces in any artistic medium, and a work Beethoven himself held in exceptionally high regard. These symphonic works cannot be demonstrated in the Prelude, however, the Chester audience will preview Beethoven with his Quintet for Piano and Winds, featuring an extraordinary set of Vermont woodwind soloists and Keelan as pianist.

A centerpiece of both the Prelude and the Orchestra’s full performances is Adams’ Concertino for Tuba written for Sue Lemei. There are two world premieres: Chester will premiere the version for piano and tuba, in advance of the full orchestra version premier in May. Audience members will have the chance to interact with the composer and soloist.

The Chester program also includes music by Edvard Grieg played by members of the Windham Orchestra string section, and two songs by Richard Strauss for voice and piano, "Secret Invitation" and "Set Free," sung by local singer Stan Norsworthy.

Admission is by donation. A reception will follow.

The Windham Orchestra will present the full program of Beethoven’s "Egmont Overture," Symphony No. 7 and Adams’ Concertino for Tuba on Thursday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m., at The Putney School in Putney and Sunday, May 19, at 3 p.m. at the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro. Tickets will be available at the Chester Prelude.

Sponsors of this musical offering in Chester include Lisai’s Market, Misty Valley Books, First Universalist Parish, Chester Hardware and Chester Family Medicine, a service of Springfield Medical Care Systems.