a

Spring Concert Series - May 29, 30 & 31, 2015

Performances:

Friday, May 29, 7:30 p.m.
Southern Oregon University Music Recital Hall, Ashland

Saturday, May 30, 7:30 p.m.

Performing Arts Center, Grants Pass

Sunday, May 31, 3:00 p.m.
Craterian Theater at the Collier Center for the Performing Arts, Medford

Spring Concert Series Poster (.jpg)

Ticket information

Program:
Youth Symphony

W.A. Mozart, Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622
Jerry Su , Clarinet Soloist
Mark Eliot Jacobs, Crater Lake Fantasy (world premiere)
Richard Rodgers, The Sound of Music (arr. Bennett)
(joint performance with the Youth Orchestra)

Youth Orchestra

Piotr I. Tchaikovsky, Capriccio Italien (arr. Isaac)
Robert Smith, The Great Locomotive Chase

Youth Strings

Ludwig van Beethoven, Minuet in G and Sonatina
Harry Alshin, Animal Survival Suite
Traditional, Going to Boston

Jerry Su, Soloist

Winner of the 2015 Concerto Competition, Jerry Su is principal clarinet of the Youth Symphony and a senior at South Medford High School (SMHS). His school music teachers have included Mark Barnard, Michael Wing, Andrea Brock and Yoko Kan, his current teacher at SMHS. He has studied privately with Zheng-Li, Frank Kowalsky and Lori Calhoun, his current teacher. He has been involved in the YSSO organization since 2009.

In addition to his participation in the YSSO, Jerry has played in the orchestra for Camelot Theater’s production of the musical “The Producers,” and he has played in both the SMHS Wind Ensemble and Marching Band. He was selected to play in the Oregon All-State Wind Ensemble, won the District Solo & Ensemble Competition and placed first in the Oregon State Activities Association State Solo Music Competition.

Recently, Jerry shared that he discovered the concerto in the seventh grade through Mark Barnard, his St. Mary’s School band teacher at the time. Jerry noted that he was drawn to the playfulness of the concerto, as well as to the work’s delicate and subtle phrases and the exquisite dialogue between the soloist and orchestra. Jerry observed, “I admire Mozart’s aristocratic and elegant style. As a clarinetist, I am blessed to have an opportunity to experience one of Mozart’s last breaths of brilliance.”  Having thoroughly exploited the chalumeau and the clarion registers of the clarinet in the three movements, Mozart demonstrates the instrument’s capacity for dainty flutters, its ability to propel the piece forward and to recreate the sweet, song-like qualities of the human voice.  

Jerry has been accepted at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University (Bloomington) where he will pursue a degree in music performance.

Crater Lake Fantasy: Another Sky at Our Feet (world premiere)
Mark Eliot Jacobs, Composer

Crater Lake Fantasy: Another Sky at Our Feet showcases the unique geography, stunning vistas and natural history of Crater Lake National Park.  The work was commissioned by the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon and funded by grants from the William G. & Ruth T. Evans Fund, Olsrud Family Fund and Campagna Family Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation.

The subtitle is a paraphrasing of a quote from an article by Samuel M. Evans in a 1911 issue of Sunset Magazine entitled “Forty Gallons of Gasoline to Forty Miles of Water: Recipe for a Motor Trip to Crater Lake, Oregon.” The original quotation is “Another sky lay almost underneath our feet. We were on the rim of Crater Lake.”  The shape and sounds of Crater Lake Fantasy are also influenced by Dr. Jacobs’ personal experiences and reflections while visiting the park.

In the form of an extended tone poem, Crater Lake Fantasy begins with Mazama, a cinematic sound image of Mount Mazama, a Western Cascade Range volcano that had its most destructive eruption 7,700 years ago, collapsed and formed the caldera structure of the lake. More than 42,000 years ago Mazama was at its tallest height at 12,000 feet. In comparison, its nearby sister peak, Mount Shasta, has an elevation of 14,000 feet. The Klamath people lived in the area at the time and must have witnessed the event. The Mazama prelude is atonal, working with motives that will inform the tonal melodies and harmonies in the rest of the work.

The second movement is the first of two depictions of the Rim Drive which encircles the rim of the crater that forms the lake. The movement evokes a journey around the lake through the “circle of fifths.” The Lodge is at the position of the key of C, Watchman Peak and Wizard Island are at D, Phantom Ship is between B-flat and F, et cetera. The Rim Drive 1 movement moves through three transits of the twelve-step circle of fifths in the form of a rising fifth chord progression: C –G – D – A – E – B – F# - D-flat – A-flat – E-flat – B-flat – F – (C). Each orbit takes place at a different pace. The first two use exclusively bright sounding major seventh chords. The third, a night circuit, uses minor sevenths and major ninths. The atonal chaos of the Mazama movement coalesces into modern tonal music, much as the volcanic material of the mountain came apart and reformed into the spectacular lake seen today.

Movement three is named after the Watchman Peak but is informed by a recent hike the composer took of Mount Scott on the other side of the lake (key of A-flat).  It is the sort of tune that might come to mind on a hike, this time in the bluesy Mixolydian mode.

The next movement is Phantom Ship. William Gladstone Steel (1854-1934), the “father of Crater Lake,” gave evocative names to all of the natural features of the park. Wizard Island and Phantom Ship are among the best known. Steel believed that the rock formation resembled a tall ship with full rigging plying its way across the water. To the composer, it also resembles a space ship as depicted in films from Star Wars to Buckaroo Banzai. This is the image portrayed in the piece. The Phantom Ship movement is in the form of a baroque passacaglia using the harmonic language and tempo of the American minimalist movement as exemplified by composers Philip Glass and Steve Reich.

Wizard Island comes next with a dramatic incantation from the wizard herself. This gradually evolves into a gentile and nostalgic melody depicting a sentimental and somewhat lonesome magician.

The piece concludes with Rim Drive 2. The movement uses similar themes heard in Rim Drive 1 but with a distinctive seven-step circular chord progression: C – A – F – D – B-flat – G – E-flat – (C).

After a quickening of pace and a dramatic flourish, the work concludes. Crater Lake Fantasy consists of 1,946 quarter-note beats, the depth of Crater Lake at it deepest point measured in feet.