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New Lansing Symphony Season Includes Audience Picking The Program

Timothy Muffitt photo
Courtesy photo
Timothy Muffitt

Usually, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra season begins in September, but for the season premiere concert, Maestro Timothy Muffitt tells me that the recently announced 2017-18 season has to be pushed back thanks to a bit of construction at the Wharton Center.

"Well, we've got some work being done on the Wharton Centerwith the new roof being put in there," says Lansing Symphony Maestro Timothy Muffitt, "so that bumps us back a little bit. But we've tried to takes advantage of the October setting for this first program and do some music which might be fitting for that time of year."

Which is to say that the October concert includes the Vampire Overture from the early Romantic Era composer Marschner, Love, the Magician by Manuel de Falla, and the Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz.

"There's a supernatural element that runs through the whole program. It's fun to do, especially when you have works like this where you can sort of explore the supernatural in a way that has some profundity to it." says Muffitt.

[The 'col legno" portion of music from Dream of the Witches Sabbath by Berlioz]

Music from “Dream of the Witches Sabbath” taken from the Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz where the violins there are using the back of their bows instead of the regular horse hairs.

"For a piece that was written in the 1830's, you know, this was written within just a few years of Beethoven's death." explains Muffitt. "It's really remarkable to see how far the composer has taken the musical language both in terms of what he uses in the orchestra, the instruments in the orchestra, and the scope of the piece, and the stroy underneath it all. It's really a remarkable piece that still sounds modern, and fresh, I feel."

That is how Maestro Muffitt and the Lansing Symphony kick off their 2017-18 concerts with the opener in October of this year. While the Maestro and I  discussed the remainder of the LSO’s Masterworks concerts yesterday, something you can find right now online at WKAR.org. There are the other portions of the Lansing Symphony’s musical outreach as well, like the 4 Chamber series concerts which take place not at the Wharton Center, but at Lansing’s First Presbyterian Church in the Molly Grove Chapel.

"Richard Sherman is the artistic director of our chamber series and this is a place where he has a great deal of expertise." says Muffitt. "He works directly with the musicians of the orchestra to come up with these programs. And we like the spotlight for many reasons! We like having chamber music as out component of our season offerings. We like being able to put the spotlight on our musicians in a chamber music environment and I think it provides a nice compliment to the other things in our season."

In addition, the ever successful Lansing Symphony Pops series returns with a holiday program in December, a Motown-themed concert in February and then the curiously named April presentation called “Pick Your Own Musical Adventure!” where you can pick the pieces that the Lansing Symphony will play.

"Essentially, there's a big wishlist playlist." explains Muffitt. "All of which will be ready to go and the audience through voting will help us determine what actually gets onto the program."

The complete listings of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s Masterworks, Chamber, Pops, and Jazz Band concerts are  available now online by visiting Lansing Symphony.org

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