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CWSO kicks off season of CommUNITY

Metro Wire Staff

The Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra continues its 71st season of CommUNITY on February 22 and 23 by taking its listeners on a musical journey.

“Voyages and Variations” will be performed under the direction of Dr. Andres Moran.

The concert will open with Mendelssohn’s “Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage,” a piece that tells the story of the anxieties and tribulations of sailors on the unpredictable sea; the story ending on a joyful note when they are met with open arms as they return to the harbor.

The CWSO is presenting the Wisconsin premiere of “Transcend,” the second piece on the program. This piece, composed by Zhou Tian, was commissioned by 13 American symphony orchestras, including the CWSO, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Tian, a professor of composition at Michigan State University, said as a Chinese-born composer who immigrated to America, he was “moved to create this new work to tell a musical story, to celebrate human perseverance, and to pay tribute to my own cultural heritage.”

The story is told in three contrasting movements that include pulsating rhythms, calm meditative-like moments, and a climactic finish. For more information about this piece, visit https://zhoutianmusic.com/transcend/.

The final piece on the program is “Enigma Variations” by Edward Elgar.

“These variations, which span a wide variety of feelings, moods, and orchestral textures, are each identified by the initials of a significant person in Elgar’s life, a group that includes relatives, friends, colleagues, patrons, and others, forming a touching tribute to those on whose love and support he relied [sic],” a news release from CWSO reads in part.

The concerts will take place at the Sentry Theater, 1800 Northpoint Dr. in Stevens Point. Pre-concert discussions with Moran will take place 30 minutes before each performance.

Saturday’s performance begins at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday’s performance begins at 4 p.m.

Tickets are available online at cwso.org/tickets, at the CWSO office, located in the Smith Scarabocchio Art Museum, 800 Main St., or at the door. Tickets may also be purchased by calling the CWSO office at 715-345-7726.