MARIPOSA – The Mariposa Symphony Orchestra’s “Independence Day Spectacular!” concert features an eclectic mix of Americana, prompting MSO Founder/Conductor Les Marsden to describe the event as “Cowboys, Droids and Young Composers.”
The Friday, July 3rd concert at Mariposa County Park Amphitheatre will feature cowboys in the form of American composer Aaron Copland’s western-homage “Rodeo.”
Originally a 20-minute ballet commissioned in 1942 by choreographer Agnes DeMille, the musical work includes “Buckaroo Holiday,” “Corral Nocturne,” “Saturday Night Waltz” and the very famous final movement, “Hoedown.”
Droids will be represented in suites of film music by John Williams: “Star Wars” and “The Empire Strikes Back.”
Perhaps America’s greatest living film composer, Williams’ career spans well over six decades and includes such iconic scores as “Jaws,” “ET,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Indiana Jones,” “Jurassic Park” and many others. Among his most recognizable tunes are those from the six (to date) “Star Wars” films and suites drawn from two of the greatest of those films will be performed by the MSO under Marsden.
Two local young American composers will enjoy world premiere performances of their music during the concert. 13-year-old Matt Kroeker and 15-year-old Sean Cox are the winners of the 2015 Young Master Composers Celebration, a contest of the Mariposa Symphony Orchestra and the Mariposa County Arts Council. Both young men are violinists in the Mariposa Symphony Orchestra.
Kroeker’s piece is titled “Symphony #3” and Cox’s work is called “Freedom’s Flame.” Each composition is approximately five minutes in length and both were written following guidelines created by MSO Founder/Conductor Les Marsden.
The two student works were orchestrated by Marsden and each winning young composer will receive $50, a certificate, a sound recording of the orchestrated compositions and a full orchestral score of this year’s pieces, in addition to the live premiere of their work.
Much-loved patriotic favorites including John Philip Sousa’s “Stars & Stripes Forever” and the late Dr. Phil Smith’s “Armed Forces Salute” will round out the program. This year’s concert is on a Friday evening (July 3rd) so as not to conflict with other events on July 4th. Refreshments (including hot dogs) will be sold at a concessions stand operated by the Arts Council at the Amphitheatre.
Tickets for the MSO’s Friday, July 3rd “Independence Day Spectacular!” concert are only $6 for adults and $4 for students and are available now at the Mariposa County Arts Council’s office and Treetop Gallery on the top floor of the Chocolate Soup store at the southern entrance to the town of Mariposa, at the convergence of Highways 140 and 49. Call (209) 966-3155 for tickets and information.
Tickets are also available at the Mariposa Visitors Center at the north end of town, directly opposite Miners Roadhouse; call (209) 966-7081 for hours.
And may the force compel you to be there on July 3rd!