Clarksville’s Gateway Chamber Orchestra presented City of Light as its second performance of the 2017-2018 season and the first in this year’s GCO Family and Children’s Series. Prior to the performance, families were invited to APSU’s Music & Mass Communications building to check out the musical instrument petting zoo, a fun activity that allows kids of all ages to experience musical instruments. APSU music students greet the kids and introduce them to brass and stringed instruments as well as woodwinds and percussion. Conductor Greg Wolynec and GCO always bring exciting elements together in a unique and wonderful way. Sunday’s program included two pieces of music, George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris,” and Camille Saint-Saens’ “Danse Macabre.” As the orchestra performed “An American in Paris,” footage from 1920s Paris was projected onto the screen behind the stage, which captured the feeling of the city at the time Gershwin composed the piece. Wolynec began the performance by describing to the audience the various musical elements within the composition. The orchestra then brought his descriptions to sonic life, Gershwin’s iconic blues when he was homesick for America; jazz, as he discovered the jazz clubs of Paris; and the main theme of the piece that captured the busyness of the Paris streets. Q-108’s Gretchen Cordy was guest narrator of the show. Cordy gave a reading based on a story by Anna Celenza, which depicted Saint-Saens’ process of writing and debuting “Danse Macabre.” Animated images depicting the action were projected on the screen as the orchestra played the timeless piece. For GCO information, go to www.gatewaychamberorchestra.com
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