The Quincy Symphony Orchestra will present Shostakovich 5 as the finale to its Explorations season at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 17 in the QJHS Morrison Theater.
The concert begins with Karl Jenkin’s glorious collection called “The Peacemakers.” This piece offers inspiration through the words of Anne Frank, Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer, St. Francis of Assisi and others. Their ideas of the human spirit resonate throughout the music offering the listener the hope of peace.
“The Peacemakers” was conceived with an integral role for a children’s choir alongside an adult mixed choir and orchestra. The music exquisitely blends their voices in flowing melodies and sacred harmonies. The 140 singers of the Quincy Symphony Chorus, Quincy Area Youth Chorus, and Quincy University Concert Choir will perform 5 movements. For the 5th and final movement, the composer envisioned “a choir of 1000 voices”, and the QSOA is inviting the community help fulfill his vision through the addition of an audience chorus for that movement. Individuals interested in singing the Anthem, entitled “Peace, triumphant peace” from the audience can pick up a copy of the music at the concert or in advance from the Symphony office at 200 N. 8th St in Quincy. Seating is general admission, and singers will be free to sit anywhere in the auditorium, or can choose to sit in certain seating areas designated for vocalists and their families.
The concert and, the season, ends with the “Symphony No. 5” by Dmitri Shostakovich. Working under the oppressive regime of Joseph Stalin, Shostakovich spent much of his career fearful that he would pen the wrong sort of music. In 1936 his opera “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk” was criticized by Soviet officials as being the pessimistic type of music that composers ought not to be writing. In this atmosphere he realized that his next symphony, No. 5, had to meet the strict tastes of the regime or he too might disappear like so many other artists of the time.
Symphony No. 5 debuted in Leningrad in 1937 to great public acclaim despite some official suspicions of his motives. After the composition was widely accepted Shostakovich wrote “the theme of my symphony is the making of a man. I saw man with all his experiences at the center of the composition…In the finale the tragically tense impulses of the earlier movements are resolved in optimism and the joy of living.”
The $1,000 Grand Prize Drawing for the annual QSOA Raffle will be held at the conclusion of the intermission. Raffle proceeds support concerts of the orchestra, chorus, youth orchestra, and youth chorus, as well as the in-school symphony concerts for over 3000 children. The grand prize of $1,000 cash, 2nd prize of two Cape Air plane tickets, and 3rd prize of two QSOA season tickets will be awarded. Raffle tickets are on sale for $10 each or 12 for $100, and may be purchased at the concert, in advance from any orchestra, chorus, Encore! or Symphony Board member, or by visiting the website at www.qsoa.org.
Concert tickets will be available at the door or in advance from Sturhahn Jewelers or Quincy Hy-Vee stores. Tickets are $15 for seniors and $18 for other adults. Thanks in part to support from the Tracy Family Foundation and the Community Foundation, children 18 and under are admitted free to all QSO concerts. The concert sponsor is Mercantile Bank, music sponsor is Advance Physical Therapy and media sponsor is WGEM. QSOA concerts are partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency. The QSOA extends a special thanks to the Explorations season sponsors: the Knapheide Manufacturing Company, Blessing Health System and Gardner-Denver.