MYTH & MYSTERY to feature MIKE SAUL on horn

Myth & Mystery is the theme of the Quincy Symphony Orchestra’s fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16.

The orchestra performance, led by Dr. Bruce Briney, opens with Felix Mendelssohn’s “Fair Melusine Overture.”  The legend of Melusine dates back nearly 12 centuries.  The mysterious and beautiful Melusine, born of a mortal father and water sprite mother, is cursed to take the form of a serpent from her waist down one day each week. Not quite a mermaid or a siren, the fair Melusine’s image is seen every day all over the world, as the Starbucks Coffee logo. Mendelssohn’s Overture loosely follows the legend, depicting general impressions of the story through musical themes, opening with a delightfully cascading melody to represent the gracefulness of Melusine in water.

Michael Saul is the featured soloist for Franz Strauss’ “Horn Concerto, Op. 8.” This concerto is one of the most-demanding solo works for the horn, using the highest and lowest notes in the instrument’s register, often in quick succession. Mike is principal horn of the Quincy Symphony Orchestra and a member since 1976. He is retired from the Hannibal Public Schools where he served as co-director for the high school band, director of jazz bands and brass specialist. Mike has served as an adjunct faculty member at Quincy University and Culver-Stockton College and is currently a member of the Quincy Public Schools music faculty. He holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Music Education from Illinois State University. Mike is a 43-year member of the Quincy Park Band and plays horn for the 12th Street Brass Quintet.

He and his wife Randi of 41 years are the parents of Rebecca and Amanda, both of whom are pursuing careers in the Fine Arts.  Amanda was a QSO Young Artist Competition winner in 2009.

The “Myth & Mystery” concert culminates with Johannes Brahms’ “Symphony No. 2.”  This piece, written while the composer was on summer holiday in the Austrian Alps, is described as “all rippling streams, blue sky, sunshine and cool green shadows.” “Symphony No. 2” debuted in Vienna in 1877 and audience members embraced it immediately.  Brahms’ quipped that the “Viennese liked the work so much because two of the symphony’s four movements were written in waltz-time.” Early listeners began calling it the “pastoral symphony” for the way it evokes a bright, joyful countryside.

“Myth & Mystery” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 at Quincy Junior High’s Morrison Theater. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at Sturhahn Jewelers, County Market, Hy-Vee, or the symphony office, 200 N. 8th. Individual concert tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for senior citizens. Children 18 and under are encouraged to attend with their families, and will be admitted free thanks, in part, to a grant from the Tracy Family Foundation.

The Silver Baton Concert Sponsor for “Myth & Mystery” is Quincy Recycle. The Guest Artist Sponsor is the Arthur & Lela Lindsay Family, the Media Sponsor is KHQA-TV, and the Maestro Sponsor is Investment Planners, Inc. of Quincy.  All QSOA concerts are supported by the Joe & Jill Tracy Fund through the Community Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency and by Golden Baton Season Sponsors Knapheide Manufacturing, Blessing Health System.

Call 217-222-2856 or visit for more information on the music and performers, including program notes and biographies.