The ACU orchestra will be celebrating the Bernstein 100 by performing the works of Leonard Bernstein at the Wylie Performing Arts Center.
Bernstein was an American composer who wrote pieces like “West Side Story” and “Wonderful Town.”
Dr. Steven Ward, director of orchestra and bands, said other orchestras, bands, opera companies, musical theatre companies, choirs, etc. all over the world are celebrating the Bernstein 100, or Bernstein’s 100th birthday, by performing their own concerts.
“It’s been an incredibly special year,” Ward said.
Ward said Bernstein is one of the reasons why he directs orchestras. When he was a child, he saw the composer conducting an orchestra on television. He thought it looked amazing and wanted to do the same thing himself.
Alanna Curley, senior music education major from Flower Mound, said Ward does well with programming orchestra concerts.
“Every one is very well thought through,” Curley said. “This year he wanted to celebrate Bernstein. He wanted to add lots of different elements of his music, so we’re playing lots of different pieces on this concert by him.”
The Civic Orchestra of Abilene, who will perform Bernstein’s songs, has orchestra students from ACU, Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University. Community members will also perform.
The following pieces will be featured at the concert: Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah” III. Lamentation (featuring vocal professor and soloist Lynette Chambers from Hardin-Simmons), West Side Story, Overture to “Candide”, Wonderful Town, Prelude Fugue and Riffs (featuring clarinet professor and soloist Kristen Ward).
A preview of the homecoming musical, “Wonderful Town,” will be showcased in the concert as well.
Curley said this theatre preview is to not only draw attention to the musical, but to also show another side to Bernstein’s music.
The concert is Saturday at 7:30 p.m and admission is free for everyone.
“The concert’s not going to be much longer than an hour,” Ward said. “It’s going to be a packed concert with a wide variety of great music.”