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Hill College Welcomes Back the Baylor Symphony on Sept. 24

09.18.15

The 22nd season of the Hill College Performing Arts Series begins with an encore performance by the Baylor Symphony under the direction of Stephen Heyde Sept. 24 in the Vara Martin Daniel Performing Arts Center, just behind the Texas Heritage Museum on the Hillsboro Campus at 7:30pm.  No tickets are required and seating is first-come first-served basis.  A reception will follow, hosted by the Hillsboro Sesame Club.

Heyde, who is the Mary Franks Thompson Professor of Orchestral Activities and Conductor-in-Residence at Baylor University, is only the second conductor the group has had since its inception in 1944 under the baton of Daniel Sternberg, the Dean of the School of Music at that time.  Heyde took over in 1984 and since that time has led this outstanding ensemble to national notoriety, performing eight times at the Texas Music Educators Clinic/Convention as well as performances at the national conventions of the American String Teachers Association and the College Orchestra Directors Association.  The symphony has performed as part of the Hill College Performing Arts Series on three previous occasions.

This year’s program will include a special feature, the performance of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G by Baylor School of Music Artist-in-Residence and Professor of Piano Krassimira Jordan.  Ms. Jordan taught piano previously at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts, where she also studied after attending the Sofia Conservatory in Moscow.  Her performances in prestigious venues throughout the world and competitive successes are too numerous to mention. 

In addition to the Ravel concerto, the orchestra will perform Mozart’s overture to his opera Cosi fan tutte , about two officers who wager an older man that he cannot entice their fiancèes to be unfaithful; and the final three movements of Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique, based on the composer’s real-life infatuation with Shakespearean actress Harriett Smithson and visions he has of her during an opium-induced “trip”.  The third movement is a pastoral, which was a common element in symphonies of the time, evoking a scene of shepherds in the field answering one another with their ranz des vaches portrayed using and English horn and off-stage oboe; the fourth is the artist’s march to the scaffold after murdering his beloved, which ends with a clarinet playing the idée fixe representing his beloved just before we hear the blade fall and his head drop; and the final movement, Dream of the Witches’ Sabbath, imagines him in the underworld where he is taunted by his beloved, witches and other evil spirits.  This movement, especially, is a tour de force of innovative techniques in orchestration such as the use of shrieking Eb clarinets, the inclusion of church bells and strings playing col legno battuto in which the wood of the bow is used to strike the strings. 

If you would like to support the Hill College Performing Arts Series, you are invited to become a Benefactor ($100), a Sustainer ($50), a Patron ($25), or a Supporter ($10) of the Hill College Performing Arts Series. Also, for a donation of $1,000 or more you can become a LIFETIME BENEFACTOR. Names of lifetime benefactors, benefactors, sustainers, patrons and supporters appear in each program. You may send your donation to: Hill College Music Dept., Attention: Phillip Lowe, 112 Lamar Drive, Hillsboro, Texas, 76645.

Whether or not you support the series with a monetary gift, we hope you will support the series with your presence and invite others to these wonderful evenings of entertainment at Hill College.  For more information on the performers and performances and to view promotional videos of each group, visit the Hill College homepage (hillcollege.edu) and click on “Performing Arts Series” found in the drop-down menu under “Quick Links” in the center of the page.