Poway Symphony presents concert of all-American composers

Poway Symphony Orchestra conductor Warren Torns.
Poway Symphony Orchestra conductor Warren Torns.

By Emily Sorensen

The Poway Symphony Orchestra is presenting the works of all-American composers, featuring both well-known and obscure names, at their next concert, being held 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18 at Rancho Bernardo High School, 13010 Paseo Lucido.

The works performed by the Orchestra will include pieces by Leonard Bernstein, Charles Ives, John Philip Sousa, Ron Nelson and Morton Gould, among others. “These are composers that are not usually performed by an orchestra, so this is an adventure for us,” said music director Warren Torns.

Torns said one of the songs the Poway Symphony Orchestra will be performing is “Savannah River Holiday,” by Ron Nelson, normally performed by bands, but which was actually originally written for an orchestra. “It’s a bridge between the two,” said Torns.

The upcoming concert is also a chance for Torns and the orchestra to show off their newly expanded string section. “We’ve done some recruiting,” said Torns. “Our string section has really grown.” The orchestra now boasts eight more cellos, 8 additional second violins, and six more first violins, bringing them closer to having a full string section. The orchestra already has a full wind section, which will be showcased by the pieces performed at the Nov. 18 concert.

Much of their recruiting was done through word-of-mouth. “We got some really fine players due to our reputation,” said Torns, who said some of the recruits were former orchestra members returning, and some were his former students from his time teaching high school music.

The Poway Symphony Orchestra is continuing their recruiting of strings. “We can always use more strings, always,” said Torns, who hopes to recruit advanced high school students to join. “With the orchestra, they can do more advanced music than can be done in a high school orchestra,” said Torns. “It’s a good opportunity for them to play alongside adult performers.”

Torns plans to show off his fuller string section at the orchestra’s next concert, in March, which will feature the music of Tchaikovsky, as well as choirs from Rancho Bernardo High School, Mt. Carmel High School, and California State University San Marcos. “It’ll be very different for the audiences,” said Torns.

The concert is free to the public; donations to defray costs are accepted. For more information on the orchestra or the concert, call 858-673-9702 or visit www.powaysymphony.org.

   
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