Home Diablo Symphony Concert: Mother's Day with Florence Price

    Diablo Symphony Concert: Mother’s Day with Florence Price

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    Date(s) - 05/08/2022
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    Lesher Center for the Arts


    Celebrate Mother’s Day with the Diablo Symphony and a beautiful program that celebrates all mothers, featuring the pioneering work of African American composer Florence Price, on May 8 at 2:00 p.m. at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek. The program begins with Price’s joyous Symphony No. 3, with movements that beautifully combine Romantic and African musical elements. The 3rd movement evokes a plantation Juba, a fast-paced dance involving “body percussion”, performed by slaves who weren’t allowed instruments that might transmit secret codes. Fast, swirling themes in the 4th movement portray jubilance and demonstrate virtuosity throughout the orchestra.

    The program continues with 2 beautiful works featuring area soprano Heidi Moss Erickson. Antonín Dvořák’s “Songs My Mother Taught Me” speaks of a mother’s tears, memories, and influence. Samuel Barber’s masterpiece “Knoxville Summer of 1915” dreamily illustrates James Agee’s poem remembering the comfort and security felt by a child surrounded by love. Yet, in the end, the child recognizes that those who love him “will not ever tell me who I am,” a quiet acceptance of mystery, fragility, and mortality. The program concludes with a medley of songs by legendary jazz musician, composer, and conductor Duke Ellington, including his famous “Sophisticated Lady,” written originally as an instrumental sketch of grade-school teachers who, in Ellington’s words, “taught all winter and toured Europe in the summer. To me that spelled sophistication.” Words were later added by Tin Pan Alley lyricist Mitchell Parish and approved by Ellington, even though they were “not entirely fitted to my original conception.” Ellington’s last words were said to be, “Music is how I live, why I live, and how I will be remembered,” fitting words as we celebrate and remember through music the mothers in our own lives.

    Advance tickets are available at the Lesher Center Box Office (1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, 925-943-7469) and at https://www.diablosymphony.org. Tickets will also be available at the door.

    Please call the Lesher Center or check its website (https://www.lesherartscenter.org/) for COVID-19-related requirements in place on the date of this concert for event attendance. This information will also be on the DSO’s web page for this concert.

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