Upcoming JCSO concert honors Milligan’s 150th Anniversary

Published 10:47 am Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Johnson City Symphony Orchestra (JCSO) will be joined by the Milligan College Orchestra and Choir to celebrate the college’s 150th anniversary, featuring music by the classical masters in an unprecedented collaborative evening for the symphony’s fifth concert this season.
For the first time ever, the JCSO will be performing on the same program with both the Milligan College Choir and Milligan College Orchestra. While the Milligan’s choir has appeared numerous times with the JCSO, the school’s orchestra has performed with the group just twice before. There has never been a time when all three groups presented on the same night.
“This exciting, commemorative evening involves more than 130 talented singers and musicians and shouldn’t be missed by anyone who loves music,” stated JCSO Maestro Robert Seebacher. “Being part of Milligan College’s 150th anniversary by sharing the stage and collaborating in this way is a highlight of my own career and, I hope, signals a continued tradition of partnership. People who attend won’t be disappointed in the program or the performances.”
“We couldn’t be more excited to make the JCSO part of our sesquicentennial celebration this year,” said Milligan President Dr. Bill Greer. “Milligan has had a longstanding partnership with the symphony, serving as their primary performance venue for many years. Also, we’ve enjoyed the many occasions when our various choirs and ensembles have been able to perform with the symphony. We are happy to continue this tradition of collaboration as we promote and strengthen the arts in this community.”
Dr. Kellie Brown, who chairs the Milligan College music department and conducts the 27-member Milligan College Orchestra, selected the work on which the two orchestras would collaborate: “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3” by J.S. Bach, which consists of six concerti. “This is one of the masterpieces of the baroque string repertoire,” Brown noted. “It is a perfect piece on which to combine the string sections of the JCSO and the Milligan Orchestra.”
In addition to her work at Milligan, Brown is also associate concertmaster (since 2006) and assistant conductor for the JCSO (since 2008).
The 35-member Milligan College Choir will join with the JCSO in a performance of “Te Deum for Maria Theresa,” a work written by Franz Joseph Haydn to honor Empress Maria Theresa, who was archduchess of Austria, the Holy Roman Empress and queen of Hungary and Bohemia during the mid-1700s. The Milligan choir will sing the Te Deum in this work, which is a multi-verse Christian Hymn of praise that dates back to about 500 AD and has been repeatedly set to music by composers since the 10th century.
Milligan’s choir is directed by Noah DeLong, who has been assistant professor of music at the college since 2011.
As part of this special concert, the JCSO will also be playing perhaps the least known of Ludwig van Beethoven’s nine symphonic works, “Symphony No. 4”; as well as what some believe is Mozart’s most famous opera, “Overture to The Marriage of Figaro.”
Tickets are on sale now for the Feb. 6 concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Mary B. Martin Auditorium of Seeger Chapel at Milligan College. A pre-concert lecture will be held in Seeger Chapel’s lower auditorium at 6:30 on Feb. 6. An additional lecture will be offered on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at the Johnson City Public Library at 6:30 pm. JCSO’s concert season will conclude on March 5 with a guest appearance by Sonora Slocum, principal flautist for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
Concerts are partially funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Arts Commission. Johnson City Press and Jet Broadcasting are media sponsors for the 2015-2016 subscription series. Visit www.jcsymphony.com or call the symphony office at 423-926-8742 for more information.

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