Midcoast Symphony Orchestra to perform “Favorite Music for All Ages”

Mesa Schubeck, pianist and winner of the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra’s Judith Elser Concerto Competition. Courtesy of Midcoast Symphony Orchestra

The Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Rohan Smith, performs “Favorite Music for All Ages” in Lewiston and Topsham on Jan. 14 and 15. The program presents a variety of light-hearted music aimed at youngsters and their families.

“Tubby the Tuba” by George Kleinsinger and Paul Tripp “is both a kid-oriented introduction to some of the instruments in the orchestra, and a fable about the importance of self-esteem, especially if you are, like both tubas and bullfrogs, the butt of too many jokes,” according to musicologist Mary Hunter, a music professor at Bowdoin College. Orchestra tubist Doug Ertman will play the part of Tubby, with the story narrated by Denise Shannon.

Blue Hill native Mesa Schubeck will perform the first movement of Edvard Grieg’s crowd-pleasing piano concerto. Schubeck won the orchestra’s Judith Elser Concerto Competition last spring. She previously completed a master’s degree in piano performance and is currently pursuing a second masters in piano pedagogy at the University of Southern Maine.

“This Grieg concerto is so much fun to play! It’s bold and sweeping, beautiful and romantic,” Schubeck said in a news release. “From practicing it solo to performing it with my teacher Laura Kargul at the concerto competition to now having the opportunity to play with the orchestra and bring this piece to life in a new way.”

The concert also includes “Hungarian March” from the opera “The Damnation of Faust” by Hector Berlioz. Midcoast Symphony Orchestra’s “Conduct the Orchestra” winner, Joel Preston, will lead a lively rendition of “Yankee Doodle,” arranged by 20th century composer Morton Gould. Dance music rounds out the program. “Danzon No. 2” by Arturo Márquez, written in 1994, is one of his most popular works. It combines elements of lively dance music from both Cuba and Mexico. “Capriccio Espagnol” by Rimsky-Korsakov invokes rhythms and dance-like music from Spain.

In addition, two young, local fiddlers will provide intermission entertainment at the Saturday concert in Lewiston. Also, anyone is welcome at the free, pre-concert Meet the Instruments event before the Sunday concert, 1:30-2 p.m. at Orion. Orchestra musicians will be on hand to give people of all ages a chance to play the instruments of the orchestra.

A limited number of free tickets is available for adults accompanying children at either concert — one per family on a first-come, first-served basis. Complete concert and ticket information, including the free ticket offer, is at MidcoastSymphony.org. Individual tickets are $22 in advance, $25 at the concert, and free for ages18 and under and for college students with ID. Audiences are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at MidcoastSymphony.org or by calling the box office at (207) 481-0790.

The Midcoast Symphony Orchestra is a community orchestra founded in 1990. Started as a chamber orchestra, there are now more than 80 members. Members are volunteer musicians from many communities in Maine.

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