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Bloomington Symphony Orchestra to perform ocean-like music this Saturday


Musicians from the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra will compete in The Orchestra Games at 3 p.m. Feb. 10 at Bloomington High School South. The musicians will face off in various events including the Low Note Limbo, the Fast Note Dash and the Soft Note/Loud Note Event. Courtesy Photo

“From the Depths” is not a usual concert band production.

Coral in place of drums, discussions about the effects of nonreusable straws and videos of ocean conservation played over ocean-inspired music will make up the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra's newest concert at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

For this concert, the band will be playing a selection of professional pieces, including “Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave),” composed by Felix Mendelssohn, “Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes,” by Benjamin Britten and “Aqua” by Steve Heitzeg. “Aqua” is a tribute to a French naval officer and conservationist Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Cousteau was one of the first people to publicize the effects of pollution, specifically in the ocean and along the coast. This ocean-inspired song also features sea-like sounds created by unique percussion instruments, including coral, driftwood, a fog bell, an ocean drum, plastic six-pack rings, sea shells and small beach stones.

“It’s really different and really kind of cool,” said Donna Lafferty, second trombone and executive director for the BSO. “It’s not like something you will have ever heard before.”

“Aqua” will be accompanied by a video about marine conservation from the Ocean Futures Society, a nonprofit organization founded by Cousteau’s son, Jean-Michel Cousteau.

Also as a tribute to ocean conservation, in the middle of the show, there will be a short intermission in which staff from the City of Bloomington will be on site to provide information about how pollution affects the local waterways and what locals can do to combat their issues. These staff members will also be available before the concert begins.

Alice Ford, the 16-year-old winner of the BSO’s 2019 Youth Concerto Competition, is also scheduled to perform “Fantasia for Viola and Orchestra” by Johann Hummel on her viola.

The orchestra will also debut two pieces created by local composers that won separate categories in BSO’s Composition Competition in 2018. The first is “Among Waves,” by Alex Berko, and the second is “From Under,” by Jamie Kunselman.

The ocean theme arose from the symphony’s original selection of songs for the concert. It grew into an opportunity to not only showcase local talent but also teach the public, said Molly Brush, cello player and chair for community engagement on BSO's board of directors.

“This concert will help to educate people about protecting the oceans and marine conservation,” Brush said.

Tickets for this concert are available online for $8 for students and $15 for general admission. Tickets bought the day of the concert cost $10 for students and $18 for general admission. People 18 years old and younger can attend for free.

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