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Austin Civic Orchestra Readies Texas Premiere of Tribute to Woody Guthrie

Updated: Friday, September 7 2012, 08:40 AM CDT
By Rob Faubion, AustinOnStage.com

The September 29th concert will feature composer David Amram’s "Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie" along with works by Copland, Gershwin and Cage.

The Austin Civic Orchestra opens their 2012-13 Season with "This Land is Our Land," a concert of American music featuring the Texas premiere of composer David Amram’s "Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie." Composer Amram will be in attendance to celebrate the premiere - which is part of the 100th birthday tribute to the legendary Woody Guthrie - on Saturday, September 29th, at the Pflugerville High School Performing Arts Center. 
    
The program features an all-American lineup of music that will also include works by Copland, Gershwin and Cage, as well as a performance of Doppler's "Concerto for Two Flutes" by the Austin Civic Orchestra member concerto competition winners, Sharon Davis and Marcia Gillespie-Norder.  Under the direction of Dr. Lois Ferrari, the concert launches the Austin Civic Orchestra’s theme for the 2012-13 Season: "Embracing the Classics. Exploring the Future."
   
The prolific contemporary American composer and musician Amram was commissioned in 2007 by Guthrie’s daughter, Nora, to compose “Variations” in honor of her father’s classic song, “This Land is Your Land.”  Amram first met Woody Guthrie in 1957 at a mutual friend’s apartment in New York City.  As they sat “swapping tales and drinking coffee at the tiny kitchen table from noon until it was dark outside,” Amram describes himself “transfixed as [Woody] took us on his journeys with him through his stories."
  
 "Woody didn't need a guitar to put you under his spell," Amram said.  "Like his songs and books and artwork, everything came from the heart.  This piece is a thank you note to him for all the joy his spirit still gives to people all over the world.”
    
Amram has equal praise for Conductor Ferrari, saying “She is doing what all the arts honchos say should be done in America to bring classical music to people, and usually don't have a clue of how to do it. She is building something in her community, for the community and bringing great music to people in that community in a user-friendly way. That takes talent, commitment, endless work and patience!”
     
Tickets for the concert event are $12 for general admission; $10 for seniors, military and students, and $5 for children 11 and under.  The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
    
The Pflugerville High School Performing Arts Center is located at 1301 Pecan Street in Pflugerville.  Tickets are available online www.AustinCivicOrchestra.org or at the door.

(Photo of David Amram by Chris Felver)
Austin Civic Orchestra Readies Texas Premiere of Tribute to Woody Guthrie


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