CONCORD, Mass. (Wicked Local) — Each year, the Concord Orchestra features a young performer selected by the annual young artist competition. The competition is open to musicians of high school age or younger who live in eastern Massachusetts. The winner is chosen by a panel of orchestra members and the music director. The winner also receives a cash prize from the Ehlers Memorial Scholarship Fund.
This year’s winner is 17-year-old Haig Hovsepian, of Belmont. Hovsepian will perform Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto in D minor in the orchestra’s winter concert at 8 p.m. January 29 and 30 at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden St., Concord.
In addition to fine performances by these talented young artists, the Concord Orchestra is excited to perform works by Joyce Mekeel and George Frederick Handel with The Spectrum Singers, John Erhlich, music director. This highly-regarded chorus performs music from all musical periods and has recently collaborated with Emmanuel Music, the Indian Hill Symphony Orchestra and The Cantata Singers.
Joyce Mekeel’s Toward the Source for orchestra and chorus was commissioned by the Concord Bicentennial Committee and was premiered by the Concord Orchestra and the Concord-Carlisle High School Concert Choir for the April Patriots’ Day celebration in 1975. Mekeel did extensive research to complete her assignment to interpret “Concord, its rivers, and its search for values.”
The piece relates the town’s history from 1635 to the time of the transcendentalists. The chorus recites Indian place names, sites on the river, Biblical quotes, tombstone inscriptions and the name of every colonial fighter at the North Bridge the day of “the shot heard ‘round the world.” It concludes with a quote from the hymn that Ives used as the basis of the “Concord Sonata,” a work inspired by the transcendentalists.
Other works on the program are From the Censer from Handel’s oratorio Solomon and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5, Reformation.