Centenary Youth Orchestra presents "Professors in Performance"
March 16, 2017
SHREVEPORT, LA — The Centenary Youth Orchestra presents a fun and unique spring concert on Sunday, March 26 at 3:00 p.m. in Anderson Auditorium at Centenary’s Hurley School of Music. The concert is free and open to the public.
The Centenary Youth Orchestra is comprised of more than 40 young instrumentalists from northwest Louisiana and is under the direction of Dr. Todd Gabriel, professor at Centenary’s Hurley School of Music.
“This is a very special and personal program for me for several reasons,” says Gabriel. “With this program, we get to showcase how fun and rewarding 20th and 21st century music can be.”
The concert beings with the cheerful March from Serenade for Strings (1937) by Swedish composer Dag Wiren, followed by the world premiere of Unworn Shoes, a suite of three dances that Gabriel wrote specifically for the Centenary Youth Orchestra. They are from a larger work in progress called Addison’s Unworn Shoes which is designed for young audiences and has a narration written by Dr. Gabriel’s brother, John Gabriel.
“I wanted to write something for the Youth Orchestra so they could experience working on a premiere and be exposed to the jazzy rhythmic style that I compose in,” says Gabriel.
To conclude the concert, Dr. Thomas Ticich, the Velma Davis Grayson Eminent Scholars Endowed Chair of the Chemistry Department at Centenary, will perform the virtuosic Accordion Concerto in E (1946) by Pietro Deiro (1888-1950). Deiro, one of the most influential accordionists of the first half of the 20th century, promoted himself as “The Daddy of the Accordion” and was a famous vaudeville accordionist. Ticich, himself a master of this special instrument, will offer the wonderful and unusual experience of classical accordion music with his performance of the Deiro piece.
“This is a rare opportunity for me to perform a concerto with an orchestra,” says Ticich. “It is particularly special to do so with a colleague, with Centenary students, and with so many talented young musicians in the Shreveport community. This is my first performance of the entire concerto (all four movements) and has been a great learning experience for us all in the collaboration between a soloist and an orchestra.”
Ticich is a native of New Jersey and began playing the accordion at the age of six. He was classically trained at a studio specializing in the accordion and was a three-time New Jersey Virtuoso Solo Champion on the instrument during his high school years. He attended Rutgers University as an undergraduate and earned a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ticich taught at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota before joining the Centenary faculty in 1994. He is an active accordion performer on campus and in the local community, most recently appearing with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra in the Shreveport Opera production of Fiddler on the Roof.
The Centenary Youth Orchestra offers high school students an opportunity to play challenging, rewarding repertoire with college students and faculty. Openings for next fall are available for all orchestral instruments. Learn more about the Youth Orchestra and other music preparatory programs at the Hurley School of Music at centenary.edu/campus-community/hurley-school-of-music.