WF Symphony Orchestra to preform ‘Music in Pictures’

The 74th annual Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra season concludes at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Auditorium with the multimedia concert “Music in Pictures.”

“Music in Pictures” had been scheduled earlier this year but was cancelled due to venue issues.

The performance will feature the WFSO and the photography of Nicholas Bardonnay of Westwater Arts and Wichitan Frank Yeager.

“I am really really happy that we can perform it,” said Fouad Fakhouri, WFSO music director and conductor.

The evening musically features Leonard Bernstein’s “Overture to Candide” (1956); William Grant Still’s “Symphony No. 1”; Jose Pablo Moncayo’s “Huapango” (1941); Dvořák’s Largo from Symphony No. 9 “From the New World” (1893); and Aaron Copland’s “Rodeo” — “Four Dance Episodes” (1942).

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Guest artist Bardonnay will present three visual concertos: “Magico,” “Rodeo!” and a newly commissioned piece featuring Yeager’s photography.

During these three musical performances, he will project his curated photographic images onto a large screen, above the concert stage.

 Bardonnay choreographed “Magico” to North American composer Moncayo’s “Huapango” and his own images from Mexico.

This a photo by Wichitan Frank Yeager taken in Yellowstone National Park. The Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra will conclude its 74th season with a multimedia performance titled “Music in Pictures” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Auditorium with guest artist Nicholas Bardonnay. Bardonnay will project images of his photography on a screen while the orchestra performs. A newly commissioned piece for the evening will bring together Yeager’s photography of Yellowstone with the “Largo” movement from Dvořák’s New World symphony.

The piece — in both music and images — celebrates the diversity, warmth and cultural richness of Mexico, WFSO Executive Director Alicia Deges said.

The WFSO’s newly commissioned piece brings together Yeager’s photography of Yellowstone National Park with the “Largo” movement from Dvořák’s symphony.

Yeager’s images are drawn from many years documenting the park’s landscapes, plants and animals, according to Deges.

Closing out the Saturday concert will be Copland’s “Rodeo!” — which brings together Bardonnay’s images of a small-town rodeo with Copland’s beloved musical composition, said Deges.

The program came together, Fakhouri said, after Deges brought Bardonnay to his attention.

“He creates photography that he sort of marries with music,” Fakhouri said.  

The Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra will conclude its 74th season with a multimedia performance titled “Music in Pictures” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Auditorium with guest artist Nicholas Bardonnay. Bardonnay will project images of his photography such as this one on a screen while the orchestra performs. This image is from a performance of Copland’s “Rodeo."

Fakhouri then asked Bardonnay to develop a multimedia work featuring Yeager’s photographs. The conductor had first seen them several years ago and was very impressed.

Fakhouri said the “Music in Pictures” program reflects the music of the North and South Americas.

Bernstein’s short “Overture to Candide” opens the evening, he said.

“His subject matter may not be American, but his music certain is,” Fakhouri said. 

The Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra will conclude its 74th season with a multimedia performance titled “Music in Pictures” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Auditorium with guest artist Nicholas Bardonnay. Bardonnay will project images of his photography such as this one on a screen while the orchestra performs. This image is from a performance of Copland’s “Rodeo."

“William Grant Still’s symphony is seldom heard today,” Fakhouri said. “It’s one of the first symphonies by an African American composer and one that incorporates jazz and blues in a really interesting manner.” 

Fakhouri added: “It also has a nice banjo part in it.”  

The banjo part will be performed by Wichita Falls native Scott Whitfield, who was just recently inducted into the American Banjo Hall of Fame in 2021.

Anita Shire

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