TTU senior takes marimba to center stage in BSO performance

thumb KonstantineVlasis-webThe compositions planned for the next performance by the Bryan Symphony Orchestra at Tennessee Tech University are bookends to four centuries' worth of remarkable music.

From the groundbreaking instrumental music of the 1607 "Orfeo" by Claudio Monteverdi to the energetic 2006 "Concerto for Marimba" by Emmanuel Sejourne, the program showcases every orchestral section, as well as an instrument that rarely takes center stage, the marimba.

The performance begins at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 24, in TTU’s Wattenbarger Auditorium. Tickets are $32 for adults and $27 for seniors 65 and up. Call 931-525-2633 for availability. The performance is sponsored by Dr. Walter Derryberry and his sons, Doug and Pitt Derryberry.

"There are 398 years between Monteverdi's 'Orfeo' and Sejourne's 'Concerto for Marimba and Strings,' and I'm always struck by how well Monteverdi goes with music from the 20th century," says BSO music director Dan Allcott.

The marimba, the "gentle giant" of the percussion family, resembles a strikingly large xylophone. It's the instrument of choice for Tennessee Tech senior Konstantine Vlasis, this year's winner of the Joan Derryberry Memorial Concerto Competition, one the university's most prestigious student awards.

Vlasis, last year's winner of the Charles F. Bryan Award for outstanding music major, is a graduate of the Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences and a former member of the Chattanooga Youth Symphony.

Also on the March 24 program is the "Concerto for 7 wind instruments, percussion and strings," written by Frank Martin in 1949. Solos spanning the wind, percussion and string sections of the orchestra showcase the BSO's faculty players: Roger Martin, flute; William Woodworth, oboe; Wonkak Kim, clarinet; James Lotz, bassoon; Jeremy Hansen, horn; Charles Decker, trumpet; Joshua Hauser, trombone; and Eric Willie, timpani.

Visit the BSO's web site at www.bryansymphony.org for a full schedule.

The only professional symphony in Tennessee outside a metropolitan area in the state, the Bryan Symphony is celebrating its 50th anniversary during the 2012-2013 season. Learn more at www.bryansymphony.org.