published Thursday, February 6th, 2014

CSO's 'Symphonic Voyagers' has space-age families in mind - Feb. 9

Kyoko Dan with inset of Jupiter's moon, Io.
Kyoko Dan with inset of Jupiter's moon, Io.

IF YOU GO

* What: Chattanooga Symphony & Opera's Volkswagen Series, "Symphonic Voyagers: The Orchestra in Orbit and Beyond."

* When: 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9.

* Where: Volkswagen Conference Center, 7351 Volkswagen Drive.

* Admission: $25 adults. $5 children 17 and younger.

* Phone: 423-267-8583.

* Website: www.chattanoogasymphony.org.

* Note: The CSO also will present this program at its annual Young People's Concert at noon today, Feb. 6, at the Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St. Admission is $5.

THE PROGRAM

* Calvin Custer's "Star Trek Through the Years"

* Gustav Holst's "Mars" from "The Planets"

* Ludwig van Beethoven's Movement No. 1 from Symphony No. 5

* J.S. Bach's Movement No. 1 from Brandenburg Concerto No. 2

* Henryk Wieniawski's Movement No. 3 from Concerto No. 2 for Violin and Orchestra

* Igor Stravinsky's "The Infernal Dance" from "The Firebird Suite"

* Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Queen of the Night Aria" from "The Magic Flute"

* Gustav Holst's "Jupiter" from "The Planets"

* John Williams' "E.T.: Adventures on Earth"

Last October, NASA announced that after 36 years of travel, the Voyager 1 probe had left the solar system and become the first man-made object to reach interstellar space.

Stored within, and now 12 billion miles -- and counting -- from home, is a 12-inch, gold-plated copper disk containing a variety of information, including 27 musical selections from around the world.

On Sunday, Feb. 9, the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera will honor Voyager's achievement and the interstellar distinction of some of its passenger composers with a concert featuring selections from the disk as well as Earth-bound compositions with space themes. The performance is part of the Volkswagen Series at the Volkswagen Conference Center.

The CSO also will present the program for its annual Young People's Concert, targeting students in grades 3-8, starting at noon today, Feb. 6, at the Tivoli Theatre.

"It's kind of romantic to think about that stuff, the unknown and the thought that maybe there are aliens out there listening to what we have to offer here on Earth," says CSO conductor Kayoko Dan. "That's the idea we had behind [these concerts].

"There's not an apparent tie between music and space, but in the grand scheme of things, the feeling you get when you think about space and the feeling you get when you listen to music or play it are both feelings you can't describe with words."

Dan says the selections for this program are a combination of recognizable works from the classical canon, including Bach's Brandenburg Concerto and Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, as well as selections from popular science fiction, such as an arrangement of music from "Star Trek" and John Williams' score to "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial."

This year's CSO Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition winner, violinist Bethany Thornton, will perform a movement from her winning composition, Henryk Wieniawski's Concerto No. 2 in D Minor.

CSO horn player and educator Carey Shinbaum suggested a program based on Voyager's historic journey and will once again reprise his role as the evening's host. In addition to engaging the audience with his words, he may give his nostrils a workout during the performance of "Queen of the Night Aria" from Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute."

"He may be playing his nose flute, as long as his sinuses are OK," Dan says, laughing.

As its name suggests, the nose flute is played by exhaling through the nostrils. In case of blockage or other issues, Dan says Shinbaum is also a "virtuoso recorder player" and will use that as a backup instrument.

To appeal most directly to its target audience, the selections for the program are both varied and brief. The entire performance lasts about an hour. In addition, Dan hints that there may be an "alien visitor" at some point during the performance.

"It'll be much more relaxed and fun and funny and interactive," Dan says. "I want people to feel relaxed coming in and not worry about their children screaming during the concert and things like that.

"We want it to be open and for anyone to come."

Contact Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6205.

Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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