The Cape Community Orchestra will present its Spring Concert Series on Friday, May 13, at 7:30 PM at Northside United Methodist Church, 701 Airline Road, in Brewster, and Sunday, May 15, at 3 PM, at the Church of the Holy Spirit, 204 Monument Road, in Orleans.
Admission is free; free will donations are accepted at the concert.
Under the direction of John P. Hagon, the orchestra will perform a varied program of classical and popular music. A highlight will be a special arrangement of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” by Jerry Brubaker that replaces the original solo piano parts with various instruments in the orchestra.
Gershwin described the 1924 work as “a musical kaleidoscope of America, of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our metropolitan madness.” The energy and beauty of the piece endure today; “Rhapsody in Blue” remains one of the most popular of all American concert works.
Also on the program is the third and final movement from Symphony in D Minor by Belgian composer César Franck. Written in 1888, two years before Franck’s death, the piece is joyful and upbeat. Other classical works include the Overture to W.A. Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro,” “Three Dances” by Gioachino Rossini, and “Dubinushka” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov. “Dubinushka” means “little oak stick,” a tool said to be used by Russian laborers to overthrow their oppressive masters.
Popular music on the program includes Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s “The Sea Hawk,” the theme from the 1940 film of the same name. The film starred Errol Flynn as an English privateer (or sea hawk) in the 1580s who captured and destroyed more than 50 Spanish ships. The score was nominated for an Academy Award.
Other works are “The Penny-Whistle Song,” which was written by Leroy Anderson in 1951; and “Ballerina Girl,” written by Lionel Richie in 1986.
The Cape Community Orchestra is an all-volunteer group of musicians from across the Cape. Hagon is former chair of the Music Education Department at Berklee College of Music in Boston and is well-known for his career as music director and conductor for community bands in Barnstable and Harwich and the Cape Cod Conservatory Band.
A non-profit organization, Cape Community Orchestra is supported by private contributions and grants from local and regional institutions. The spring concerts are part of the orchestra’s annual program, which also includes two fall concerts and performances in area schools in February. For more information, visit the orchestra’s website at ccorchestra.weebly.com/.