On Friday, Jan. 30, at 8:00 p.m., harpist Maria Casale will join the Pasadena Community Orchestra (PCO) during the second concert of its 32nd season. The event will be held at the First Church of the Nazarene and will be offered free of charge.
Those in the audience will be treated to an outstanding array of music that will start with the Overture to Don Giovanni, some of Mozart’s finest writing, performed by PCO.
Ms. Casale will then follow with a performance of Handel’s Harp Concerto in B-flat Major. (You may recognize the melody as a concerto for organ, because Handel, a very smart artist, adapted the work for other instruments to make it more marketable.) Do not be surprised if Ms. Casale’s artful fingers over the strings transport your mind to an elegant mid-18th century atmosphere! She is a world-class concert artist who has enamored audiences throughout the world. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at Julliard School of Music, and is currently Principal Harp with the New West Symphony, the California Philharmonic, and the Downey Symphony.
The concert’s major work, William Grant Still’s Symphony #1, also known as “Afro-American,” will be a rare treat. The composer “wanted to demonstrate how the blues, so often considered a lowly expression, could be elevated to the highest musical level.” This piece will beautifully fuse traditional symphonic form with sounds from ragtime, jazz, blues, and the spirit of 1930’s dancing.
There will be no cover charge for this event, but donations will be accepted at the door. The First Church of the Nazarene is located at 3700 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., one block west of Michillinda Ave. Parking will also be free. As an additional treat, immediately following the concert you may meet the soloist and the other musicians at a reception.
For further information see http://www.pcomusic.org
Photo: Harpist Maria Casale / Courtesy of PCO