Composer brings ‘Dreams’ to Springfield Symphony

Forget it’s called the Kuss Auditorium for an evening. Imagine on Saturday, Jan. 16, that the Clark State Performing Arts Center stage is the “House of Dreams.”

The sandman in this case will be present – composer Jonathan Bailey Holland was just 23 when he created the “House of Dreams” – when the Springfield Symphony Orchestra presents it as part of its “Suite Dreams” MasterWorks concert.

Not only will Holland be in the house, he’ll do the opening notes pre-concert event at 7:15 p.m.

Although he’s heard “House of Dreams” performed by other symphonies, it’s still a thrill for Holland.

“It is humbling to see a large group of musicians commit time and energy into realizing my creation,” said Holland. “And it always validates the difficult process of composing the work, even when the eight-minute work to six months to compose.”

The composition was commissioned by the Enterprise Foundation for the Baltimore Symphony as a tribute for local planner and architect James Rouse, whose vision is celebrated in the piece.

Springfield Symphony conductor Maestro Peter Stafford Wilson said Holland is a member of the up-and-coming generation of American composers whose music truly deserves to be heard, and he complemented the program well.

“The artistic vision of the program literally traces the modern composer (Jonathan) back to the generation of composers who thoroughly defined an ‘American’ sound (Aaron Copland) back to Dvorak, who inspired composers of future generations to look within their American roots in order to establish their place in the ultimate history of music,” Stafford Wilson said.

While in the area, Holland will speak at several area universities including Wittenberg, Cedarville and Wright State, as well as some Springfield-area schools, also joining in a Martin Luther King luncheon and rehearsals with the Symphony prior to the concert.

Despite living on the east coast for most of his life, Holland’s roots are in the Midwest, and he’s happy to be back here in the thick of it.

“It is great to be able to return to the familiarity of this part of the country. I feel very fortunate that I am able to share my art, both in the concert hall and in the community and classroom.

How to go

What: Springfield Symphony Orchestra, “Suite Dreams”

Where: Clark State Performing Arts Center, Kuss Auditorium, 300 S. Fountain Ave., Springfield

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16

Admission: $27-51 adults; $15-39 students

More info: 937-325-8100 or go to www.springfieldsym.org/c3.html

Contact this contributing writer at bturner004@woh.rr.com.

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