Maestro’s favorites in Symphony closer

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of music director and conductor Peter Stafford Wilson. CONTRIBUTED

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The Springfield Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of music director and conductor Peter Stafford Wilson. CONTRIBUTED

After a season of special guests and events, the grand finale is the maestro’s choice.

Springfield Symphony Orchestra conductor Peter Stafford Wilson has chosen some of his preferred concert staples to round out the 2016-17 season.

MasterWorks IV: Signature Sounds will feature the works of Richard Wagner, Giuseppe Verdi and Cesar Franck at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 6 at the Clark State Performing Arts Center.

While Stafford Wilson said it has been a great season with numerous highlights, it’s this concert that will put the grand in the finale.

“The orchestra has never sounded better and they are the stars as we are presenting some of my true favorites of the orchestral repertoire,” he said.

The program will open with Wagner’s “Overture to ‘Tannhäuser,’” which Stafford Wilson called one of the most dramatic, uplifting pieces for orchestra in the operatic world. Verdi’s “Le Ballet de la Reine (La Pérégrina)” from “Don Carlos” follows as something of a companion. It is ballet music that often doesn’t make it into operatic productions according to Stafford Wilson.

“I fell in love with it recently when I conducted a full-length ballet composed of nothing but Verdi ballet pieces,” he said. “Come and enjoy and you just may find a new favorite.”

Following intermission, the Symphony will return to perform “Symphony in D minor” by Franck.

“It envelopes you and wraps itself around you in its warm, majestic sound,” Stafford Wilson said.

The evening will begin at 6:45 p.m. with Opening Notes about the evening’s program in the Turner Studio Theatre and the Performance Prelude in the Davidson Lobby.

Trudy Faber, professor emerita in the department of music at Wittenberg University, will speak on the composers and repertoire for the concert during Opening Notes. She’ll perform on the piano to demonstrate the musical styles to be heard in the concert.

The Covenant Bell Choir, under the direction of Judy Oldham, will be the featured artist in the Performance Prelude.

The Bell Choir began around 50 years ago when a family donated a set of 2.5 octaves of White Chapel Bells. The choir has since grown to 4.5 octaves and 10 ringers and will play a variety of music.


What: MasterWorks IV: Signature Sounds

Where: Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 South Fountain Ave., Springfield

When: Saturday, May 6, 7:30 p.m.

Admission: $25-56

More info: 937-325-8100 or go to

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