Orchestra Northern Arizona to make debut Oct. 12

<i>Courtesy photo</i>
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Orchestra Northern Arizona conductor David Cripps.

<i>Courtesy photo</i> <br> Orchestra Northern Arizona conductor David Cripps.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Flagstaff's new community orchestra, Orchestra Northern Arizona, is offering its first performance at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12 in the Coconino Community College Lone Tree Campus Commons. The multi-media concert is free and open to the public.

The new 35-musician orchestra plans to feature two pieces by Bohemian composers, Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Leopold Dvořák. Smetana's Moldau musically interprets the scenes along the longest river in Bohemia. Images will be shown as the music unfolds.

The orchestra will also perform Dvořák's most popular piece, New World Symphony.

"The reason for its popularity is because of the melody in the second movement, which sounds like a spiritual from the American South," said Orchestra Northern Arizona conductor David Cripps. "Dvořák had lived in the U.S. for a few years as the director of the National Conservatory. Certainly this is where he heard a lot of American folk or spiritual music and became very interested in it."

Cripps has conducted many famous orchestras including London's Philharmonia Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, he played the French horn solos in the theme songs to the Star Wars and Superman movies.

"The orchestra members are extremely excited to be given the opportunity to play these pieces, which normally are performed by the highest class of professional orchestras," he said. "And, there's nothing like a live concert. There's a degree of atmosphere that you cannot get from listening to a CD or watching TV."

Musicians interested in performing in Orchestra Northern Arizona may contact Cripps at David.cripps@coconino.edu or (928) 814-1920.

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