Chancellor’s Concert March 2

University Choirs, Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra highlight American composers

The St. Louis riverfront in 1850. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The music sparkles like water in summer.

In “Mississippi Suite” (1925), Ferde Grofé deploys swirling strings and a warm brass choral to capture the journey of the great American river, from its Minnesota birthplace, through Huckleberry Finn’s Missouri and to the Mardi Gras carnivals of New Orleans.

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 2, the Washington University Symphony Orchestra will perform “Mississippi Suite” as part of the 2018 Chancellor’s Concert.

The Washington University Wind Ensemble will open the program with four works by American composers: Charles Rochester Young’s “Tempered Steel” (1997); Aaron Copland’s “Down a Country Lane” (1962); Frank Ticheli’s “Blue Shades” (1997); and John Philip Sousa’s “George Washington Bicentennial March” (1932).

After intermission, the Symphony Orchestra will present John Williams’ “The Mission Theme from NBC News” (1985), followed by the first movement from Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 (1866/67) and the “Mississippi Suite.” Soloist for the concerto will be senior Jolie Ho, who won the annual Friends of Music Concerto Competition last fall.

The concert will conclude with the Washington University Choirs joining the Symphony Orchestra for Craig Phillips’ “A Festival Song” (2001). Based on Walt Whitman’s poem “Proud Music of the Storm,” from the collection “Leaves of Grass” (1891-92), the piece explores the interplay of dreams and mortality, as well as the nature of music itself:

I hear the dance-music of all nations,
The waltz, some delicious measure, lapsing, bathing me in bliss,
The bolero to tinkling guitars and clattering castanets.

Soloists are soprano Tamara Miller-Campbell and baritone Adam Stefo.

The annual Chancellor’s Concert features the Washington University Choirs, Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. (Photo: Jerry Naunheim Jr./Washington University)

The 2018 Chancellor’s Concert is presented by the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences. It will take place in the E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall of the 560 Music Center. Nicole Aldrich, director of choral activities, leads Washington University Choirs. Horst Buchholz conducts the Symphony Orchestra. Christopher Becker directs the Wind Ensemble. Sandra Geary is accompanist for the choir.

The 560 Music Center is located at 560 Trinity Ave., at the intersection with Delmar Boulevard. For more information, call 314-935-5566 or email

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