The Herald Bulletin

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Local News

February 6, 2013

Symphony performers took to eBay for concert

ANDERSON, Ind. — The Anderson Symphony Orchestra relied on eBay for its Saturday night concert.

The performance, titled “Legend Rituals and Folklore,” features a five-person percussion concerto. Locating over 100 different percussion instruments was quite the challenge, said percussionist Stephanie Sambol Carter.

“EBay has been our saving grace,” said Carter.

The piece “Rituals” by Ellen Zwilich was commissioned by Nexus, a Canadian Percussion ensemble, and was composed for that group’s particular collection of instruments.  The composer herself was intrigued to see what future musicians would use as substitutions.

Sambol said, “The most obscure instrument is probably the Japanese Water Bowl.  It produces a high pitched squeaky sound, achieved by a circular friction on the outside of the bowl … a technique none of us were familiar with, prior to doing specific research for this composition.”

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Paramount Theatre, 1124 Meridian Plaza, Anderson.

Tickets are available and can be purchased online at andersonsymphony.org or by phone at 644-2111.  Seats start at $18 for seniors, $5 for students of all ages, and $22 for adults.

Executive director Dana Stone said, “You’d think with such a wide range of instruments and potential sounds that this piece would not be enjoyable to listen to, but you’d be wrong. The music is melodic and so fun.  It has Latin flavors and African sounds and at times the audience will surely feel the urge to move in their seats.”

Finding the instruments wasn’t the only challenge for this piece.

In many cases performers had to find substitute instruments and play instruments they’ve never seen before. Equally challenging has been the set-up.

“It takes each of us 45 minutes to set-up our instruments, and all of us all are still changing the way we have the instruments arranged, in order to accommodate the quick changes between instruments,” said Sambol.

In addition to this piece the ASO will also present Wagner’s moving “Prelude and Liebestod” from “Tristan und Isolde” and Stravinsky’s ballet “The Firebird.”

Back by popular demand are projected action titles.

“We did this for the first time last year with ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ and the response was overwhelmingly positive” said Stone.

Audience members can expect a play-by-play of what’s happening in the music and in the story projected on the back wall behind orchestra.  

“Thanks to the action titles you will know when the Firebird makes her appearance, and you’ll easily recognize the leitmotifs that Wagner was famous for,” said Stone.

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