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Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra kicks off 2024 with ‘A Ceiling Full of Stars’ on Jan. 27

Photo courtesy of Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — On Jan. 27, the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra at the Cheyenne Civic Center will kick off the new year with “Ceiling Full of Stars.” The event will feature works by Price, Schubert, Tyson and Romanski, as well as special guest artists with the The Heartland Marimba Quartet.

The evening will begin with “Adoration” by Florence Price, described by CSO’s music director and conductor William Intriligator as “a meditative and beautiful piece originally written for organ and reflecting the composer’s deep spiritual and religious beliefs. This performance will feature the CSO’s string section.”

Following Price, the orchestra will perform the fresh and beautiful Symphony No. 5 by Franz Schubert. Written when the composer was only 19 years old, this is one of Schubert’s most tuneful and upbeat works, with a particularly special slow movement.

The CSO is also welcoming The Heartland Marimba Quartet as its first marimba soloist. The HMQ is a fantastic percussion quartet dedicated to raising awareness about the artistry of the marimba. Maestro Intriligator had this to say about the instrument: “Its resonant wooden bars create a timbre and atmosphere that can sound elegant yet tribal, earthy yet human, historic yet modern. Perhaps that helps explain why the marimba has become the solo instrument of choice for percussionists all over the world. There really is nothing like the sound of the marimba. Seeing and hearing four large marimbas at the front of the stage with a full orchestra backing them up will be a sonic and visual spectacle. I can’t wait for the audience to go nuts over these sensational musicians and the music they play.”

First, The HMQ will join CSO percussionists to present American composer Blake Tyson’s “A Ceiling Full of Stars,” written exclusively for percussion. CSO is excited to highlight this instrument family in a piece that Intriligator describes as one that “shimmers and sparkles like stars and really makes you feel like you are floating in space. It is so cool!”

The HMQ and CSO will close the evening’s performance with “Concerto for Marimba Quartet and Orchestra” by American composer Kevin Romanski. His piece is one of the first concertos written for a marimba quartet and full orchestra, and the CSO hopes the audience will feel the way the marimbas interact with each other and the rest of the orchestra in this accessible neo-Romantic work. Kevin Romanski will be flying in from Taiwan, where he currently teaches music, to join the CSO as they perform his concerto and will be a very special addition to the show.

The CSO is also hosting a free “Lunch and Learn” from noon to 1 p.m. on Jan. 26 at the Laramie County Public Library, during which there will be an introduction to the concert by the maestro and guest artists. Viewers can watch the video on demand on CSO’s website at a later time.

“Classic Conversations,” an abbreviated introduction to the concert by the maestro, will take place from 6:30 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 27 at the Civic Center for ticketed patrons. The concert will also be livestreamed for $25 per household for those who are unable to attend in person.

Plus, if you fall in love with the marimba, please join the theater at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan 28 at the LCCC Surbrugg-Prentice Auditorium for a recital featuring the Heartland Marimba Quartet. Tickets to both performances are available and can be purchased at Cheyenne Symphony’s website.