Starlight Symphony

The Rogue Valley Symphony will celebrate its 40th season at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17, in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Allen Pavilion, 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland, with a Starlight Symphony Celebration under the stars.

The program will run from orchestral pops to film and theater music, with flute soloist Katheryn McElrath and pianist Jodi French teaming up on Claude Bolling's "Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano."

The symphony is inviting all concert-goers to a complimentary champagne reception after the show.

This program pays tribute to musical soundtracks made popular by movies and theater and also honors the legacy of jazz in orchestral music, including symphonic classics made famous by the Boston Pops.

Next year is the 100th anniversary of the birth of American composer and conductor Leroy Anderson, who shared the Boston Pops podium with Arthur Fielder for more than two decades.

The concert will include Anderson's "Jazz Pizzicato," which in 1938 became his first composition played by the Pops, as well as "Bugler's Holiday," "Fiddle-Faddle" and "Jazz Legato."

Also on the bill are pieces from "The Sound of Music," "The Phantom of the Opera," "Pirates of the Caribbean," "The Lion King Orchestra Suite" and the first movement of Mozart's Symphony No. 25 in G minor from "Amadeus."

McElrath's solo will celebrate the versatility of the flute and piano duo in the ground-breaking work by Bolling. A 1975 recording of the suite made by flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal stayed at the top of the Billboard classical charts for nearly a decade. McElrath and French will be accompanied by bassist David Miller and percussionist Hal Davis.

The event will be the orchestra's debut performance at the OSF's outdoor venue.

The symphony was founded in 1967 with 25 musicians by Frederick Palmer, a conductor, violinist and professor of music Southern Oregon College.

Now comprising 70 musicians from Oregon, California, and Washington, the Rogue Valley Symphony is the third largest orchestra in the state. It received its first grant from the National Endowment for the Arts this year.

Palmer will be honored at the Starlight Symphony Celebration, as will the four other conductors who have served the orchestra since its inception: Maxw McKee, Roger Dickey, Yair Strauss, and current Music Director Arthur Shaw, who is celebrating his 20th season this year.

Tickets are $21 general admission and $5 for students. See , or call 552-6398.

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