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Gateway Chamber Orchestra presents ‘Appalachian Spring’

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. – Clarksville’s Gateway Chamber Orchestra invites the public to celebrate its opening concert, showcasing two superb pieces of music. The 4:00 p.m. performance will be held Sunday, October 2, at the George and Sharon Mabry Concert Hall, located on the Austin Peay State University campus.

Music Director Gregory Wolynec shares, “This season opens with a pair of works that have helped define the GCO; Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Franz Schreker’s lush Chamber Symphony, which was featured in the GCO’s Chamber Symphonies recording in 2012 and helped earn Blanton Alspaugh a Grammy for Classical Producer of the Year.”

Appalachian Spring premiered in 1944 with funds from the Coolidge Foundation. The ballet, created by choreographer and dancer Martha Graham, depicts a young pioneer couple preparing to begin their life in the new frontier. Typically when the music is presented without ballet, the sections of the work that depict the couple’s struggles are omitted. The GCO proudly presents the work in its entirety, as the composer initially intended. The enduring and popular music by Copland, stands alone for its simple, but moving melodies, and is based on the Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts.” Scored for the intimacy of a chamber orchestra, this music has achieved worldwide popularity, received a Pulitzer Prize in 1945, and remains as fresh today as the day it was composed.

Franz Schreker’s Chamber Symphony is a shimmering composition which begins with a magical, other-worldly sound. This piece is full of brilliant color and symphonic sweep; reminiscent of the golden age of movie scoring. Schreker’s music was widely hailed and performed during much of his lifetime. With the rise of fascism in Germany in the 1920s and 30s, he was labeled a “degenerative” composer by authorities and largely forgotten. Since 2010, GCO audiences have come to recognize the uplifting tone and colorful expression that Schreker was able to capture in his scores.

Aaron Copland, Appalachian Spring

Franz Schreker, Chamber Symphony

Sunday, October 2, at 4:00 p.m.

George & Sharon Mabry Concert Hall

Austin Peay State University – Clarksville, Tenn.

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The Gateway Chamber Orchestra (GCO) is a nationally-recognized American cultural institution committed to enriching lives through innovative concerts, distinctive recordings, and inspiring educational programs. Conducted by Gregory Wolynec, the GCO is delighted to have a home at the George & Sharon Mabry Concert Hall on the campus of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. The ensemble debuted in the fall of 2008, and has grown into a classically modeled chamber orchestra comprised of leading symphony players, recording musicians, and university faculty from Middle Tennessee and beyond who delight in bringing their shared passion for the world’s greatest music to the community. Visit


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