The Eugene Symphony will take the Nichols Band Stage in Stewart Park for the third time in the Music on the Half Shell history on Tuesday. It will be accompanied by the Douglas County Youth Orchestra, which will open the evening’s entertainment.
Eugene Symphony Association General Manager Lindsay Pearson said the Symphony’s program will “be a a great mix of beloved favorites and new classics.”
The program will include excerpts from Reinhold Glière’s “Russian Sailors Dance from The Red Poppy;” Paul Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice;” John Williams’ “Harry’s Wondrous World” from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone;” “Tritsch-Tratsch Polka” by Johann Strauss II; “Suite from Hamilton” from the Broadway musical; Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture;” and a medley of songs from the Broadway show “Oklahoma!”
“It’s going to be a very fun and family-friendly evening,” Pearson said.
Approximately 18 members of the Douglas County Youth Orchestra’s Philharmonic group will open for the 70-person Eugene Symphony, beginning its performance at 6:45 p.m.
The Philharmonic is the most advanced class of musicians in the Youth Orchestra, which accepts students as young as 6 years old. Three of the orchestra’s performance pieces will be conducted by Program Director Mark Rockwood, while Francesco Lecce-Chong, the music director and conductor of the Eugene Symphony, will conduct the final piece.
“It’s a great opportunity for [students] to get outside of the classroom setting,” Rockwood said. “It can be scary for some people — it’s something they are not really used to— but I think for most of the kids it will be very exciting.”
Rockwood went on to say that being conducted by Lecce-Chong will present its own challenges, but it is an opportunity that students can build upon as they advance in their musical careers.
“Being able to play with some of the professional musicians, being able to associate with them, get to meet them and see how they arrange to get ready to play, I think of it as the equivalent of a young musician playing the guitar getting to see his favorite rock band,” Umpqua Symphony Association President Karin Gray said.
The Umpqua Symphony Association, which sponsors the Youth Orchestra, partners with the Music on the Half Shell committee on one act each year. Last year, the Association co-sponsored the Pink Martini closing performance.
“The partnership with the Music on the Half Shell Committee to bring high quality acts such as the Eugene Symphony and Pink Martini to Roseburg and to have DCYO open the show for them is a gift beyond measure,” Umpqua Symphony Association Treasurer Mary Lee Hope said.