Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Symphony No. 3 by Florence Price at International Women’s Day Concert of Community Women's Orchestra, Oakland, CA

“The Community Women’s Orchestra, now in its 27th Season, presents its annual International Women’s Day Concert. This year’s concert includes Symphony No. 3 by Florence Price, Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto featuring Deidre Sanders, and Beethoven’s majestic Egmont Overture.

“Award-winning composer Florence Price (1887 – 1953) was the first African American woman whose works were recognized and performed by major orchestras in the United States. Price’s Symphony No. 3 was premiered in 1940 by an ensemble organized to provide work for the large number of unemployed musicians and others during the Depression; it was recorded by The Women’s Philharmonic in 2001. Conductor Dr. Kathleen McGuire said: 'We are excited to be performing this remarkable work composed by an iconic giant of women’s orchestral music. The women in our orchestra truly love playing this piece!'

“The composer herself wrote about the Symphony: 'It is intended to be Negroid in character and expression. In it no attempt, however, has been made to project Negro music solely in the purely traditional manner. None of the themes are adaptations or derivations of folk songs. The intention behind the writing of this work was a not too deliberate attempt to picture a cross-section of present-day Negro life and thought with its heritage of that which is past, paralleled, or influenced by concepts of the present day.' Each of CWO’s concerts includes at least one work by a woman composer as part of the orchestra’s ongoing Women Composers Series.

“Mozart’s bassoon concerto features Deidre Sanders, a member of the Community Women’s Orchestra who has played the instrument for almost 40 years. Sanders said: 'The bassoon has only a handful of concertos, and the most famous is Mozart’s. Like most bassoonists, I’ve dreamed of performing this piece with a full orchestra. I am very fortunate and grateful to have been invited to perform it with the Community Women’s Orchestra.'

“The concert will commence with Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. Strings Attached – CWO’s entry-level ensemble – will also perform Beethoven: an excerpt from Symphony No. 9.” “Lake Merritt United Methodist Church, Oakland, 1330 Lakeshore Avenue, Oakland, CA 94606” [Florence B. Price (1887-1953) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,]

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