Two orchestras combine for outdoor performance

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September 11th, 2012

Omaha, NE – On Friday night, over 150 musicians will take the stage together in Omaha for a “grand experiment.”

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“This will be the very first time that we’ve brought both orchestras to the same stage,” said Barry Ford, a professor at the University of Nebraska Omaha and director of the Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra, “and will be the first time that we’ve had both orchestras combine to make sort of a super orchestra, if you will, where we play together.”

Barry Ford directs the Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra. (Courtesy photo)

Heartland will perform alongside the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra for an outdoor concert at Turner Park in Omaha’s Midtown Crossing at 7 p.m.

Ford said Heartland is made up of about 60 musicians, who include UNO students and community members, young and old. At this time of year, he said, the orchestra is still fresh in the season. “This year’s orchestra’s personality has yet to emerge,” Ford said. “I’m amazed at how quickly some things have come together in a very, very short amount of time.”

Ford said the logistics of bringing so many musicians together has been a challenge, and another was selecting the right pieces. As orchestras don’t typically perform outdoors, Ford selected works that would project well to overcome some of the inherent acoustic obstacles. He said Heartland’s portion of the program will include light classics such as Franz van Suppe’s Light Cavalry Overture, Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt and selections from George Bizet’s Carmen. The two orchestras will combine to perform Smetana’s Moldau, among others.

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