Orchestra for Jazz with Rachmaninoff

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The Signature Symphony at Tulsa Community College will open its first season under the artistic direction of Scott Seaton with a concert spanning the 20th century, from Rachmaninoff’s romanticism to jazz swing and techno-infused dance music.

“Rachmaninoff and the Dance Floor” premieres at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 1 at VanTrease PACE, 10300 E. 81st St., on TCC’s Southeast Campus.

Although the musical styles featured may seem incompatible, Seaton said what ties the program together is their commonality in the concept of rhythm.

“With this concert, we begin a new era of the Signature Symphony and open a new chapter of concerts as a time for community, for enjoyment across the world of live music, to balance our lives and to tell stories to through eyes familiar and unfamiliar,” Seaton says.

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The program will feature Rachmaninoff’s “Symphonic Dances”, the last composition he completed, as well as one of contemporary American composer Mason Bates’ most popular works, “Mothership”, a work for orchestra and electronics, of which the composer said “imagines the orchestra as a mother ship ‘moored’ by several guest soloists, who offer brief but virtuosic riffs on the thematic material of the work.

Acclaimed pianist Charlie Albright, who has been hailed by The New York Times for his “breathtaking technique” and “virtuosity with distinctive musicality, makes his Signature Symphony debut as soloist in two works that demonstrate the influence of jazz on the 20th century concert music: Duke Ellington’s “New World A-Comin'”, a landmark jazz score, and George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”.

“This concert is about combining and looking at music in different ways,” Seaton said. “Coming out of a pandemic and at a time when everyone is reinventing themselves, especially arts organizations, we are all striving to find new ways to access new ways of representing the world around us, which is diverse and constantly evolving.”

The Signature Symphony will again be offering its free open rehearsals, which will allow the public to attend a working rehearsal of the program by the public and get a glimpse of the music performed by Seaton and Albright. The event is at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 29 at VanTrease PACE.

Tickets for the concert cost between $35 and $75. To purchase and more information: 918-595-7777, signaturesymphony.org.

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