Classically Trained: Music for everyone coming to Costa Mesa

March 08, 2012|By Bradley Zint

In the coming days, there is something for everyone in Costa Mesa's classical scene: a youth ensemble, an organist, a visiting orchestra and a classic film score.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble, an educational group under the auspices of the Costa Mesa-based Pacific Symphony, will be having a concert titled "Music for Prague." The afternoon event inside the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall features "Music for Prague 1968," by Czech-American composer Karel Husa.

The concert's program notes by Joshua Grayson explain that Husa, who taught at Cornell University for more than 40 years, wrote the piece in response to the Soviet Union sending military forces into Czechoslovakia in 1968. The piece incorporates a melody from a 15th-century war song that, to the many Czechs who know it, represents Czech nationalism and independence.


Also included on the Youth Wind Ensemble's concert program is Morton Gould's rousing "American Salute." The piece written in 1943 was a patriotic response to the U.S. World War II effort and utilizes the American folk song "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" in a variety of ways.

The Youth Wind Ensemble, formed in 2007, is led by composer-conductor Joshua Roach, an Arizona native who also has led the Pacific Symphony, the Downey Symphony Orchestra and ensembles at USC. The band is comprised of music students from grades 8 through 12 who are from high schools throughout Orange County.

Later on Sunday in the concert hall, at 7 p.m., the Pacific Symphony will play host to Argentinian organist Hector Olivera. The evening is the final concert in this season's Pedals and Pipes series.

Olivera has performed throughout the world in such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Notre Dame and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. In Costa Mesa, he will be performing on the William J. Gillespie Concert Organ, a $3.1-million, 30-ton instrument with more than 4,300 pipes.

Tickets to the Youth Wind Ensemble's concert start at $18, and admission to the organ concert starts at $15. For more information on either concert, visit or call (714) 755-5799.


The Philharmonic Society of Orange County is hosting a concert by the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

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