LEWISTON — The Midcoast Symphony Orchestra and trumpet virtuoso Wayne du Maine will present the world premiere performance of a new trumpet concerto by composer Rich Shemaria on Jan. 12 and 13.  

The orchestra will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Gendron Franco Center and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, at the Orion Performing Arts Center in Topsham. Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 1 and Richard Strauss’s Serenade for Winds will round out the program.

Shemaria’s Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra was written for du Maine. Shemaria recounts, “Inspired by a casual conversation with trumpeter Wayne du Maine (‘Hey Rich, you don’t happen to have a trumpet concerto do you?’), this is my first extended work for the trumpet.” It promises to be a new and exciting experience for all listeners. A composer of many genres, New Yorker Shemaria is also known for his jazz and pop music, performed and recorded notably by Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Tom Scott, Joe Lovano, Chris Potter, and Michael and Randy Brecker.  

Wayne du Maine, also a New Yorker, has performed and recorded with the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. He currently holds the principal chair with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the American Composers Orchestra. He has also played in shows on Broadway and can be heard on Prince’s Newpower Soul recording. In January 2011, he performed the Tomasi Trumpet Concerto with the Midcoast Symphony.

The orchestra will also perform Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 1, the “Spring Symphony,” composed in 1841. MSO violinist and retired Bowdoin College music professor Mary Hunter writes, of this work, “…Schumann wrote this work in four days (and nights) of fevered activity…. it was an instant and enduring popular success—a relatively rare fate for Schumann’s music.”

The symphony has many echoes of Beethoven and Schubert in its graceful melodies and powerful orchestration. Schumann was plagued by emotional distress throughout his adult life, but the Symphony No. 1 was and remains a clear-eyed, brilliant and joyful journey for listeners.

Richard Strauss composed the Serenade for Winds in 1882, when he was 18 years old. He was a musical prodigy who learned composition from his father, Franz Strauss, a horn player at the court opera in Munich. The serenade highlights the orchestra’s wind section, as it is scored for flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, French horns and contrabassoon. It is tender in style and rich in tone, a treat for horn-lovers and woodwind fans in general.

At the intermission of the Saturday evening concert, Pelletier’s Taiko Drummers will perform in Heritage Hall, the large room in the basement of the Franco Center. It is a group ranging from elementary school to adults from the Lewiston-Auburn area who gather under the auspices of Pelletier’s Karate Academy.

Before the Sunday concert, at 1:15 p.m. in the Orion Auditorium, the orchestra’s conductor, Rohan Smith, will give a 30-minute talk about the music on the program. Maestro Smith is a passionate teacher of music and Midcoast Symphony members and audiences have long enjoyed his engaging and informative remarks about the orchestra’s repertoire.

Tickets for MSO’s January concert are $20 (free for everyone 18 and under and all students with ID). Purchase tickets online at midcoastsymphony.org, by phone at 207-846-5378, in advance at the Franco Center, Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick, Now You’re Cooking in Bath, Book Review in Falmouth or at the door with cash or by check (no credit cards will be accepted).

Trumpet soloist Wayne du Maine.

Composer Rich Shemaria


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