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Members of the Oak Ridge Symphony present invigorating music for brass, organ, and percussion

Melony Dodson talks with Maestro Regulo Stabilito about the Oak Ridge Symphony's performance of "Bach & Friends" featuring music for brass, percussion, and organ.

If you are a fan of music for brass ensemble, you are in luck because the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association (ORCMA) presents Bach & Friends this weekend! Featuring music for brass, percussion and organ, the program includes selections from Bach's The Art of the Fugue (arranged for brass quintet), Samuel Barber's Mutations from Bach, Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, Joan Tower's Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, Valerie Coleman's Fanfare for Uncommon Times, and the Sinfoniae Profanae for organ and brass by Columbian composer, Diego Vega. Dr. Sarah Simko will be the guest soloist for Sinfoniae Profanae. A graduate the University of Michigan, Dr. Simko is currently organist at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Detroit.

In this interview, Maestro Stabilito elaborates on his concept for the program, which explores both sacred and secular music for brass, beginning with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, and ending with a fanfare composed by Valerie Coleman in 2021, which honors the frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, learn more about the music on the program, as well as the soloist, Sarah Simko.

The first performance is in Knoxville on Saturday, February 17th at 7:30pm at Church of the Ascension on Northshore Drive. This performance is free and open to the public as part of their Friends of Music and the Arts concert series. The second performance is on Sunday, February 18th at 3pm at First United Methodist Church, Oak Ridge. Tickets and additional information are available online at https://orcma.org/bach-and-friends

Melony calls the beautiful mountains of Boone, N.C., home, although she was born near Greensboro, N.C. There’s just something about those Blue Ridge Mountains that got in her blood and never left after she moved there to attend Appalachian State University (ASU). While at ASU, she majored in piano performance and music therapy and began to cultivate a love for accompanying and for collaborating with other musicians. This soon led her to earn a master’s degree in collaborative piano at the University of Tennessee, which she attended from 2006-2008.