Symphony concert to feature Latin composers

DOWNEY - Great orchestras don't just play beautiful music, they inspire it.The Spanish composer Oscar Navarro admires the Downey Symphony so much that he composed and named his "Downey Overture" for them. The Orchestra gave the piece its world premiere in Downey in 2011. Since then, it has been played by orchestras across the United States and Europe, and it will headline the Symphony's April 5 concert. Taking her cue from this summer's World Cup soccer tournament, Music Director Sharon Lavery selected works for this concert from and about countries with strong soccer traditions, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, and Italy. The centerpiece is Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos' Fantasia for Saxophone and Orchestra. The soloist is the brilliant young saxophonist Christopher Bartz, who has played with orchestras across the United States since his debut at 18. Additional works to be performed include the Argentinian Alberto Ginastera's Estancia: Four Dances and the Mexican José Pablo Moncayo's Huapango. The pieces blend European musical traditions with the energetic rhythms and colorful melodies of Latin American music.. Each Symphony concert is enhanced with a special art exhibit in the theatre lobby organized in partnership with the Downey Arts Coalition. Responding to the global scope of World Cup soccer, the theme for April's exhibit is "Home Sweet Earth." Outstanding local and regional artists will present beautiful and thought-provoking work that addresses environmental issues. Artists who wish to exhibit can contact E. J. Ball at for full information. Anyone who ever dreamed of conducting a symphony orchestra-and what music lover has not?-can look forward to the appearance of baton auction winner Priscilla Winslow at this concert. Each year the Symphony holds an auction for the opportunity to conduct the Orchestra, using the proceeds to fund concerts and the Music in the Schools program. Longtime Downey resident Winslow won the baton last year and will kick off the concert with a performance of the final movement of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. After intermission, this year's auction will be held, and patrons can bid for a conducting spot at next year's spring concert. With all these attractions-a reprise of our very own "Downey Overture"; the lively rhythms and infectious melodies of Latin American music; a memorable art exhibit; and a conducting spot by one of the Orchestra's local patrons-this concert promises to be as exciting an evening as the February "Red Violin" concert. That event drew a full house, and some who hoped to get tickets at the last minute were disappointed. Sales for the April 5 concert are going fast, and patrons will want to buy tickets early while good seats are still available. Tickets may be purchased from the Downey Civic Theatre on line at; by phone at (562) 861-8211; or in person, Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Box Office, 8435 Firestone Blvd. For full information about the concert go to

********** Published: March 6, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 47