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Baroque instruments spotlighted in annual JU Orchestra holiday concert Dec. 8

A mixture of classical and popular music featuring several JU students as soloists highlights a free concert as the Jacksonville University Orchestra rings in the holidays at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, in Terry Concert Hall.

The Jacksonville University Orchestra

Opening the program is Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3, which will feature the trumpet section performing on Baroque trumpets, giving the piece a more authentic sound.

“Our students study these ‘period’ instruments in their lessons but rarely get to actually perform on them, so this is a rare treat for both the performers and the audience,” said the College of Fine Arts’ Dr. Marguerite Richardson, associate professor of strings and JU Orchestra music director and conductor.

Bach’s famous “Air” movement (made famous when later arranged as the “Air on the G String) features the string section.

Following the Bach piece will be English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams’ masterwork, Fantasy on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, scored for double string orchestra and string quartet. This performance will feature the JU Honors String Quartet, an all-scholarship ensemble, throughout the piece. Members include Edward Latimer (Jacksonville, FL) and Xinyi Liang (Lanzhou, Gansu, China), violinists, Mamie Lue Small (Savannah, GA), violist, and Timothy Stephen (Jacksonville, FL), violoncellist.

In early November, the quartet and orchestra had the opportunity to work with guest artists The Villiers Quartet on the Tallis piece.

Dr. Marguerite Richardson

“Having great artists, who are in residence at the University of Oxford (UK), work with the students on a piece by a premier English composer, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Richardson. “Not only did they give advice to the players, but they actually sat in with the players in the orchestra, for a true collaborative rehearsal.”

In the second half of the program, the orchestra goes “Pops.” Well-known American composer Leroy Anderson will be featured, including some of his most iconic works, like Sleigh Ride, but also some that may be new to the audience.  Anderson’s Bugler’s Holiday will feature three students, Triston Hanson (Jacksonville, FL), Nicolas Elliott (Jacksonville, FL), and Skyler Diacheysn (Orlando, FL) as the trumpet soloists.

The concert is part of the College of Fine Arts Performing Arts Series. As always, the concert is Family Friendly and includes audience participation.  For more information, contact the JU Division of Music of the College of Fine Arts at (904) 256-7370.


Jacksonville University Orchestra
Friday, Dec. 8,  7:30 p.m.   Terry Concert Hall  Jacksonville University Campus
2800 University Blvd. N.  Jacksonville, FL  32211
Free to the public
More information: (904) 256-7370