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November 4th, 2009 by Bill Peters
The Pasadena Community Orchestra advertises itself as “A continuing heritage of fine music”. Indeed! Alan Reinecke is now Music Director; as he begins his second season as conductor this orchestra is bound to flourish. Founded when PCC decided to discontinue the college orchestra program in 1983, Wayne Reinecke kept it going and served as Music Director until last year when his son, Alan was selected by the Board of Directors to take the reins.
Alan Reinecke is a freelance musician in Los Angeles as a timpanist and percussionist. He has performed with the Riverside Philharmonic, Burbank Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, the Pasadena Symphony, and many others. He has been a member of the Pasadena Community Orchestra for 25 years.
The opening concert of the 2009-2010 season is this Friday, Nov. 6 at its usual venue, the Sanctuary of the First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena, and starts at 8:00 p.m. Admission is free.
For its opening concert, the orchestra will perform Johannes Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture”; Charles Griffes’ “Poem for Flute and Orchestra”; Frank Martin’s “Ballade for Flute and Orchestra” and Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 1 in E-minor.
Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture” was written to commemorate the conferring of an honorary degree to the composer from the University of Breslau in 1879. Rather than provide a stern piece of music, Brahms elected to incorporate songs popular with students of the day ending with the well-known “Gaudeamus igitur”. The German song sung by students for years encourages students to rejoice while still young, but to settle down in older age.
Sibelius’ Symphony No. 1 has been described as a patriotic tome to his native Finland by some. But the composer suggests that he would prefer listeners to enjoy his musical statements rather than impose any imagery. Probably good advice. Two pieces for flute are on the program as well. The two, by Griffes and Martin, will be performed by professional flutist and educator, Bethany Pflueger. Griffes, (pronounced Griff-iss) wrote his tone poem in 1918 and is regarded as a fine moment in Impressionist music. Martin, a Swiss, wrote his work, “Ballade” in 1939 as an audition piece for entrance to a music school.
Pflueger performs regularly with the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra and several other groups in Southern California, and has begun a career as a conductor as well. She is a professor of music at Glendale Community College.
The Pasadena Community Orchestra is a non-profit organization supported by donations from individuals and companies. The Board of Directors include Raffi Balian, M.D., Fritzie Culick, Don Fisher, D.D.S., Sally Hall, Levon H. Keshishian, Susie Kyropoulous, JoAnne Lazar, Mark Nakatani and Bette Solomon.