More than 200 people will take the stage at once during Orchestra Kentucky’s presentation of German composer Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana.”
“This work required a lot of people,” said Jeff Reed, the orchestra’s music director and conductor. “We have 110 college students from Murray State University and the University of Louisville, 24 students from Briarwood and Richardsville (elementary schools), three soloists and the orchestra has about 80 people.”
The one-hour concert, which will open with Richard Wagner’s prelude to his opera “Die Meistersinger,” will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center. Ticket prices range from $10 to $35.
“Even though it’s classical music, it’s classical music that’s accessible,” he said. “It’s a work I always wanted to do. I’ve listened to it all my life.”
The Warren County Orff Ensemble will present a 15-minute demonstration of Orff’s elementary music method at 6:45 p.m. in the SKyPAC lobby.
“It’s a way of getting kids involved in music at an early age,” Reed said. “You use different sizes of xylophone-like instruments and take off the notes you don’t need. It lessens the chance of hitting the wrong note. There are also rhythm instruments like tambourines.”
“Carmina Burana” was written in 1936 during the Nazi regime in Munich, Reed said.
“Ever since, it’s been a popular piece for audiences. It’s in the top 10 for chorus and orchestra,” he said. “It’s one of those things where you’ve heard the music somewhere.”
Even though Orff lived in Germany during the Nazi regime, he was not a member of the party, Reed said.
“He was just doing what he had to do to survive,” he said.
Pam Thurman, who plays second oboe in the orchestra and is music teacher at Richardsville Elementary School, has been working with the students there who are part of the boys’ chorus. There are also students from Briarwood Elementary School, one Warren East Middle School student and two home-schooled students.
“It’s a great group. They have learned the Latin, and they’re just doing phenomenal,” she said. “We’ve been rehearsing a lot.”
The concert is sponsored by Dr. Patricia Mercer and Graves-Gilbert Clinic. The VIP Series is sponsored by the Haskins Foundation.
— For tickets, call 846-2426 or visit www.orchestrakentucky.com.