Find your seat and breathe easy. The music is about to begin.
Whether you’re in a seat at a safe distance from others inside Avalon Theatre or at watching the concert online from home, the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra has something unique prepared.
“Serenade for Winds and Percussion” will put the spotlight on the symphony’s brass, woodwind and percussion sections. It will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, at Avalon Theatre, 645 Main St.
A limited number of tickets are available and cost $35 for adults or $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased through gjso.org.
As music director Charles Latshaw considered music for this concert, he decided to delve more deeply into options beyond the Mozart serenades that many an orchestra is putting out right now.
What he found was Felix Mendelssohn’s “Overture for Winds, Op. 24,” which the composer wrote when he was 15, Latshaw said.
Originally written for 10 players, Mendelssohn later rewrote it for a large band, “but it uses a bunch of instruments that don’t exist anymore,” Latshaw said.
Latshaw took both version and created a version in between for 21 players. “It’s like the world premiere of a piece 150 years old,” he said.
Along with Mendelssohn’s work, the concert will include Antonin Dvorak’s “Serenade in D Minor” — when Dvorak heard Mozart’s “Gran Partita” Serenade No. 10,” he wanted to write something as good and this was the “extraordinary” result, Latshaw said — Giovanni Gabrieli’s “Sonata pian e forte” and Robert Kurka’s “The Good Soldier Schweik Suite.”
Kurka wrote this piece in 1956 and unfortunately died the following year, said Latshaw, who recently discovered the American composer.
“I’m excited for other people to learn about him,” he said.
That goes for patrons who are able to attend the concert in person as well as those who would prefer to view a recording of the concert that will be available on Tuesday, Oct. 20. Tickets to stream that video can be found at gjso.org.
The symphony currently is investing in online streaming and video production as Latshaw sees it becoming a permanent part of what the organization offers and allowing it to reach an audience who can’t attend concerts or are outside of the Grand Valley.
In addition, it allowed the symphony to send video of the September concert to School District 51 orchestra students, and the same will be done for band students following this concert, Latshaw said.
“We are excited to be able to offer that,” he said.
While the symphony’s season may be different than was hoped, “it’s very important to us to keep our musicians employed,” Latshaw said. “We’ve got great talent in the Grand Valley and we want to support them.”