Feb. 12, 2014 --
At 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 9, the Marine Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Assistant Director Captain Michelle A. Rakers, performed music to stir memory and imagination. With his touching and patriotic contribution to the war effort during World War II, Letter from Home, Aaron Copland evoked the strong emotions that are often experienced when a soldier receives a letter from loved ones back home.
More than half a century later, composer Kevin Puts was inspired to create the opening music of his Clarinet Concerto after viewing a documentary on Arlington National Cemetery’s Section 60. This area of the cemetery is where American military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are laid to rest. Puts likens his concerto to a “book of memories,” and he used nearly identical instrumentation as Copland’s Concerto for Clarinet.
While the first half of the concert concentrated on American themes and imagery, the second half of the concert took the audience to eastern Europe. The Romanian folk-inspired music of György Ligeti’s and Antonín Dvorák’s character pieces of imagined legends rounded out this performance titled, “Evocations.” The free concert took place at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall at Northern Virginia Community College, 3001 North Beauregard Street in Alexandria.