The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra opens its 2010-2011 season with a concert with a catchy title: "That's SO Last Century."
More Catchy Titles
Conductor Charles Latshaw explains the reason for the title of the opening show. "We put together programs with musical and extra-musical themes and then shared them with our marketing group."
Together they came up with this week's title. The season continues with similarly intriguing titles: "A German, a Russian and a Finn…," "Grunts, Squawks, 'n' Roars! Animals in Music" (for kids), "Back Home Again in Indiana" (with the Bedford–North Lawrence High School), and "Violapalooza."
Not Quite SO Last Century
"Actually, although we did like the sound of 'That's SO Last Century,' and the music does come from what we now call the 1900s, American music doesn't pigeonhole itself by date. Morton Gould's American Salute has strong roots and would be just a bit outside for the 1800s. Samuel Barber's Essay No. 1 does sound more modern, but in a sort of classic way. An American in Paris is perhaps the piece that has the broadest reach in styles, sounds and rhythms."
The choral offering of the evening is a special favorite of Latshaw's. "I sang Randall Thompson's Frostiana, his setting of Frost poems, in college, and they've really stuck with me. There's a great story about the premiere of the piece. Robert Frost was there, and when it was over, he stood up and loudly said, ‘Sing it again!' We'll probably only sing it once, but the BSO is very happy to be joined by the chorus led by Sue Swaney for these pieces."