The Juneau Student Symphony will be traveling to Portland next month to perform for the quadrennial International Montessori Congress. Before they go, they’ll perform their concert repertoire for a local audience, this Friday, July 26, at 5:30 p.m. at the JACC, during the JAHC’s Food Truck Friday event.
Conducted by Rick Trostel, who will be stepping down from his post after this round of concerts, the Juneau Student Symphony will be performing “The Alaska Sinfonietta,” a piece the JSS commissioned, as well as “The Life of the Child,” a piece Trostel wrote based on Maria Montessori’s philosophy of human development.
“The Alaska Sinfonietta,” by Thomas Reiner, was inspired in part by a Tlingit mourning song, “Ch’a aadei yei unateegaa,” composed in 1912 by Joe Wright, Aanti Yéili. It was written after Wright returned to his home village in Haines and discovered that all of his relatives had died. The Sinfonietta, commissioned in 2008, offers a response to the memory of Wright and his experience, and was written to honor the original song, which belongs to the Lukaax.ádi people. Current Alaska Writer Laureate and Lukaax.ádi clan member Nora Dauenhauer and former Writer Laureate Richard Dauenhauer contributed poetry for the lyrics of the piece.
Trostel’s “The Life of the Child” is a ten-minute work for orchestra, beginning violinists and beginning recorder players. In addition to showcasing young musicians, it is thematically built around the idea of growing up. It was inspired by Montessori’s philosophy -- Trostel and his wife, Chris, are both Montessori teachers.
in Portland, the JSS will perform “The Life of the Child” at the Oregon Convention Center, on July 31, as part of the opening ceremony for the International Montessori Congress. They will then perform both pieces at the Convention Center on Aug. 1.
Beginning this fall, Tyree Pini will take over as conductor of the JSS, when Trostel moves to Portland. Pini is the music teacher at Thunder Mountain High School.
For more on Trostel, visit juneauempire.com/art/2013-07-11/tune-alaska. For more on the JSS, visit www.juneausymphony.org/studentsymphony.