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Press Release

Cal Poly Symphony Fall Concert on Dec. 3 to Include the Harmony Magnet Academy Symphony Orchestra

The Cal Poly Symphony onstage at the Performing Arts Center

Contact: Michele Abba


SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Harmony Magnet Academy Symphony Orchestra (HMASO) will join the Cal Poly Symphony for its Fall Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, in the Performing Arts Center.

Harmony Magnet Academy, located in Strathmore, California, offers students a rigorous curriculum with a program of study in either the Academy of Engineering or the Academy of Performing Arts. It was recently named one of the top 5% of high schools in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, and the top high school in Tulare County.

The concert will begin with selections played by the HMASO, including Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” arranged by Robert Longfield; and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, fifth movement, “Shepard’s Hymn,” arranged by Vernon Leidig.

The Cal Poly Symphony onstage at the Performing Arts Center
The Cal Poly Symphony will perform at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3 in the Performing Arts Center on campus.

Photo courtesy of the Cal Poly Music Department

A side-by-side performance will follow, for which the strings of both ensembles will fill the stage to perform John Corigliano’s “Voyage for String Orchestra.”

The Cal Poly Symphony will perform Valerie Coleman’s “Umoja.” According to Coleman, “‘Umoja,’ the Swahili word for unity and the first principle of the African diaspora holiday Kwanzaa, was first composed as a simple song for women’s choir.” The composer reworked it for woodwind quintet, then for full orchestra.

“This version honors the simple melody that ever was but is now a full exploration into the meaning of freedom and unity,” Coleman said. “Now more than ever, ‘Umoja’ has to ring as a strong and beautiful anthem for the world we live in today.”

The concert will conclude with the Cal Poly Symphony’s performance of Antonín Dvořák’s lyrical Symphony No. 8.

Nicholas Walters and Zander Smith will conduct the HMASO, and Music Professor David Arrivée will conduct the rest of the program.

Tickets are $15 and $20 for the public, and $10 for students. Event parking is sponsored by the PAC. Tickets are available at the Cal Poly Ticket Office between noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To order by phone, call 805-SLO-4TIX (805-756-4849).

The event is sponsored by Cal Poly’s Music Department, College of Liberal Arts and Instructionally Related Activities program.

For more information, visit the Music Department’s calendar website, email or call 805-756-2406.