To open its 51st season, the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra (LSO) will present a concert of “Light Classics” at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, in Hoover Auditorium.

A reception will be held immediately following the concert to celebrate and meet the musicians.

Established in 1963, the LSO is one of Lakeside’s most cherished traditions. This year marks the 44th year for the Music Director, Robert Cronquist.

Bringing classical music to the Chautauqua community, the symphony performs eight concerts during its month-long residency. The LSO is made up of more than 75 musicians from across the country that have devoted many years of service to Lakeside.

A selection of popular classics and commemorative numbers will be included for the symphony’s first performance of the summer.

The LSO will open the concert with the prelude to Act III of Richard Wagner’s opera, Lohengrin.

Since its premiere more than 160 years ago, this piece has been a concert hall favorite. It is an animated work with exhilarating passages for the horns and trombones.

The middle section is related to music sung by the role of Elsa of Brabant in her dramatic scene with Ortrud, Friedrich of Telramund’s wife, in Act II.

The next part of the LSO program reflects on past world wars and historical anniversaries.

This year commemorates not only the 100th anniversary of the tragic beginning of World War I, but also the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War II and the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Selections from South Pacific, a musical about the conflict in the Pacific, will be included in the LSO program.

The very moving “Hymn to the Fallen” will be performed as a memorial to all of those who perished in the two world conflicts.

The music was featured in the movie, “Saving Private Ryan,” depicting the Omaha Beach assault on D-Day in 1944.

The first half of the program will conclude with the patriotic “National Emblem March,” composed by Edwin Eugene Bagley in 1902.

Fittingly, the U.S. military uses the trio section of this march as ceremonial music for the color guard when presenting and retiring the colors.

Following the LSO intermission, “Love is All You Need,” a commemorative piece dedicated to music of The Beatles’, will open the second half of the program.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ first American tour. The tour established The Beatles’ international stature and changed attitudes toward popular music.

The piece, arranged by Bruce Healey, cleverly combines 12 of the most popular Beatles’ tunes into a symphonic work.

The LSO program will continue with a performance of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Capriccio Italien.”

As one of Tchaikovsky’s most thrilling compositions, it was written in 1880 during an Italian tour.

The Hotel Constanzi, where Tchaikovsky stayed in Rome, overlooked the barracks of the Royal Cuirassiers. The nightly bugle calls contributed to one of the prominent themes he used.

During his stay, a carnival was in full swing. As he heard a variety of folk songs on the streets, formed into melodies, he elaborately wove them into this piece.

It is brilliantly orchestrated with a brisk march and lively Italian folk tunes.

The LSO concert will end with a tarantella; a dance that legend says is caused by the bite of a tarantula spider and makes the victim dance a frenzied dance until death.


What is your favorite performance from the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra? Which performances are you looking forward to attending? Tell us in the comments below.