Central Ohio Symphony coming to WCH


Free concert will be held March 8 at Historic WHS auditorium

From staff reports



The Central Ohio Symphony will perform in concert at the Historic Washington High School Auditorium on Temple Street on Wednesday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m.

This free concert, sponsored by the Fayette County Charitable Foundation and the Perse E. Harlow Trust, does not require tickets. It will feature a variety of classical and semi-classical music for all ages.

The Central Ohio Symphony, in its 38th season, has grown from a volunteer community group to a professional ensemble. With its artistic growth, particularly under the baton of Maestro Jaime Morales-Matos, the orchestra has become an unofficial cultural ambassador for the city and the county of Delaware, Ohio.

While the Symphony’s home is the acoustically-remarkable Gray Chapel on the Ohio Wesleyan University campus in Delaware, the orchestra has also performed throughout much of Ohio. The Central Ohio Symphony has the distinction of being the only small budget symphony in Ohio, whose tour performances are supported by the Ohio Arts Council.

As the orchestra’s reputation has grown, so have its audiences. More than 8,000 attended the free outdoor July 4 concert. In 2009, the Symphony presented Space Week in Delaware with a variety of educational and community activities, culminating in two sold-out performances of Holst’s “The Planets” and John Williams’ “Star Wars Suite.”

The program in Washington C.H. will include “The Ferry Crossing” by Ohio Wesleyan University professor Dr. Jennifer Jolley and it will be only the second performance of the piece. Written in 2015 of her memorable experiences of taking the ferry across Lake Champlain between New York and Vermont, the composition was commissioned and first performed by the Vermont Symphony.

Second on the program will be the U.S. premiere of a new arrangement of French composer Saint Saens’ popular “Carnival of the Animals.” Arranged by Richard Blackford, Carnival of the Animals gives musical impressions of the Lion, Hens and Roosters, Tortoises, the Elephant, Kangaroos, Aquarium, the Cuckoo, Birds, Fossils and the Swan. Blackford has a history of working with the Central Ohio Symphony, having visited Delaware for a performance of the “The Great Animal Orchestra” in 2015. This is the first time this arrangement of the Carnival of the Animals will be heard in the U.S.

Following intermission, the Symphony will perform several shorter pieces. The opening to Richard Strauss’s “Also sprach Zarathustra,” made famous as the music from the film “2001, A Space Odyssey,” featuring the restored Old Washington High School Auditorium Organ will be performed with organist Craig Jaynes. Jaynes has been music director at St. Colman Catholic Church since 2005 and director of the Concerts in a Country Church series since 2013. He has been an active church musician for churches in Kansas and Ohio for 55 years.

Johann Strauss’s “Emperor Waltzes” will be very familiar to audiences, and British composer Edward Elgar’s “E.D.U.” from the “Enigma Variations” will again use the auditorium organ. Enigma Variations will be an exciting closer for a concert. An encore will be performed at the very end of the concert that everyone will know.

Samples of the music are available at: http://centralohiosymphony.org/washington-ch-music/

The Fayette County Charitable Foundation extends its thanks to Perse E. Harlow for his testamentary gift of fine music to the people of Fayette County.

Harlow was a lifelong resident of Washington C.H. He operated a small business from his home, known as Harlow Business Service, where he offered various services to small businesses and organizations. He was also treasurer of the First Presbyterian Church for many years. At one time, he wrote a series of articles for The Record-Herald.

Harlow had a love of classical and semi-classical music. He frequently traveled to Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland and New York to attend symphonies, operas, musicals and plays. In addition to his love of music, he was also an avid football fan and was a regular at the Washington High School and Ohio State games. He even followed Ohio State to the Rose Bowl on several occasions when the team played there, and was one of a small group of individuals who raised funds to construct the shelter house at Gardner Field.

Harlow had a fascination with circuses and was a collector of various circus memorabilia. He was a past president of Rotary and while in Rotary, he was instrumental in Rotary bringing a circus to Fayette County.

He died in 1998. In his will, he said, “I have long had an interest in classical music and it is my purpose in establishing this trust to help provide quality classical or semi-classical music entertainment in Washington C.H. and Fayette County. To that end, I direct that such trustee underwrite the presentation of a Harlow Memorial Concert series of classical or semi-classical music in Fayette County.”

The Fayette County Charitable Foundation is the trustee of The Perse E. Harlow Testimentary.

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Free concert will be held March 8 at Historic WHS auditorium

From staff reports