Symphony to showcase our state’s musical heritage

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 16, 2020

‘Come Hear North Carolina’

Near the end of this month local audiences will be treated to an exceptionally varied program of music inspired by our home state of North Carolina, when the SSO presents “Come Hear North Carolina.” Some of the pieces have obvious and well-known connections to North Carolina, some are a little more obscure, but still fascinating:

  • “Carolina in the Morning” was originally sung and made popular in the 1920s by William Frawley, the actor who played the Ricardo’s neighbor Fred in the 1950s sitcom “I Love Lucy.”
  • The composer of “Mountain Song,” Lamar Stringfield, was the founding conductor of the North Carolina Symphony in 1932, and continued in that role until 1938.
  • The next three selections were written by black American composer James Tim Brymn, who led the regiment called the “Black Devil Orchestra” during the late 1910’s and performed for President Woodrow Wilson and General John Pershing at the opening of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. Brymn is considered by many to be the first to introduce jazz to France, and continued a successful career leading orchestras in Harlem after the War.
  • The composer of “Jubilation” Overture, Robert Ward, was the chancellor of the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem from 1966 to 1974 , his opera “The Crucible” won the Pulitzer Prize.
  • The next piece showcases the work of local pianist and composer Marc Hoffman, who lives in Salisbury. The Symphony will present his composition Astral Force Suite, which is from a television pilot score he wrote.
  • Although the composers of the next two pieces, “Concerto for Two Violins” (J.S. Bach) and “Sabre Dance” (A. Khachaturian), are NOT from North Carolina, the students featured in these pieces are from local schools. Violinist Joshua Jeans has played with the Salisbury Symphony Youth Orchestra, and will play a duet with Maestro David Hagy in the piece Concerto for Two Violins. The students featured in “Sabre Dance,” xylophone players Samuel Otten and Rayne Harris and sax player Zach Hedrick, are talented members of Rowan County high school bands.
  • The Symphony’s annual family-oriented concert will again feature over one hundred members of the Rowan County 5th Grade Honors Chorus as they perform James Taylor’s “Carolina In My Mind” and “North Carolina Is My Home.” The composer of the latter piece, Loonis McGlohin, was a resident of Charlotte and friend and teacher of our keyboardist John Stafford. He co-wrote “North Carolina Is My Home” with the founder and first host of CBS’s Sunday Morning, Charles Kuralt.
  • Dan Locklair’s “Independence Day” is the first movement of his “Holidays” Symphony and it quotes the patriotic song “America, the Beautiful.” Locklair is the composer-in-residence at Wake Forest University where David Hagy teaches orchestra.

The Symphony is also delighted to announce that both of the local composers featured in the performance, Marc Hoffman and Dan Locklair, will be in attendance as guests of the Symphony.

Tickets for the performance are now on sale at

Cost of tickets range from $5 (students age 20 and under) to $23-25 each for adults. Discounts are available only for online purchases until the day before the concert.

The Salisbury Symphony will present “Come Hear North Carolina” on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 4 p.m., at Varick Auditorium on the campus of Livingstone College, 701 W. Monroe Street, Salisbury NC.



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