On February 26th and March 1st Sarah Wagner will be performing with the Beaufort Symphony Orchestra again! But this time she will be stepping to the front of the stage as soloist in the Reinecke Flute Concerto in D Major. The concert features three works in a program entitled ‘German Giants’.
Before graduating from Beaufort High School a few years ago Ms. Wagner was a founding member of The Beaufort Youth Orchestra and also a member and the adult Orchestra. She then headed to Columbus State University in Georgia to continue her studies in music, partially supported by a continuing scholarship from the Beaufort Orchestra League! Last spring she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance at the Schwob School of Music, where she has remained for an additional year in the Diploma program. During that time she studied flute with Dr. Andree Martin and has taken part in master classes with world-renowned teachers and performers, Peter Lloyd and Paula Robison, and Mimi Stillman.
While at Columbus State she has served as principal flute in the Philharmonic Orchestra and participated in many small ensembles during her college career. She has won numerous awards at interstate competitions, and has traveled to summer music festivals in Florida, North Carolina and Quebec. Sarah has expressed a passion for teaching, and following the completion of her studies she hopes to maintain her own flute studio. In addition she wants to continue the success she has already had as a performer. She credits her joy in choosing a career in music to her family. “I am eternally grateful for my unconditionally supportive parents. They have been behind me every step of the way. Without them I would not be as happy, successful, or appreciative of all that I have accomplished.” As to advice for other aspiring musicians she says, “Do what you love!”
Maestro Fred Devyatkin is especially happy to include her in a program entitled ‘German Giants’! He recalls her as an attentive, hard-working young person throughout her high school years. However, last spring when she sent him a CD of her senior recital he was bowled over by the technical strides she had made and the mature quality of her sound! It was then that he decided to extend an invitation for her to solo with the Beaufort Symphony.
‘German Giants’ will be spotlighting two additional works that are well known to musical audiences – Mendelssohn’s ‘Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and Beethoven’s beloved Symphony No. 6 in F Major, ‘Pastoral’.
Devyatkin points out that Mendelssohn was just seventeen, in 1826, when he wrote an ‘Overture’ to Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. It is often referred to as an early example of ‘programme music’ – music that evokes mental images in the listener’s mind. Young Mendelssohn was also a serious student of literature, having been introduced to the poet, Goethe by his piano teacher when he was twelve. He was inspired to write the Overture after reading a translation of William Shakespeare’s play. This work fairly shimmers with the excitement and brilliance of color all delivered by the instruments of the orchestra! Here was a hugely talented composer arriving on the musical scene with rare maturity at very young age indeed! His long list of compositions includes symphonies, oratorios, and concertos as well as overtures and works for the keyboard.
Ludwig Van Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ Symphony was written almost simultaneously with his Fifth Symphony, although they are completely different in character. Instead of the struggle and victory in the Fifth, the Sixth Symphony evokes the pure joy and love he felt for the German countryside around him. He loved to stroll through the woods, quietly observing the beauty and calm of fields, streams, and trees near his village. As with the Mendelssohn Overture, this work is also programmatic. Throughout the five parts you can hear the rustle of leaves and the image of birdsong as well the power of lightening and thunder of an approaching storm. In this happy work there is no evidence of the dark turn that Beethoven’s life was to take as he descended into the isolation of deafness and depression.
It is no secret that Beethoven is Maestro Devyatkin ‘s favorite composer. Although he is at home conducting music from Vivaldi to the jazz rhythms of present day Broadway, the works of this German master are dear to his heart. As our concertgoers have noticed, Beethoven’s music appears frequently on the programs of The Beaufort Symphony Orchestra.
Mendelssohn – Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Reinecke – Flute Concerto in D Major
Beethoven – Symphony No. 6 in F Major, ‘Pastoral’
February 26, Thursday Evening, 8:00 P.M. – $30
March 1, Sunday Matinee, 3:00 P.M. – $30
Youth through high school – $5
USCB Performing Arts Auditorium
801 Carteret Street, Beaufort
Tickets may be purchased on the Beaufort Orchestra's website at
www.beaufortorchestra.org or by calling
Ticket Fusion's toll free number 1-877-548-3237