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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Davison

Community Impact Grant Spotlight: Madison City Community Orchestra's In the Deep

Believing that music has the power to inspire, the Madison City Community Orchestra (MCCO) will fulfill this mission by enriching the community with live music. MCCO brings performances and community engagement initiatives to where people live and desires for audiences to experience music in a way that is relevant and meaningful to their own lives. Through music, the MCCO aspires to create shared experiences and connections that improve the quality of life in the Tennessee Valley area and throughout the region. MCCO engages, connects, and uplifts our community by performing powerful, beautiful, and inspiring music.

All concerts by MCCO are free and family-friendly. The first concert of the 2023-2024 season will be held on October 22 at 5:00 pm at James Clemens High School. This concert is made possible by a Community Impact Grant from Madison Visionary Partners.

MCCO will begin the 2023 -2024 Season with a concert all about water. Many composers have written compositions throughout the centuries that depict the power of water. For our fall concert we will share some of those wonderful pieces of music.

The Hebrides. Written by Felix Mendelssohn this piece was inspired by Mendelssohn's 1829 trip to Fingal's Cave on the island of Staffa off Scotland's west coast, known for its puffins and the echoes of the cave. Mendelssohn wrote it to capture the Atlantic swell, the sound of the waves crashing into rocks and lapping against each other.

Beyond the Sea is the English-language version of the French song "La Mer" by Charles Trenet, popularized by Bobby Darin in 1959. While the French original was an ode to the sea, Jack Lawrence – who composed the English lyrics – turned it into a love song.

Singin' in the Rain is a 1952 American musical romantic comedy film directed/choreographed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Kelly, Donald O'Connor, and Debbie Reynolds and featuring Jean Hagen, Millard Mitchell and Cyd Charisse. It offers a lighthearted depiction of Hollywood in the late 1920s, with the three stars portraying performers caught up in the transition from silent films to "talkies".

Victory at Sea, NBC-TV's innovative 1952-53 WWII documentary chronicled the war's conflicts while highlighting the US Navy's contributions, Victory's special distinction was its music, with each episode's nonstop score recorded by the acclaimed NBC Symphony Orchestra. The music was credited to Richard Rodgers-then at the height of his fame-as composer, and Robert Russell Bennett as arranger and conductor.

Next up is the incredible music of Alan Menken from a well known Disney movie favorite The Little Mermaid. Ariel, the youngest of King Triton's daughters, falls in love with a human and has many adventures trying to be with her one true love.

Leaving the antics of Sebastian and Flounder we journey to Handel's Water Music Suite. As its name suggests, the Water Music was indeed written to be performed on the water, Water Music is made up of three orchestral suites, written for an outdoor performance for King George I on the Thames. Handel composed his wonderfully jolly Water Music around 1717. and it was first performed on 17 July that year, after George I requested a concert on the River Thames.

Finally, How can we have a concert about water and not include the most famous water based music suite of all time? That piece is The Jaws Suite. Just two notes, to encapsulate a film's title character – John Williams' famous 'da, duh' theme to Jaws (1975) earned the composer his second Oscar and has become one of the most memorable themes in film history. The film producer, Steven Spielberg hired composer John Williams to write the music for his film about a killer shark. John Williams said “And he came to my room at Fox Studios, and he said, ‘What are you going to do for the shark?’ and I played E, F, E, F, E, F, E, F and so on. “And he said, ‘You can’t be serious?’ I said, ‘Well, I think when the basses and celli of the orchestra, maybe supported by tympani or contrabassoon [play it], you might be convinced that this is scary enough. Er, let’s try it." Those few notes did strike fear in the hearts of moviegoers and even today causes people to pause before going into the ocean.

This concert is sponsored by the Madison Visionary Partners. It is because of their most generous grant that we are able to share such beautiful music!

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