Nachtmusik Orchestra dusts off powdered wigs for a

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    By JULIA OLSEN

    The Nachtmusik Chamber Orchestra, based in Provo, will perform under the direction of Marden Pond in the Provo Tabernacle at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

    The orchestra, which dresses in costume for each concert, will perform music composed by native and adopted English composers from the 18th century.

    Donned in powered wigs, waistcoats and lace, the orchestra will play pieces from William Boyce, Thomas Arne, Johann Christian Bach and Franz Joseph Haydn.

    Also included in the programs are two operatic pieces performed by guest artist, Dr. Eda Ashby.

    Ashby, a professor at Utah Valley State College, will sing “When I am Laid in Earth,” from Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” and “Largo” from the opera “Xerxes” by George Frederic Handel.

    As Ashby’s first experience with Nachtmusik, she’s interested in seeing what type of costume she’ll end up in.

    “It’s an honor to perform with them, but I’m not sure what costume I’ll be wearing. I guess I’ll just have to wait to find out,” Ashby said.

    Pond and co-founder, David Hatch, originally thought of forming the chamber orchestra when they experienced a costumed concert performed by the Vienna Orchestra while on tour with a student group in Vienna.

    “On the way back, in the plane, we both looked at each other and knew that we were thinking the same thing,” Pond said.

    Now in their third season of performing, the orchestra has seen improvement and critical acclaim from audiences and local critics.

    “We’ve gotten better because now the musicians are used to playing together and performing in costume,” Pond said. “We’ve been very encouraged by the reception we’ve had because, as a non-profit group, we rely on word of mouth for our publicity.”

    Every concert centers around a specific theme that holds the separate pieces together.

    Pond’s informal remarks on the background of the composers and the history behind the pieces also aids the performance to flow evenly.

    “With the music and the explanation that (Pond) gives combined, I think that the audience gets a full experience,” Ashby said.

    First time audience members can expect an original performance that is likely to leave an impression.

    “We provide the concert with a multimedia experience but not in the 20th century sense,” Pond said. “We hope to give each audience member a treat for the eyes, the ears and the heart.”

    As the conductor, Pond hopes to draw the audience into the experience of the 18th century with the authentically dressed performers.

    “Today we hear the classical music performed in tuxedos and it removes the audience historically from the music,” Pond said.

    Students and faculty interested in hearing Nachtmusik perform can buy tickets at the door the night of the performances.

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