By Lee Champion
Composer Aaron Copland hit 100 and BYU is celebrating.
Three different concerts put on by the School of Music will be performed this week in memory of Copland’s work.
The whole country is celebrating the 100th birthday of this American great, said Kory Katseanes, the director of the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra.
“Copland is responsible for creating an American sound that embodies the American spirit,” Katseanes said.
Copland became an American icon through his music, which is very unique, Katseanes said.
On Wednesday, Nov. 15, the Wind Symphony will perform “An Outdoor Overture.”
On Thursday, Nov. 16, the Philharmonic Orchestra will perform the well know “Fanfare for the Common Man,” as well as “Lincoln Portrait.”
“Lincoln Portrait,” considered by many to be Copland’s greatest American symphony, will be narrated by President Merrill J. Bateman.
Katseanes said he invited President Bateman to narrate “Lincoln Portrait” because the piece calls for somebody of stature and strong statehood.
President Bateman said he was motivated to narrate the piece because of his great admiration for Copland and for Lincoln.
President Bateman saw the event as a wonderful challenge and a great opportunity, he said.
On Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17-18, the Men’s Chorus and Women’s Chorus will perform some of Copland’s vocal arrangements, such as “Zion’s Walls,” and “The Little Horses.”
Megan Benson, a member of Women’s Chorus, said she is glad BYU is celebrating Copland’s 100th anniversary because of what he did for music in the United States.
“Copland has contributed so much to the music in America as well as the history of America,” said Benson, 22, a senior from Salt Lake City, majoring in dance.
The celebration continues through December with concerts by different performing groups from the School of Music each week.
This week’s concerts are in the de Jong Concert Hall in the HFAC, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students.