Fiddling Around with the Humboldt Symphony

Humboldt Symphony will perform its well-planned and rehearsed final concert of the year on May 10 and 12, with classics ranging from the 17th to the 20th centuries. But there will also be a surprise—even to conductor Paul Cummings.

A student ensemble of fiddle enthusiasts is preparing its own medley. “There’s quite a movement in America for fiddle music, and these students are part of it,” Cummings said. “I don’t know exactly what tunes they’re doing, so I’m looking forward to being surprised. Every concert ought to have an adventure—something unexpected. This is it.”

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The Humboldt Symphony.

The fiddle medley follows Percy Grainger’s “Molly on the Shore,” a string orchestra version of an Irish reel. The concert includes the overture to the first real opera in western music history by Claudio Monteverdi, and “Capriccio Espagnol” by 19th century composer Rimsky-Korsakoff that Cummings calls “one of the great orchestral masterworks.” The main selection is “The Creation of the World,” a jazz inflected classic by French composer Darius Milaud, that is seldom performed partly because “it’s so difficult to play,” Cummings said. So after all the hard work preparing it, why not fiddle around a little?

Humboldt Symphony performs on Friday, May 10 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 12 at 3 p.m. in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $7/$3 and free to HSU students from the HSU Box Office (826-3928) or at the door. Conducted by Paul Cummings, produced by the HSU Music Department. For more information, visit hsumusic.blogspot.com.