The Great Woods Symphony Orchestra performs at NEFFA

It might be surprising to read that an orchestra will be performing at NEFFA this year. But folk music has always been of central importance to the classical tradition. European composers from Haydn to Stravinsky have written famous pieces incorporating folk music, and today the classical repertoire is filled with pieces incorporating traditional music from across the globe.

As the conductor of The Great Woods Symphony Orchestra, a college-community ensemble based at nearby Wheaton College, I’m excited to present a concert highlighting some of these pieces this spring.

The orchestra will be performing compositions influenced by folk music from Africa, China, Eastern Europe, South America, North America, and Australia. Though the pieces prominently include traditional music, they are all rooted in the western classical tradition: they were all written by classically-trained composers, and are fully notated using Western musical notation. In each case, the composers have engaged deeply with the folk music of their regions, incorporating and re-imagining the unique rhythms, harmonies and melodies of their traditions in order to create fascinating hybrid-style

I think that NEFFA performers, participants, and listeners will enjoy these interesting pieces, and the orchestra is excited to share them with you!

Delvyn Case, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Music, Wheaton College, Norton, Mass.
Music Director, Great Woods Symphony Orchestra