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Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra: How to Make it in America

  • El Campanil Theatre Antioch, CA USA (map)

Nancy Bloomer Deussen: An American Hymn
Antonin Dvorak: American Suite
William Grant Still: From the Black Belt
George Gershwin: American in Paris

Join the CCCO as we explore music penned by several of the most ambitious, diverse composers to make a name for themselves in America.

Bay Area composer Nancy Bloomer Deussen's An American Hymn is a gorgeous musical depiction of the vast landscapes of America. The score carries the inscription: "In appreciation of how fortunate I am to be a citizen of this great nation."

Antonin Dvorak’s American Suite, a “melting pot” work, blends the sounds of the American landscape he explored in the 1890’s with those of his Czech heritage.

William Grant Still was the first African-American composer to have a symphony performed by a major orchestra, the first to have an opera performed by a major opera company and the first to conduct a major American orchestra. His work From the Black Belt is comprised of seven charming vignettes. In the preface to the score, the composer explains that this piece was “written frankly to amuse and to please those who listen to them.”

Closing the program is George Gershwin’s An American in Paris, a work that helped define the sound of America and propel American composers into the international spotlight.