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Gandolfi and a Wizard’s Guide to the Orchestra

May 29, 2013

20130524_33On Friday, May 24th, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra put on a masterful performance at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester in conjunction with the Dudamel Orchestra of the Conservatory Lab Charter School.  The concert, A Wizard’s Guide to Orchestra, began with a bang as the Dudamel Orchestra, conducted by Adrian Anantawan, performed music from the Lord of the Rings.  Six students from the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing composed ASL poetry to accompany the piece and performed on stage alongside the musicians. Following the Lord of the Rings piece, the Dudamel orchestra next played the finale from Brahms’ Symphony No. 1.

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Adrian Anantawan conducts the Dudamel Orchestra from Conservatory Lab Charter School

The third piece of the performance was the main act, the world premiere of The Queen and the Conjurer by Grammy nominated composer Michael Gandolfi.  The piece was specifically commissioned by the Landmarks Orchestra for double orchestra, and was played using the combined members of the Landmarks and Dudamel Orchestras and conducted by Christopher Wilkins. The piece was accompanied by a slideshow narrating the fairy-tale story behind the music of the Queen and the Conjurer. Following the performance, the kids of the Conservatory Lab Charter School presented Gandolfi with his very own wizard hat and robe.  They had decided he was related to Gandolf the wizard and decided to outfit him accordingly.
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Six students from Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing performed original ASL poetry inspired by the themes of the music

After the Queen and the Conjurer, the combined orchestras played selections from another piece by Michael Gandolfi, Garden of the Senses Suite, which was inspired by the Garden of Cosmic Speculation in Dumfries, Scotland.  The garden is designed to portray aspects of math, physics, and astrophysics, and the piece was accompanied by a number of visually stunning slides showing pictures of the garden in question.
For the finale of the concert, the Dudamel orchestra filed offstage, and the Boston Landmarks Orchestra performed The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten, with narrators from the Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy.  All told the concert was a great success, with over 1,000 students from schools in the Boston area in attendance.

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