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Rachel Robison of Gardnerville is narrator for Carson symphony

Staff reports

The Carson City Symphony, conducted by David Bugli, and the Carson Chamber Singers, directed by Judy Daniels, will present the world premiere of “A Land of Sage and Sun” on Saturday, Oct. 21, 8 p.m., at the Churchill County High School Theater in Fallon, and on Sunday, Oct. 22, 4 p.m., at the Carson City Community Center.

The concerts will also include Steven Rosenhaus’ Virginia City “Bagatelle” and Antonin Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 9” (“From the New World”). A reception will follow each concert. In the spirit of Nevada Day 2000, the new work, a Continental Harmony composition by Jim Cockey of McCall, Idaho, celebrates Nevada themes. The 25-minute suite for orchestra and chorus uses texts by historic and contemporary poets and prose writers, including Walter Van Tilburg Clark, Shaun Griffin, Mark Twain, Gary Short and Robert Laxalt. It features “Pine Nut Blessing,” performed by Native American singer Gayle Hanson-Johnson of Yerington, and “Another Ox Down,” from an 1849 diary by a 14-year-old pioneer girl, Sallie Hester, narrated by Rachel Robison of Gardnerville.

Guest narrators also include McAvoy Layne as Mark Twain reading “Flush Times” from Twain’s “Roughing It,” and Shaun Griffin of Virginia City reading his poem “A Place of Stone.” Robert Laxalt’s work will be narrated by his daughter, Nicky Laxalt.

Jim Cockey was selected as the Carson City Symphony’s Continental Harmony composer-in-residence from applicants throughout the country. As part of his residence activities, Cockey collaborated with music teacher Nancy Mielke at Carson Middle School on a special three-day educational project in April. Students in five handbell and choir classes learned how music is composed and each class worked on creating an original composition.

Continental Harmony links communities with composers to celebrate the new millennium through the creation of original musical works. The program is a partnership of American Composers Forum and the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional funds provided by the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and Land O’Lakes Foundation. Continental Harmony is an Associate Partner of the White House Millennium Council.

The Carson City Symphony’s Continental Harmony project, one of 58 nationwide, is the only one in Nevada. It will be recognized nationally in a PBS television documentary and associated Web site produced by Twin Cities Public Television, and project materials will be archived by the Library of Congress.

For more information, see the Continental Harmony web site: http://www.composersforum.org/harmony.html.

Both concerts are funded in part by grants from the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, and from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Tickets to the Carson City concert are $12 for general admission; $10 for Carson City Symphony Association members, seniors, and students; and free for children ages 16 and under. Tickets will be available at the door or in advance from the Brewery Arts Center in Carson City.

For more information call the Symphony at (775) 883-4154. Also, see the Symphony’s web site at members.aol.com/CCSymphony.