07Appalachian Spring Artwork Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra’s 2017-18 season, “Gone to Carolina,” ends in the Blue Ridge Mountains. “We began on the coast in October, and we end in the mountains in April,” said FSO president and CEO Christine Kastner. The final concert, “Appalachian Spring,” takes place Saturday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m.

This season, new music director Stefan Sanders led the FSO in a series of concerts that celebrated and explored the geography, history and culture of the Carolinas.

“Our final program is not to be missed,” Sanderssaid. “Aaron Copland’s ‘Appalachian Spring’ performed live is an unforgettable experience. The piece encapsulates in music what it means to be American and is perhaps the single greatest piece of American music ever written.”

While Copland’s composition is the centerpiece of the concert, many other works that evoke springtime and the majesty of the Carolina mountain ranges will also be played. These include two favorites by the renowned romantic Finnish composer Jean Sibelius: “Valse Triste,” which Sanders calls “achingly beautiful,” and the ever-popular “Finlandia.”

Guest soloist Alex Jokippi, Sanders’ previous colleague and principal trumpet of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, will perform a new concerto composed for him by Finnish violinist and composer Jaako Kuusisto.

“2018 also marks the 100th Anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, and to commemorate this incredible legacy, we will perform his vivacious and lovable overture to ‘Candide,’” Sanders said.

Attendees can also look forward to the announcement of FSO’s 2018-19 season plans. Brochures will be available. Kastner has kept a tight lid on her and Sanders’ ideas, but she did let one big teaser loose: “Star Wars” fans will be pleased with one of the season’s concerts.

For those who couldn’t wait until April 21 or who will not be able to attend the season’s last concert, FSO held a Season Announcement Party downtown at Park View on Tuesday, April 17, from 5-6:30 p.m.

“We think there is something for everyone in next season,” Kastner said. “We have thoroughly enjoyed our Carolina-themed season, especially as a way to help Stefan get to know our community and our state, but we are also excited about next season, which will have variety from start to finish.”

“Appalachian Spring” takes place Saturday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m., at Fayetteville State University’s Seabrook Auditorium. A Pre-Concert Talk will occur at 6:45 p.m., offering audience members the opportunity to learn more about the music they will hear that evening.

To purchase tickets, which range from $11-$26, visit www.fayettevillesymphony.org.

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