A great display of music is brought to local residents and students by The University of North Carolina at Pembroke on a regular basis. One of the latest shows is the Tchaikovsky St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, which performs Feb. 9, at the Givens Performing Arts Center(GPAC)

.The orchestra has a unique background that has made it popular throughout Russia. Founded during World War II, it has had the privilege of working in different musical genres and has received rave reviews throughout the former Soviet Union.

Conductors from the St. Petersburg Conducting School,which was founded in 1862, regularly work with the orchestra. The group is home to Russian Romantic composers and 20th century classical composers alike, and has cultivated a devoted audience.

The Tchaikovsky St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra offers more than great music — it makes a difference in the community by offering educational and charity programs that expose young audiences to a vast repertoire. The orchestra regularly performs at Young People’s Concerts in St. Petersburg, Russia. The group also tours around the world and has met with much success in Europe, China and Japan. It should come as no surprise that the GPAC is bringing this prestigious orchestra to perform for the community.

David P. Thaggard, assistant executive director at GPAC, says that the performing arts center returned orchestra performances to the campus a couple of years back. “We felt that we were doing a disservice to the students due to less diversity,” Thaggard explained.

Thaggard says the students at the university have the opportunity to learn something new by viewing all that the show has to offer. Both students and music lovers can relate to the symphony and possibly get some new insight. Audience members can expect to hear music that ranges from baroque compositions by Vivaldi, Bach and Handel to contemporary compositions by Schnitke, Banshikov, Desyatnikov and Kancheli.

02-01-12-orchestra.jpg“You get to experience different performing art while still being in an educational environment,” Thaggard said.

Going into its 36th year, the GPAC is one of the largest performing arts centers in all of Southeast North Carolina. The center brings in a wide variety of entertainment that is economically suitable for students and local residents. Thaggard explains that the mission of the center is to cater to the community and students. The GPAC, supported by student affairs and student programming, receives much of its support from the university. Some of the upcoming shows include Broadway favorites, ballet and distinguished speakers.

“We have a big turnout with our shows,” Thaggard said.

The curtain rises on the Tchaikovsky St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. The performance lasts about two hours with an intermission in between segments. To purchase tickets for the orchestra or any future performances, contact the box office at 910-521-6361.

Photo: The Tchaikovsky St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra will perform at the Givens Performing Arts Center on Feb. 9.

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