The Hope College Orchestra will present a concert on Friday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m. The concert can be viewed online at hope.edu/live
Out of an abundance of caution due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no in-person audience.
The program will feature two guest artists from Hope's faculty. Dance faculty member and tap dancer Heather Cornell will be one of the featured soloists on “Afro Blue,” by the Afro-Cuban conguero (conga player) Mongo Santamaria. This is a new arrangement written for strings and percussion by music faculty member Christopher H. Fashun, conductor of the Hope College Orchestra. Joining Cornell on “Afro Blue” is tenor saxophonist Jordan VanHemert of the music faculty, who is director of jazz studies at Hope. His recently released solo album “I Am Not a Virus,” has received high praise nationally and in South Korea.
Fashun will also debut another arrangement for strings and percussion called “Festa na Lagoa,” a Brazilian choro tune written by the ensemble Choro das 3, with who Fashun has performed on tour.
In an ongoing commitment to feature works of underrepresented composers, the orchestra will be opening the concert with “Strum,” a composition for string orchestra by Jessie Montgomery, a contemporary African American composer, violinist and educator whose music interweaves classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, language and social justice. The program will conclude with John Rutter’s “Suite for Strings,” a four-movement work based on folk songs from Great Britain.