The Hendricks Symphonic Society, directed by Benjamin G. Del Vecchio, opens its new season with “Featuring the Organ” on Oct. 4.
Held at Calvary United Methodist Church in Brownsburg, Kurt von Schakel will perform Overture to La Gazza Ladra by Gioachino Rossini and Poulenc’s Concerto for Organ, Timpani, and Strings in g minor for the first half of the program. Following the intermission, Mark Herris will join the orchestra for Symphony No. 3 in c minor composed by Camille Saint-Saens.
Herris is the director of music ministries at Calvary United Methodist Church and teaches piano and organ. He holds music degrees from Goshen College and University of Notre Dame, and is currently working on his doctoral degree at Indiana University.
Von Schakel studied piano with Jorge Bolet at Indiana University’s School of Music and has appeared with professional orchestras since the age of 12 as winner of the Young Artists Competition. Also active in sacred music since childhood, he has been the organist and music director at several Indianapolis area congregations. He loves designing pipe organs and is currently working on the design of a concert instrument for the Aspen Music Festival.
La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie) is a two-act opera which debuted at La Scala in 1817. The opera is best known for the overture. Be listening for the snare drums.
Poulenc’s Concerto was his first attempt to compose for the organ. Studying the works of Bach and Buxtehude, their influence is recognizable in the concerto. In 1934, Princess Edmond de Polignac commissioned the piece for a chamber orchestra, and wanted an easy-to-play organ part, perhaps so she could play it herself — although not for public performance.
Saint-Saens wrote Symphony No. 3 at the height of his career, his last symphony. He dedicated the opus to Liszt, and it debuted in 1886.