Manchester Symphony Orchestra concert chases away winter blues

By Karen Greer
For the Journal Inquirer
January 27, 2011

MANCHESTER — A wintry mix arrives in Manchester on Saturday, Jan. 29, but it’s one to enjoy, as the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lewis J. Buckley, whips up a storm of great classical music. The concert, Meet the Lieutenant includes Prokofiev’s “Lieutenant Kijé Suite,” with its lively Troika movement evoking the charm of the snowy Russian countryside.

Prokofiev expanded his score for “Lieutenant Kijé” — a satirical film about a non-existent officer added to the roster of the imperial Russian army through a clerical error — into an orchestral suite. The version of the Troika heard in the concert hall gives little hint of its appearance in the film as a boisterous drinking song.

Also on the program is Manchester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale’s 2001 young artist, Aaron Ney.

Ney, a senior at Killingly High School and a student in the community division of the Hartt School of music, will perform Haydn’s “Concerto for Trumpet in E-flat major.” He was a finalist in the U.S. Coast Guard Band’s 2010 Young Artists Solo Competition and is principal trumpet in several youth and student ensembles.

In his seven years with the MSOC, orchestra director Buckley has developed MSOC’s annual young artist concerts into one of the highlights of each concert season.

Memorable moments include virtuoso performances, a premiere of a new work by then 17-year-old Byron Perpetua, and a special Sunday afternoon performance of The Composer is Dead, a delightful guide to the orchestra by popular children’s book author Lemony Snickett.

Reflecting upon his many years conducting the Coast Guard Academy Band and with other young musicians, Buckley said, “Many, people commonly refer back to such early music experiences as among the most important in their lives.

“And that seems to be as true for people who do not become professional musicians as it is for those who do.”

Buckley has announced his retirement as the orchestra’s music director at the end of this season, so this concert is one of Manchester’s final opportunities to hear the orchestra under his baton.

The concert program also includes Schumann’s ‘Third Symphony.”

This majestic symphony shares the key of E-flat with Haydn’s “Trumpet Concerto,” a key associated with the noble and heroic in music. The inspiration for this symphony, called the “Rhenish,” was the mighty Rhine River.

Schumann’s journey through the Rhineland in 1850 with his beloved wife, Clara, was a rare moment of tranquility for the composer, whose inner life was often as bleak and barren as the deepest winter.

Concertgoers can find their own respite from the season’s chill by spending an evening in the warmth of Manchester’s vibrant cultural community.

Meet the Lieutenant will be performed at 7:30 p.m. in Bailey Auditorium, Manchester High School, 134 E. Middle Turnpike.

Tickets can be purchased at the door. Prices are $18; $15 for seniors and students, and free for those under 18 years of age.

For further information, call 860-645-1151, e-mail MusicSix [at], or visit the MSOC on Facebook or at its website: