A cellist decorated to mark the orchestra’s concert at the Mount Carmel Center
GAYLORD – The Gaylord Community Orchestra, under the direction of Jim Van Eizenga, will present “Songs of the Isles” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 13 at the Mt. Carmel Center, 149 N. Otsego Ave. Tickets cost $ 10 for adults and $ 5 for students.
The program features music by English composers, with guest soloist Patrick Hartson performing Sir Edward Elgar’s “Cello Concerto in E minor”.
Van Eizenga notes that the first half of the concert consists of music made up of folk songs.
“There are two works in multiple movements, ‘Rutter’s Suite for Strings’ and ‘English Folk Song Suite’ by Vaughan Williams,” said Van Eizenga. “Both of these suites are based on English folk songs. We also have a symphonic poem on the first half,” Upon Hearing Cuckoo in Spring “by Delius. While Delius is an English composer,” Upon Hearing “uses a Norwegian folk song. , “In Ola Valley” for its melodic content.
Faithful to the English theme, Van Eizenga welcomes Hartson, who will play Elgar’s concerto, written in 1919.
“The cello concerto was actually a disaster when it was first premiered due to the lack of rehearsal time, so it didn’t have a lot of performances,” Van Eizenga said. “It was made famous by cellist Jacqueline Du Pre, after which the concerto became a staple of the repertoire.”
Hartson began playing cello at the age of seven and attended the St. Clair County School for Strings with Dr. Rebekah Brown and Lisa Poole. He was involved in many ensembles that ranged from classical small chamber to large violin groups. He gained experience playing for many audiences in classical concerts, violin concerts, Celtic shows, weddings, and art exhibitions.
Hartson’s performing career progressed, and during his last two years in high school, he began studying with Detroit Symphony Orchestra musician Paul Wingert. He performed in the best orchestra of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s civic program, which included concerts conducted by Maestro Leonard Slatkin and prominent performing artists.
Hartson currently attends Western Michigan University, where he studied cello with Professor Bruce Uchimura for four years. Since attending WMU he has performed in numerous concerts, master classes, weddings, recitals and is currently the conductor for the WMU Symphony. Notable performances include a concert at Orchestra Hall in Detroit, conducted by Slatkin, and “The Nutcracker” with the Moscow Ballet. He is a substitute cellist with the Kalamazoo Civic Theater and the South West Michigan Symphony Orchestra. He also records and performs regularly on cello and guitar with the Celtic band Blarney Castle.
Hartson tutors and conducts “Cellocation,” a two-week introductory cello workshop at the School for Strings. He will teach the second annual Cellocation workshop in June.
There will be a pre-concert talk with Van Eizenga at 7 p.m.