Visalia’s violinist ready for the Sequoia Symphony Orchestra concert
This is how Sequoia Symphony Orchestra violinist Maxton Vieira feels after a concert that has connected with its audience.
“We don’t want to,” said the Visalia native. “When you really hit a gig, you have that almost floating feeling when the gig is over.”
Maxton and the rest of the Sequoia Symphony Orchestra hope to create that floating feeling with his final classical concerts “Behind The Czar: Protest and Praise” on Saturday November 11 at the Visalia Fox Theater.
Vieira, a graduate of Golden West High School and Fresno Pacific, has been performing with Sequoia Symphony since 2010 when he was in high school. He now teaches music at Mt. Whitney High School and other schools in the Visalia Unified School District.
During his university studies he majored in history and music, but after graduation he came to the conclusion that music education was his passion.
“I am so grateful to have both the opportunity to teach and play music in my hometown,” Vieira said.
From Russia with love
For music director Bruce Kiesling, the Sequoia Symphony’s November 11 concert is one of the most interesting programs the orchestra has ever presented. It features Russian composers Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Prokofiev and Borodin, contrasting those who followed the line of the Soviet state and those who rebelled.
Guest violinist Adam Millstein will perform two pieces by Tchaikovsky with the orchestra: “Serenade melencolique” and “Valse-scherzo”.
Vieira is very enthusiastic about the idea of playing Sergey Prokofiev’s “Lieutenant Kizhi”, about a fictional character described as real for the Tsar. It is a satire of the bureaucracy, showing the stupidity of royalty and in particular the Russian terror of Stalin.
“Fortunately, Stalin didn’t have the parody, otherwise Prokofiev wouldn’t have been there for a long time,” Vieira said.
Playing with the orchestra
Besides connecting with audiences, the best part of being a member of the orchestra is the chance to collaborate with other professional musicians, Vieira said.
“Everyone related to the orchestra is passionate about music, so you can’t help but be energized by this professionalism,” Vieira said.
That passion and professionalism starts at the top with Kiesling, Vieira said.
“I just feel lucky and honored to be led by Dr Kiesling,” Vieira said.
And yes, newbie classical music fans, Vieira has said that all of the conductor’s hand movements and the waving of the baton have a direct influence on the orchestra.
“It is about giving rhythm to the music, about the importance that the orchestra has to place on a particular movement and about the passion,” said Vieira.
And once all of those elements come together with the conductor, the orchestra and the audience, the result is often magical, Vieira said.
“I always get goosebumps when we play a piece of music,” Vieira said. “There is no other feeling like that, especially when you have a theater full of people.”
It’s a feeling Vieira, Kiesling and the rest of the Sequoia Symphony Orchestra hope audiences will feel during Saturday’s concert.
How to attend
“Behind The Czar: Protest and Praise” begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Visalia Fox Theater, but audiences are encouraged to come to the Kiesling premiere at 6:45 p.m. to learn more about the composers and the music. Tickets – priced at $ 10 to $ 35 – are available at the symphony office, 208 W. Main, Visalia (downstairs at Montgomery Square), 559 732-8600 or www.sequoiasymphonyorchestra.com.
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