The Gaston String Orchestra is presenting music inspired by literature for concert on Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Gaston County Library.
GSO conductor Faith Alessio Foster selected music inspired by literary classics ranging from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” to Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Fire and Ice” series, source of the TV blockbuster “Game of Thrones.”
The free concert, “Music & Literature,” begins at 4 p.m. in the auditorium at the library’s main branch, 1555 E. Garrison Blvd. in Gastonia. The orchestra’s first performance in partnership with the library follows another GSO first last spring, when the orchestra added an outdoor performance at the Center City Park in downtown Gastonia.
The orchestra’s literary journey begins in Greek mythology with “Perseus,” about a son of Zeus who saved his mother’s honor by slaying the snake-haired Medusa and earned the hand of Princess Andromeda by rescuing her from a sea serpent.
The orchestra pays tribute to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by performing music from Danny Elfman’s score to Tim Burton’s popular film adaptation of the book. Their stirring “Game of Thrones” arrangement includes the familiar, cello-heavy theme music and the haunting theme for House Lannister, “The Rains of Castamere.”
But long before the clashes between the Lannisters, Targaryens and Starks, the Montagues and the Capulets were warring in the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet. Tchaikovsky’s lush overture runs the gamut from dramatic fight scenes to the soaring love theme, the doomed couple’s slowing heartbeats, and a final clash at the end.
Also on the program: “When I Consider Your Heavens,” by Miss America 2019 and Winston-Salem native Nia Imani Franklin, who has a master’s degree in composition from the UNC School of the Arts; and “Quiet City,” written by Aaron Copland to accompany a play by Irwin Shaw about a Jewish man who struggles between embracing his heritage and earning worldly success and status. Soloists Javier Perez on English horn and Corey Gaston on trumpet accompany the orchestra on the piece.
No registration is required to attend the concert, but reservations are suggested for organized groups. For more information, call the library at 704- 868-2164, extension 4.