Great orchestral works

SURREY-based theatre company PH Productions celebrates some of the greatest orchestral works from the 20th century American repertoire in The Art Of The American at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on Sunday, April 3.

The concert includes Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, showing traditional songs and joyful dances alongside shaker hymns, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue, which was revolutionary for its genre, Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and a selection of Stephen Sondheim songs.

Formed by Guildford musicians Emily Davis and Alex Parker, the Student Arts Orchestra is comprises 70 young musicians from London conservatoires and the country’s leading university music departments.

The orchestra members include BBC Young Musician finalists and ex-National Youth Orchestra Players.

Leader Emily Davis explained: “Whilst discussing potential repertoire, Alex and I knew the idea of having a running theme through the concert would be effective.

“It is an extremely difficult task to programme a concert well, and to provide a rounded and exciting performance.

“With regards to Alex’s experience in the world of musical theatre, choosing something like Symphonic Dances from West Side Story seemed like a perfect fit for him, and it is such a wonderful piece of music.

“It had always been something he wanted to do anyway.

“This spurred on the idea of an American-themed concert, and adding a concerto to the programme would add colour and variety, and for me there was no other piece to choose but Rhapsody In Blue.

“For a group of young adults, these two pieces are the perfect choices as the sense of fun, freedom and individuality come naturally.

“Appalachian Spring slotted in so well with the theme, with its more classical style of writing being an effective contrast, yet still being full of colour, depth and warmth.”

Tickets on 01483 440000 or