Oratorio Society celebrates Rocky Mountain National Park’s Centennial with music

OratorioSociety.P1090149By Doug Fox
The Oratorio Society of Estes Park will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Rocky Mountain National Park with two musical compositions commissioned especially for its June 12th (7:00 p.m.) and June 13th (2:00 p.m.) concerts.

“Rocky Mountain Majesty” is an exciting orchestral work by noted Estes Park composer Jerry Brubaker.

“Wilderness Reflections” by St. Louis composer and poet Robert Charles Howard is a 25-minute cantata for soloists, chorus, and orchestra.

Also on the program is the Spring section of Haydn’s “The Seasons.”

The concerts are free and open to the public in the Estes Park High School auditorium. No tickets. No reserved seating. Donations are gladly accepted. This is one of two concerts each year by the orchestra and chorus of the Oratorio Society. This one promises to be exceptionally good because of the two newly commissioned compositions.

“It’s my impressions of my experiences in Rocky Mountain National Park,” says Brubaker about his orchestral composition “Rocky Mountain Majesty.” Brubaker says he hopes he’s captured in music the sensations of waking up in the forest, taking a stroll by Bear Lake, and then seeing the majesty of Long’s Peak.

Brubaker is well-known for his patriotic compositions and arrangements of popular music, motion picture scores, and Christmas favorites. He has published over 200 works for band, chorus, and symphony orchestra. He spent 30-years with the U.S. Navy Band and retired as its chief arranger in 1998. He moved to Estes Park in 2013

“Wilderness Reflections: Echoes of Timeless Wonder” by Robert Charles Howard is the cantata for orchestra, chorus, and soloists. He uses the poetry of Wendell Berry as well as some of his own in six movements to evoke images of Rocky Mountain National Park as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.

“What I tried to do was vary the orchestration considerably between the movements so that each has a different sound world,” explains Howard. “For example, the one on winter uses wind chimes and glockenspiel and tremolos in the strings to create a sense of chill…like experiencing a really cold winter day with new snow on the ground.”

Soloists will be Anna Baker and Scott Anderson.

The Oratorio Society also will perform the Spring section from Haydn’s “The Seasons,” which will feature Bob Gunn as the farmer Simon, Melissa Westover as his daughter Hanne, and Scott Anderson as the young peasant Luke.

If you would like to honor a loved one with great music, consider investing in OSEP’s original composition fund. Just send your tax deductible check to OSEP and mail it to: Lynette Johnson at 560 Devon Drive, Estes Park, CO 80517.

Mark your calendar now for Saturday, June 12th at 7:00 p.m. or Sunday, June 13th at 2:00pm for these Centennial Celebration Concerts by the Oratorio Society of Estes Park.

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