Temecula Valley Symphony to premiere Melissa Manchester piece

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Temecula Valley Symphony and Symphony Chorus will perform the world premiere of a new work composed by Melissa Manchester at their “Fantastic Journey” concert, Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Golden Bears Theater at Temecula Valley High School. Courtesy photo

Temecula Valley Symphony and Symphony Chorus will perform the world premiere of a new work composed by Melissa Manchester, arranged for chorus and orchestra by Peter Hume during the “Fantastic Journey” concert Saturday, Oct. 5, at 2 p.m. at the Golden Bear Theater at Temecula Valley High School.

Manchester, the Grammy Award-winning singer, and Oscar-nominated composer, is expected to be in attendance when the symphony performs “AWAKE” at the Golden Bears Theater at Temecula Valley High School.

Symphony conductor John Mario helped make the connection between Manchester and the local symphony and chorus.

“I did have the pleasure of accompanying Melissa Manchester on a concert with her in the desert last season for the Coachella Valley Symphony,” he said. “I don’t remember where I heard it, perhaps in an interview she did, but I remember her mentioning that she was composing. And she was composing choral works that were yet to be performed. I mentioned to her that we have a wonderful choir here, the Temecula Valley Symphony Chorus and of course our fine symphony. And here we are.”

Mario wouldn’t talk much about the piece Manchester has written but promised it will be a highlight of the show.

“Without too many spoilers, the work is unlike anything you have ever heard before and both easy to listen to and intellectually stimulating at the same time,” he said.

According to the conductor, Manchester will be working closely with the symphony and chorus during rehearsals.

“Fantastic Journey” also includes Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy” featuring the chorus and award-winning pianist Marie Ananian. Other pieces on the program including the chorus are “Jurassic World” concert suite and music from the movie “Dinosaur” – “Inner Sanctum and The Egg Travels.” The symphony will also perform Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” and “Grand Canyon Fanfare” which spotlights the brass and percussion sections of the orchestra.

“Every piece is a highlight and very different from the others,” Mario said.

Mario encouraged the community to come out and give the symphony and chorus a try.

“The thing is if we can get you in the door, you will be so excited by what you hear, you will come back again and again,” he said. “This is what I hear over and over again from our first-time concertgoers. Don’t worry about what to wear or when to clap. Our concert experience is one that is fun, vibrant and welcoming.

“Come on over and experience the adrenaline rush of our 50-60-plus piece full symphony up close,” Mario said.

The Golden Bear Theater is located at Temecula Valley High School, 31555 Rancho Vista Road, in Temecula.

Tickets range in price from $15 to $30 and are available online at www.temeculavalleysymphony.org. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

For more information, call (951) 587-1536.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.