The Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra

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On February 21, 2016 from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM I attended, “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” by Jonathon McNair at Rudder Theatre. The Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Marian Anderson String Quartet, and special guest narrator Greg Wise preformed three pieces. These pieces include, “Lyric for Strings,” “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” and, “Symphony Number 1.” The Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra consists of Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Harp, Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Bass Trombone, Tuba, Percussion, Timpani, and Keyboard. The Marian Anderson String Quartet uses two violinists, viola, and cello. The first piece is around six minutes long and is called, “Lyric for Strings,” by George Walker, “the first African American composer to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Music.” The Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra played the piece. Walker was born on June 27, 1922 and became the first African American to graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. The piece is dedicated to his grandmother, who passed away while he was working on it. Inspiration for comes from a compilation of Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” and “Beethoven’s op. 135.” Walkers piece was written in 1946 as a Renaissance styled piece of music. The piece starts with an introduction by violins that immediately reveals a sad undertone and gracefully continues to incorporate more instruments until the entire symphony is playing together. There is only one movement in this

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