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West Central Chamber Orchestra Presents 'International Music with Persian Flair'

West Central Chamber OrchestraThe Ferris State University West Central Chamber Orchestra is set to host its fall concert “International Music with a Persian Flair” on Sunday, Nov. 20 in Williams Auditorium.

The concert begins at 4 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

The orchestra consists of Ferris students, community members and high school musicians who will perform music from England, France, Germany, the United States and Iran.

The music we are doing is a really nice mix of styles and moods of music from different countries. I think it will be a very enjoyable emotional ride through musical styles,” said Richard Scott Cohen, band director and an assistant professor of Music at Ferris. “We have a special emphasis on Persian music from Iran, which is not very commonly performed by many orchestras.”

Cohen said he likes to have members perform a solo or pick a piece for the orchestra to play in honor of their last time performing with the orchestra. Graduating Ferris student Sara Ansari, of Iran, will perform an Iranian folk song “Morning Bird” on a violin for her final concert. She will graduate with a degree in Information System Management and has been playing in the Ferris orchestra for three semesters. Ansari chose “Morning Bird” because it tells the tale of a morning bird who is asked to sing for peace around the world.

“I am so excited,” she said. “I didn’t have the opportunity to play in the orchestra back home. I learned more in the past year and a half than I did in my 18 years playing back home.

The 20-plus member orchestra also will play “Persian Passage,” a new piece, composed by American Jeremy Woolstenhulme, for those graduating. Other pieces include:

  • “Gymnopedie” by Satie
  • “Reverie” by Corigliano 
  • “String Quartet No. 6” by Moller 
  • “The Syncopated Clock” by Anderson 
  • “Brandenburg Concert No. 2” by Bach 
  • “Folk Tune and Fiddle Dance” by Fletcher 

I think it will be a very enjoyable emotional ride through musical styles,” Cohen said.

Ansari was surprised when she heard that Ferris had an orchestra when she arrived on campus, but believes it is a great opportunity for students who are not Music majors to practice and learn more about music.

Cohen said that the orchestra only meets once a week, which can be challenging. This semester, he believes the members have been working intensely and efficiently to create “an excellent concert.”

This is the 45th concert season for the West Central Chamber Orchestra. To learn more about the concert or orchestra contact Scott Cohen at [email protected] or visit Ferris Music