~ Photo take during a recent rehearsal

UPDATE, Nov. 14, 2016: Above is a YouTube video featuring a number from Saturday’s performance.

ORIGINAL POST: The Fresno State Symphony Orchestra will perform its second concert of the 2016-17 season at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, in the Concert Hall at Fresno State. In this concert, the Orchestra will perform Strauss’ “The Four Last Songs,” accompanied by soprano Dr. Maria Briggs, assistant professor of voice. Dr. Thomas Loewenheim will conduct the performances.

“Working with any colleague is a treat – and working with a new one is a special treat as one gets to know your colleagues better when you make music together,” Loewenheim said. “It gives us the opportunity to introduce them in a special way to our community.  Maria has been wonderful to work with, and the orchestra members enjoyed working together with her.”

Briggs is new to Fresno State this semester. Other than a recital she performed during her interview in February, this is her first concert here.

“I love singing with orchestra – there is nothing like it,” Briggs said. “You practically bathe in the rich orchestral sound, feeling this great power and expression of all the musicians behind you. I also look forward to singing this amazing work to the audience and feeling their energy and engagement. I am especially excited for the audience members that will hear this cycle for the first time. It can be a life-changing experience.”

The orchestra will also perform “La Tragedie de Salome” by Florent Schmitt, accompanied by Briggs, another new music professor and several students. Briggs said this is a “rarely performed work.”

“This is a fantastic symphonic poem,” Briggs said. “It tells the biblical story of Salome’s demise after she becomes an active force in the murder of John the Baptist. Toward the end of the movement, female voices – which include myself, Dr. Cari Earnhart and six soprano students – enter with a haunting lament of Salome, it is a very affective, eerie moment.”

The public event is presented by the College of Arts and Humanities and the Department of Music.

“I really think that the audience members who will attend will love this program, as it has it all: excitement, depth, love, passion, a solo soprano, and a large orchestra,” Loewenheim said. “I also think that this program, while presenting works that are not often performed, will sound new yet familiar to both music lovers and new audiences alike.”

Tickets are $15 general; $10 for employees and seniors; and $5 for student. INFO.