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San Ramon Valley High student musicians to perform with Diablo Symphony Orchestra

SRVHS teens to perform Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony

A select group of San Ramon Valley High School students will be demonstrating their musical talents this weekend, when they join the Diablo Symphony Orchestra in performing Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 6.

Sophomores Emily Martin and Ethan Yoo, along with junior Gabriella Duggan-Cochran, will be joining the East Bay’s celebrated orchestra for the performance of Beethoven's Sixth -- also known as the Pastoral Symphony -- this coming Sunday.

During the performance, Martin can be heard playing the violin, an instrument she has been playing since the fifth grade, across from Yoo who will be in the viola section, an instrument he has been playing since 14 -- however he has been playing the violin since the age of 6. Duggan-Cochran will be joining the orchestra’s cello section and will be performing the instrument she has been playing since the sixth grade.

Diablo Symphony Association vice president Helen Duncan said that Beethoven described his sixth symphony as “an expression of nature” and gave it the full title “Pastoral Symphony, or Recollections of Country Life.”

“Birdcalls, a babbling brook, a gathering of dancing peasants and a sudden intense storm followed by joyful dancing and quiet peace take the audience, at least for a time, into the composer’s beloved countryside,” Duncan said in a statement.

Also featured in Sunday’s performance is Bach’s “Concerto for Two Violins” in D minor with the Diablo Symphony’s concertmaster Sara Usher and area violinist Dawn Harms.

Attendees will also be graced with the world premier of rising Iranian composer Aida Shirazi’s newest work “Ardea Alba.” Commissioned by Diablo Symphony Association, Duncan said “Ardea Alba” was inspired by an encounter with a snowy egret, and that the work “employs unusual instrumental techniques throughout to simulate familiar sounds from nature.”

Bay Area music lovers may recognize Shirazi as a co-founder and board member of the Iranian Female Composers Association.

The performance runs approximately 2 hours 15 minutes, with one intermission. Advance tickets cost $35 and may be purchased at the Lesher Center box office or online at the Diablo Symphony Orchestra’s official webpage. Tickets will also be available at the door one hour prior to the start of the concert.

The Diablo Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming performance is set to begin at 2 p.m., Sunday, at the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek.

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