As the harsh reality of colder weather, school and work begin to settle in after the summer months, the Altoona Symphony Orchestra welcomes patrons to get lost in a night of fairy tales with its first performance of the season.
The ASO will present its "1,001 Nights" concert program at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Mishler Theatre in Altoona, and have invited familiar names like Mother Goose, Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast to join them through the music.
"I built the entire season-opening concert on fairy tales," ASO maestra Teresa Cheung wrote in an email. "The audience will be treated to an evening of storytelling through music. There won't be any narrations or acting, but one will be amazed at how various orchestra members will be taking part in the telling of the stories."
Maestra Teresa Cheung will conduct the Altoona Symphony Orchestra during its “1,001 Nights” performance on?Saturday at the Mishler Theatre in downtown Altoona.
Those stories will be contained in such classical masterpieces as Maurice Ravel's "Ma Mere L'oye," or Mother Goose Suite, Mikhail Glinka's "Russlan and Ludmilla Overture" and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade, Op. 35." Select movements in the works bear mythical names like "Conversations of Beauty and the Beast," "The Tale of Prince Kalendar" and "The Enchanted Garden."
"The deeper hidden secret of this concert is the display of superb skills of the composers," Cheung wrote. "Both Ravel and Rimsky-Korsakov are considerd as some of the best orchestrators of classical music."
With the light music and whimsical nature of the performance, ASO executive director Pamela J. Snyder Etters said this first concert of the season will be one the whole family can enjoy.
If you go
What: Altoona Symphony Orchestra presents "1,001 Nights"
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Mishler Theatre, 1208 12th Ave., Altoona
Tickets: $33 for adults, $13 for students. They can be purchased from the box office, open 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, by calling 944-9434 or online at http://
"The symphony is such a universal language, and kids respond to music," she said. "This first performance will really be one that they can relate to."
Snyder Etters added that if people aren't sure if the orchestra will be "their thing," this first performance is a great one to test the waters. The rest of the season boasts diverse offerings, including the ASO's first performance of sacred music in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona and the production of their first opera.
"It's a really great variety of music that we're offering this year," she said. "You're not going to feel like you're witnessing the same thing each time."
Cheung would also encourage young people to attend because classical music is "ageless," and something powerful and rich enough to not get tired of like the trendy pop music of today.
"There is no wrong age for experiencing this music," she said. "It is one-size-fits-all."
Cheung added that she and the musicians are excited to see returning subscribers and always enjoy meeting audiences after their performances.
"The Altoona Symphony has been serving the area for 84 years," she said. "We are so proud to be a part of this community."
Mirror Staff Writer Beth Ann Downey is at 946-7520.