Note: This press release has been updated to include information about event changes if it rains.
The Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday will present the Oak Ridge premiere of “Adaptation Variations” by Japanese American composer Takuma Itoh.
It will be the featured musical selection during the United Nations International Day of Peace observance Tuesday, September 21, at the International Friendship Bell and Peace Pavilion in Oak Ridge, a press release said.
The outdoor Music for Peace performance will follow Haiku for Peace presentations and children’s activities by Oak Ridge Girl Scouts during a program focused on the Friendship Bell, Peace Pavilion, and the adjacent karesansui garden. Ziad Demian, architect who designed the Peace Pavilion dedicated in 2018, will speak about the tradition and technology in the pavilion design, the press release said.
“The community is invited to bring picnic dinners and chairs or blankets to Bissell Park near the Peace Pavilion beginning at 5:15 p.m., with the program at 6 p.m. and music at 7 p.m.,” the press release said. In case of rain, the program will take place in the lobby/cafeteria and auditorium of Oak Ridge High School.
If it rains late Tuesday afternoon and the program moves indoors, events will be scheduled from 5-7 p.m. in the cafeteria/lobby area of ORHS, and the 7 p.m. concert by the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra will be in the ORHS auditorium.
Those planning to picnic may bring picnic dinners indoors to the cafeteria, and the Girl Scouts will be offering children’s activities there from 5-6 p.m. The program with guest speakers and a special presentation will take place at 6 p.m. in the lobby/cafeteria area.
The music program will open with Girl Scouts and guest soprano Katy Wolfe leading attendees in singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” accompanied by the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra. Music Director and Conductor Dan Allcott will lead the orchestra in the Music for Peace performance, continuing the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association’s history of participating in community events promoting peace, the press release said.
The first selection, “Adaptation Variations,” is a 12-minute composition by Itoh, who lives in Hawaii. Maestro Allcott, after he was introduced to Professor Itoh’s music, said it quickly became apparent that this composition was quite appropriate for a performance on the Day of Peace, the release said.
Professor Itoh writes of his music:
“When talking about evolution, biologists often use the musical term ‘theme and variations’ as an analogy of how a single species can evolve to become a diverse array of species over time. With ‘Adaption Variations,’ I wanted to raise awareness of Hawai’i’s incredible honeycreepers (forest birds), which performed this theme and variations over many millennia, evolving from one species that flew over Hawai’i to over 50 distinct species at one point–but now fewer than 20 still remain, many of which are critically endangered.”
Allcott has programmed these additional musical selections:
- the iconic “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber,
- “Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant Us Peace)” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and
- “Ose Shalom (The One Who Makes Peace)” by John Leavitt, featuring guest soprano Katy Wolfe.
“Music for Peace is an extension of our community commitment to present works by diverse composers from historically underrepresented groups in our industry,” Allcott said. “We plan to work with our collaborators to present and grow future Peace Day events with a special focus on commissioning diverse composers to write music that incorporates the sound of the Friendship Bell into their compositions.”
Oak Ridge Girl Scouts began organizing and participating in the Day of Peace observation in 2015. Among children’s activities from 5-6 p.m., the scouts will have small tabletop Zen gardens for children to make and take home, as well as pinwheels for peace and watercolor peace designs, the press release said. Girl Scouts are also making and donating peace rocks to share with those attending.
The evening will feature a Gardens for Peace design raked into the gravel karesansui garden at the Friendship Bell. The dry landscape gardens, traditional in Japan, feature artistic designs raked in fine gravel around carefully placed boulders. The Oak Ridge garden will be one of 14 featured September 21 on the web site of the North American Japanese Garden Association (https://najga.org) in its inaugural Gardens for Peace program.
The United Nations General Assembly established the International Day of Peace in 1981, inviting nations and people to observe the day of non-violence and cease-fire with education and public awareness activities on issues related to peace, the press release said.
All who attend are encouraged to follow current CDC guidelines for COVID-19. ORCMA musicians will be seated separately from the public and follow those guidelines. Those attending are asked to socially distance on the grassy areas and benches around the Friendship Bell. All are encouraged to wear masks if they are within six feet of others, and to consider leaving or not attending if they have experienced COVID-19 symptoms or been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, the press release said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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