Southwest Florida Symphony marks 50 years with new work

Posted on: October 29, 2010

In Friday’s (10/29) News-Press (Fort Myers, Florida), Charles Runnels writes, “It begins with demons and bloody tears, and it ends with earthly angels and heavenly music. Southwest Florida Symphony’s 50th season gets off to a dramatic, inspirational start Saturday. The Fort Myers concert marks the debut of ‘Ecce Cecilia’ … an original orchestral piece composed by University of Florida professor Paul Richards. Symphony violinist Rachel Cox wrote the lyrics. The commissioned song overflows with motifs of angels and demons, light and darkness, heaven and hell—all illustrating the power of music to pull us out of despair. The song title is Latin for ‘Behold Cecilia,’ a reference to the patron saint for musicians. … Symphony leaders and Richards held a public lyric-writing contest and chose Cox’s lyrics from 12 submissions (she was the only symphony member to submit an entry). … Richards composed orchestral music to match the lyrics: four stanzas that shift dramatically from carefree and soaring to dark and despairing to a big, celebratory finale. … Symphony music director Michael Hall—who conducts Saturday’s concert—came away impressed with the six-minute piece.”

Posted October 29, 2010