Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra performs McCartney's 'Behold My Heart'

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra will accompany the Southeast Choral Union and the University Choir to bring a River Campus audience an award-winning classical musical medley called "Behold My Heart," written by Sir Paul McCartney.

The piece, also known in Latin as "Ecce Cor Meum," has gained international fame since its release in 2006, selling out performances and winning the title "Best Classical Album of the Year" after its 2007 release. The orchestra will perform the piece Tuesday.

The orchestra will open the concert with "London Symphony" by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Crown Imperial March by William Walton and follow with the McCartney piece. The Jackson North Elementary Children's Choir, will also perform in "Behold My Heart."

Rhett Hendrickson, a community member who plays viola in the orchestra, said the McCartney piece is challenging music and something he has not heard before.

Hendrickson has played with the orchestra for six years as a community member. The orchestra consists of university students and faculty, a small number of high school students and community members. Hendrickson describes the group, which has been playing in the area for decades, as a community and educational symphony.

He began playing with the group in high school and continued through college. Hendrickson said the orchestra has changed since he played there as a student because the students now are so fantastically talented. He said his time with the orchestra has been a great opportunity to continue playing and learning.

"Imagine if you had played baseball in college and after you graduated they still let you come back and play for the team," he said.

Hendrickson said practicing for the McCartney piece has been different because the music is complicated. Throughout the piece, parts change for a soprano soloist, choirs and the orchestra. Because the orchestra is a large group and has been practicing in smaller facilities at the River Campus, Hendrickson said he has not yet heard how the musicians will sound all together. The orchestra will rehearse together for the first time Monday in Bedell Performance Hall.

"Once we get in there, we will know what the piece really sounds like, but it is important to remember it is very crucial to all the performing artists to have time to practice there," Hendrickson said.

He said the McCartney piece differs from what the orchestra has played before.

"We are learning things that are truly new, and this is now considered a piece of work that is taken very seriously," he said. "It's great to me that someone can be successful with popular music and classical music."

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Bedell at the Southeast Missouri State University River Campus. Tickets are $12 and $16 and can be purchased at the River Campus box office or through MetroTix.

Tickets for a special symphony concert with the orchestra and guest Neal E. Boyd are on sale now. The Symphonic Pops Concert on Feb. 5 will include a selection of light classics and symphonic pops played by the ochestra with Boyd joining in on several of his solos. This concert is being presented as a special event, and is not part of any regular subscription series presented at the River Campus. Tickets for this concert are $18 to $25 and can be purchased by calling the campus box office at 651-2265.

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