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Susquehanna Symphony opens season Oct. 12 with Beethoven

The Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra opens on Oct. 12 what promises to be an impressive season with "Linda Plays Ludwig."

Violinist Linda Molina, who grew up in Bel Air, is featured in Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D Major. And "Don't Panic," composed by young Zach Beever, of Forest Hill, receives its world premiere performance.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Bel Air High School on 100 Heighe St. Robert Powers will present a pre-concert lecture from 6:50 to 7:15 p.m. Powers, a music teacher in Harford County Public Schools, is the founder of Band Together, a non-profit organization that puts instruments into the hands of students who could not otherwise afford to play.

Season tickets for the four-concert season cost $75 for adults, $55 for seniors and $40 for children 5 to 18 and college students with ID. New this year is the Pick Three option, at $47, $42 and $30. All can be ordered online at http://www.ssorchestra.org. Single tickets are $20, $15 and $10 and are available at the door, online, by mail (SSO, P.O. Box 963, Abingdon 21009) or at Preston's Stationary, MusicLand or Music & Arts in Bel Air.

The season includes some real gems. Besides the holiday concert Dec. 7, which is always a standout, the March 8 and 9 concerts feature the Deer Creek Chorale and guest singers in Orff's Carmina Burana and Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus. On May 3, Maestro Sheldon Bair directs some of his all-time favorites, including Rimsky-Korsakov's Russian Easter Festival Overture. On June 1, the SSO will kick off the summer concert series at the Humbert Memorial Band Shell in Bel Air with a free concert at 7 p.m.

"It's always a pleasure to work with local violinist Linda Molina, whom we have known since she was in high school in Bel Air," Bair said. "She soloed with the orchestra while still in high school in Saint-Saens' Havanaise, and later in the 1990s in the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. Recently, she played a few short works with the orchestra. I've been wanting to perform the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the SSO for some time, so naturally we turned to Linda to be our guest soloist."

Linda Leanza-Molina, who earned a master's degree in violin performance from the University of Michigan School of Music, is principal second violinist of the Concert Artists of Baltimore and regularly plays with the Annapolis Symphony and the Lancaster Symphony orchestras. She is on the faculty at Harford Community College and can be seen in the role of first violinist in a string quartet in the Netflix production, "House of Cards."

"Zach Beever's piece was originally written for one piano, four-hands," Bair said. "I heard it at a recital at HCC. Also, Zach is a friend of my son, Zach (and they have a friend, Zak Cover, who will be playing the minor piano part). I liked the piece and told him [Beever] that if he orchestrated it, we would play it."

Beever, 18, is studying composition at the Boston Conservatory. Over a period of six months, he rewrote the piece, originally called A Dance in Sections, for orchestra. Beever plans to be in the audience to hear his composition, which he renamed "Don't Panic."

He has already garnered high praise for the music he wrote for the Indie game, Project Zomboid, an open world survival horror video game. Cassandra Khaw, Indiegames Blog Senior Editor, wrote, "Project Zomboid features one of the most haunting soundtracks I've ever had the pleasure of encountering."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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