The Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 25th season this year with blockbuster performances and stellar guest artists. This is also the inaugural year for the FBSO Chorus. The season finale promises to be a spectacular culmination of FBSO’s anniversary season, blending orchestral and choral voices in Carl Orff’s 1937 masterpiece, Carmina Burana.
One of the classical music lover’s favorite concert pieces, Carmina Burana is described as “having something for everybody”. The audience will enjoy recognizing the musical themes from Carmina Burana that they’ve heard in everyday life, from advertising commercials to hip-hop and rap music. Orff’s work has a far-reaching musical influence. Carmina Burana takes the audience through the wheel of fortune’s circle as it turns through the excesses of life, showing how fate and fortune impact our lives.
The vocal solos are nothing short of spectacular. James D. Rodriguez will perform the baritone solos, which are masculine and strong. Dr. Rodriguez is on the voice faculty at Texas Christian University, and he has performed with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Opera in the Heights, as well as with other symphonies across the country. Russ Clark, in his second appearance with FBSO, performs the tenor solos, depicting a swan’s dying day. The notes rise almost to the falsetto range in this powerful presentation. Mr. Clark has performed with Houston Grand Opera, TUTS, Houston Symphony Chorus, Opera in the Heights and more. He was the Director of Choirs at Elkins High School for 24 years. The soprano solos are performed by Gwendolyn D. Alfred, who has a mighty task to achieve. These solos have been described as “singing higher than one thinks possible, jumping from flat ground to the top of the building”. Dr. Alfred recently made her Houston Grand Opera debut in a title role, and she has performed with the Houston Symphony, Opera in the Heights and the Moores Opera Center. She is Assistant Professor of Voice at Texas Southern University.
Powerful choirs join FBSO in this season finale full of Texas classical music talent: the incomparable, internationally-renowned Fort Bend Boys Choir, now in its 35th year, led by William R. Adams, Founder & Artistic Director; the Austin High School Choir, directed by Adrian O. Rodriguez; and the FBSO Chorus, guided by Gregory McDaniel, Director, and Adrian O. Rodriguez, Associate Director.