February Family Concert: Star Wars, Dark Matter and Dvorak


Blast off winter with the Glacier Symphony’s “Star Wars, Dark Matter and Dvorak” family concert in February


Whitefish High School Performance Hall, Saturday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. and at Flathead High Performance Hall on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 3 p.m. Guest soloist with the orchestra will be Ben Kirby, performing on tuba the premiere of his own composition, Dark Matter – Petite Concertante for Tuba and Orchestra. (See artist details below)



Star Wars, Dark Matter and Dvorak will be an entertaining concert for the entire family focusing on symphony music as a dramatic narrative art form. The concert features repertoire and popular pieces by 19th century Czech composer Antonin’ Dvorak and the great American film composer John Williams.

Dvorak’s The Noon Day Witch, a symphonic tone poem composed in 1896, is considered one of the composers best.  He concentrated on a series of these upon his return to his native Bohemia after living in America after writing his last symphonies. The 15 minute one movement work perfectly, almost cinematically, illustrates a dark domestic folk tale involving a mother and father, an unruly child and of course The Noon Day Witch who makes an appearance half way through the piece with devastating results. The emotional events that are captured by Dvorak as he takes the audience though this thrilling drama is an early example of how symphonic music can indeed extenuate a dramatic tale and story line. This technique of symphonic narrative drama, born from the concert halls and opera stages of the 19th century, had major impact on the art of modern film composing.

Our two piece by John Williams The Force Awakens Suite and ET Adventures on Earth are  from recent popularmovies and are fine examples of how  contemporary composers still draw on musical devices and the esthetic language developed largely by various 19th century composers (in John Williams’ case Wagner and others).

An additional treat on this program will be the “world premiere” of Dark Matter, a tuba concerto by Missoula based tuba virtuoso and composer, Benedict Kirby.
“I selected this concerto for performance with the Glacier Symphony because it is very well composed, unusual in structure and esthetically pleasing. It is also an exciting work full of interesting orchestral color, fun melodies and sparkling unexpected rhythms. There is certainly a little bit of tongue and cheek “space” music style in the musical language. Ben Kirby himself will serve as soloist navigating the cosmos of orchestra texture with technical bravura and low brass lyricism” – Maestro Zoltek

Ben Kirby performs “Dark Matter” at February concert



Benedict Kirby currently teaches tuba and euphonium at the University of Montana School of Music as well as instrumental music at Loyola Sacred Heart High School.  He has a rich experience in all facets of music making including performing (tuba), composition, conducting, education and music technology.  His performance highlights include work with the Wisconsin Chamber Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Colorado Symphony as well as a variety of other regional orchestras.
Dark Matter won the solo category for the composition competition of the 2015 U.S. Army Band “Pershings Own” Tuba/Euphonium Workshop.

Tickets for the concert are priced in four seating tiers starting at $15 for adults. Youth through grade 12 are admitted free to this Masterworks concert. Purchase tickets online atwww.gscmusic.org . Tickets purchased at the GSC Box Office, 69 N. Main. St. in Kalispell are subject to a $2 handling fee. Call 406-407-7000 for more information

Support for this concert is provided by Don K Subaru, Firebrand Hotel, Flathead Beacon, Northwest Imaging, Plant Land, Urology Associates and Valley Bank.