Jen Boudevin

The hills of San Luis Obispo will be alive with the sound of music as the Cal Poly Symphony celebrates the mountains in its fall concert.

The symphony begins its 2005-2006 season at 8 p.m. this Saturday with a performance entitled “Inspired by Mountains” in Harman Hall in the Performing Arts Center’s Christopher Cohan Center.

Led by symphony director David Arrivee, the symphony will perform “Fanfare” from La Peri, by Paul Dukas, Symphony No. 2, “Mysterious Mountain,” by Alan Hovhaness and Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral,” by Ludwig van Beethoven.

The “Fanfare” piece offers an opportunity to showcase the symphony’s brass component. “I wanted to highlight (the brass) section of the orchestra because they often play such a supporting role in symphonic repertoire,” Arrivee said.

The latter two pieces are both highly imaginative musical responses to nature, he explained, and celebrate both composers’ affinity for the natural world.

Mastering the complicated pieces was no easy task for the symphony, but Arrivee has confidence in their upcoming performance.

“I think they’ve done a great job rising to the challenges of both pieces,” he said. “After all, tackling difficult repertoire and expanding one’s sense of musical styles is highly rewarding, and that’s what the symphony is all about.”

The performers have been working on playing in tune within each section and concentrating on listening to each other’s instruments, explained symphony concertmaster Emily Logan, a journalism and music senior.

“The music for this concert has been very challenging,” she said. “David chooses incredible pieces, which is awesome, but they are also very difficult.”

With nearly 60 musicians, the symphony is the largest it has ever been, allowing them to perform pieces written for a full orchestra.

“I think all in all the symphony has stepped up to the challenges of the music this quarter,” said Logan. “Each piece presents us with something different as musicians, and learning to deal with different styles of music is a great skill to have.”

Tickets for the concert are on sale at the Performing Arts Ticket Office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. They may also be purchased by phone, by calling SLO-ARTS (756-2787). Tickets are $6 for students, $8 and $10 for senior citizens and $10 and $12 for the general public.

For more, visit the symphony Web site at or call 756-2406.

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