Redoubt Chamber Orchestra to play varied concert

Audiences at Redoubt Chamber Orchestra’s Evening of Classics concert — 7 p.m Friday at Soldotna’s Christ Lutheran Church — will hear a little of the familiar and a bit of the new.

The familiar includes songs that might be known from other places: Paul Dukas’ “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (popularized by Disney’s Fantasia sequence starring Mickey Mouse) and Jay Ungar’s melancholy 1982 violin feature “Ashokan Farewell,” used prominently in Ken Burns’ Civil War documentaries.

The unfamiliar includes the dramatic “Movement for Orchestra,” written by Czech-American composer Vaclav Nelhybel in 1967.

“I like to have something the audience knows,” Vollom-Matturro said. “I program something comfortable, and people can relate to it and know it. And then sometimes I try to do things that might be new to them. They will not know this Nelhybel piece for orchestra. So you can grab your audience, and then give them something different.”

The concert will conclude with John Phillips Sousa’s “Washington Post March,” lead by a guest conductor. After the concert’s second-to-last piece, Vollom-Matturro will auction off her baton, and the winner will take the conductor’s stand to lead the march. Not that the players will actually be marching.

Vollom-Matturro said it’s a challenge for an orchestra to play a march — less for the wind players than the strings, who aren’t in the original composition.

“But the fact that we have done this over the years for several years makes it easier for the musicians now to play the march because they get the feel for it,” Vollom-Matturro said. “But you don’t normally play marches with strings and an orchestra.”

Between the full orchestra pieces, members of the orchestra will do solo and ensemble pieces they’ve chosen themselves. These also cover a wide swathe of musical territory.

“I’m playing a waltz trio with a bassoon player and a flute player, and I play clarinet,” Vollom-Matturro said. “There’s a Beethoven trio. Simon Nissen is singing a Sondheim piece. There’s some Chopin. We have some Russian music with violin, flute, and piano. We have a brass trio by Poulenc. We have a Rachmaninoff piano duet. We have a Dvoràk violin solo. We have a trombone duet… A Reinecke trio for french horn, clarinet, and piano. We’re hitting some big-time composers here, and we’ve got French, Russian, Aremenian, everything.”

As for herself, Vollom-Matturro said she “tends to gravitate to the Russian composers.”

“Prokofiev, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich — that music just grabs me,” Vollom-Matturro said. “So I tend to program them often. It’s just great music.”

Aside from the solo and ensemble pieces, Friday’s concert includes one Russian composer getting the full-orchestra treatment: Modest Mussorgsky, represented on the program by his 1958 “Scherzo in B Flat Major.”

Other performances are in store for local listeners. Another group Vollom-Matturo leads, the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra, will play a pops concert at the end of the month featuring music by film composer John Williams, famous for scores to movies including Star Wars, Jaws, and Jurassic Park.

Reach Ben Boettger at

More in Life

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Heading into the homestretch

Christmas came to Kenai on schedule, if a little modified and subdued from years past.

A simple and classic spice cake made for a friend’s birthday, photographed on Oct. 21, 2020, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
A simple spice cake for a pared-down Thanksgiving

I know Thanksgiving this year won’t be the same.

Friends of Elmer Gaede effect repairs to the doctor’s Maule Rocket airplane, which crashed a short distance from Forest Lane between Soldotna and Sterling on Aug. 2, 1967. The airplane was eventually made “fly-able” again and was sold in the early 1970s. (Photo courtesy of the Gaede Collection)
Dr. Gaede drops in, Part 2

By Clark Fair For the Peninsula Clarion Author’s note: This is Part… Continue reading

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: A guide to the seasons

Figuring out the signs of seasonal change is easy, right?

Several pages from David Brame's "After the Rain," adapted from Nnedi Okorafor’s short story “On the Road.” (Photo courtesy David Brame)
New Homer creator brings Afrofuturism to town

David Brame’s new graphic novel will be published in January

Essential ingredients for my family’s lemon cake recipe, photographed on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kalifornsky Kitchen: Great-grandma’s lemon cake

It’s not much, but it’s also everything.

A match latte is on display on Jan. 3, 2019 at Brother’s Cafe, in Kenai, Alaska.
Kalifornsky Kitchen: Something warm please

I’m normally not a warm drink person.

A row of dyed silk wall hangings shows how common Alaska plants found on the lower Kenai Peninsula can be used to make organic dyes, as seen here Tuesday. The hangings are included in Elissa Pettibone’s exhibit, “Swatches,” showing at Bunnell Street Arts Center in Homer.
Michael Armstrong / Homer News
‘Swatches’ explores art of organic dyeing using native plants

Pettibone finds magic in fireweed, other common plants

Dr. Elmer Gaede relaxes at home a few weeks after his airplane crash. His facial hair and glasses hide much of his scarring. (Photo courtesy of the Gaede Collection)
Dr. Gaede drops in, Part 1

Part 1 of a three-part story of a single-engine airplane crash more than a half-century ago.

Pepperoni pizza is ready to go into the oven, on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kalifornsky Kitchen: Election night pizza

It’s a time-honored tradition to have pizza in the newsroom on election night.

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: The race is on

Here we are 33 weeks later wondering how we are going to celebrate the grandest time of the year.

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Keeping myself in stitches

The pandemic hit, and we all brushed off some skills we hadn’t thought about in a while.