Mother’s Day Concert Closes Elkhart County Symphony Season
ELKHART — On Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14, the Elkhart County Symphony will present “Music of Our Home, Elkhart County” at 4 p.m. at the Lerner Theatre, 410 S. Main St., Elkhart.
The concert concludes the symphony’s 75th diamond jubilee anniversary season.
“Music of Our Home” will feature selections representing familiar orchestral work — including Antonín Dvořák’s “To the New World” — and also, in honor of Mother’s Day, will highlight the contributions of female composer Fannie Mendelssohn-Hensel. Additionally, as an added local twist, singer-songwriter Abbie Thomas — a resident of Elkhart County — will be a featured guest artist and will perform some of her original compositions with the symphony, and some as a solo performer.
Antonín Dvořák was the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America when he composed “To the New World” in 1893. Also known as Symphony No. 9 in E minor, the work — his ninth and final symphony — was written in celebration of the United States. “New World” incorporated African-American and Native-American themes and melodies, and the piece ultimately helped spread Dvořák’s reputation as a composer across the globe.
Fannie Mendelssohn-Hensel, the older sister of renowned German composer Felix Mendelssohn, produced over 460 pieces of music for piano during her short life. She faced pressure from her family, and society at large, to assume a role more traditional for women at that time, and as a result she published very little of her work during her lifetime. Conductor Soo Han and the Elkhart County Symphony will perform Mendelssohn-Hensel’s “Overture in C” — written around 1830, a time when women were overtly discouraged from pursuing professional music careers and most areas of study. “Overture in C” is the only work Mendelssohn-Hensel ever wrote for orchestra alone.
Abbie Thomas is an Elkhart County resident and an independent singer-songwriter who mixes pop melodies with soulful vocals and hints of R&B and Jazz. Thomas was a 2019 finalist for the Acorn Theater’s Singer-Songwriter Contest and has opened for the likes of Laine Hardy, Girl Named Tom, and Cathy Richardson of Jefferson Starship.
Tickets may be purchased at The Lerner Theatre Box Office or by phone at (574) 293-4469.