Williamsport Symphony Orchestra

Williamsport Symphony Orchestra

Abraham Lincoln and Felix Mendelssohn would’ve been 200 this year and, on that note, The Williamsport Symphony Youth Orchestra will perform a special Winter Concert at the Community Arts Center on Thursday, February 12th. Music begins at 7:30pm.The program will include Mendelssohn’s Fifth Symphony “Reformation” and Hadyn’s Trumpet Concerto (First Movement) featuring Dale Orris, principal trumpet for the WSO. 2009 is also the 200th anniversary of Hadyn’s death.

The highlight of the concert will be “A Lincoln Elegy,” a specially commissioned work created for the WSYO by composer Pat Long (

The Youth Orchestra is conducted by Dr. Jennifer Sacher-Wiley, who became WSYO Music Director in August 2008. She said, “When I began to think about repertoire for the WSYO, I was interested in finding a work the students could really own. I thought that commissioning a piece would be a perfect way for the WSYO to have its own identity.

“I knew that Long, who has written many wonderful pieces for me in the past, had an interest in Abraham Lincoln–and then it seemed feasible that a concert could be scheduled right on Lincoln’s 200th birthday!

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“There are many aspects of the ‘Lincoln Elegy’ that are special. For one thing, the audience will get to hear many student voices reading Lincoln’s stories and reflections. There will be several student performers in the balcony which will allow the audience to feel surrounded in the experience. The piece has different human moods which reflect Lincoln’s humor, his distress during the Civil War, and his profound sadness.”

As an adjunct to the WSO, the sixty-plus member Youth Orchestra (WSYO) provides an educational and performance medium for aspiring young musicians from middle school students up to “college age.”

Wiley has served as Associate Professor of Music at Susquehanna University and Director of the Susquehanna University Orchestra since 1997. She holds a doctorate from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, and a bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Her conducting career began as a sophomore at Oberlin when she directed a student performance of “Pirates of Penzance.” In 1985, she conducted the first full production of Aaron Copland’s opera, “The Tender Land,” since its premiere in 1935.

This event is free to the public. No tickets are required. Donations to the Youth Orchestra will be accepted. For information phone (570) 322-0227 or go to

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