Fredericksburg Community Orchestras (FCO) and Friends of Van der Stucken will present the expanded Van der Stucken Festival on Saturday, Mar 29, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Halle, 212 West San Antonio Street, Fredericksburg TX.
The Van der Stucken Festival was established in 1991 by Friends of Van der Stucken to increase appreciation for the life and work of Fredericksburg native composer Frank Van der Stucken. One of the original organizers, the late Kenn Knopp, requested last year that FCO take on responsibility for hosting and growing the event. As part of that directive, FCO has added the first Van der Stucken Composition Contest. The winner of this nationwide competition will be announced at the festival and the winning composition will be premiered by an ensemble of FCO.
This year’s program also features performances by the Fredericksburg Community Orchestra under the baton of Theresa Britt, a German men’s choir led by Mark Hierholzer, and adult and children’s string ensembles. Soprano and Fredericksburg native Brynn Bowyer will sing, in German, Van der Stucken’s “Gedanken-Vergessen” along with other selections accompanied by string quartet.
A direct descendant of the famous composer also plans to be in attendance.
Van der Stucken was born in Fredericksburg in 1858. His family returned to Belgium when the boy was 8. The young Frank studied with such composers as Edvard Grieg and Giuseppe Verdi. Van der Stucken returned to the United States in 1884, where he led the “Sangerbund” movement, training singers in the tradition of German male choruses. He also was a champion of contemporary American composers, conducting the first concert devoted exclusively to them.
The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served following the performances. Information at www.fredericksburgorchestra.com.