As part of the Dogwood Arts Festival, the Oak Ridge Community Orchestra will be performing famous and memorable music in Knoxville’s Market Square from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm on Saturday, April 30th.  Grab a tasty lunch from a local shop, sit on a bench in front of the stage, and enjoy the serenade while you eat your lunch.


The free concert will include the feisty and familiar Overture from the Magic Flute by Mozart, the intriguing L’Arlesienne Suite #1 by Bizet, and a suite of favorite melodies from the famous musical, West Side StoryFinlandia by Sibelius will bring the concert to a rousing finish.  This is a great way to enjoy your Saturday lunch break, while browsing the shops at the Dogwoods Arts Festival.  Check the details and directions below.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791) introduced The Magic Flute opera on September 30, 1791, approximately 2 months before his death.  Mozart was a dedicated Freemason.  Consequently, this opera shows the influence of that association, with an emphasis on the number 3, (3 opening chords, 3 trials, a key signature of 3 flats, 3 ladies and 3 young boys), a magic flute, magic bells, a forest monster, and scenery with a Masonic theme.  The plot follows the typical opera romance, with a lot of magical fantasy, and a handsome young prince battling to win a beautiful maiden.  In the end, the prince prevails.  You will recognize the overture as one that is often performed, because of its enchanting, energetic pace.


Georges Bizet wrote incidental music to accompany Alphonse Daudet’s play, L’Arlesienne, which opened at the Théâtre du Vaudeville, Paris, France on October 1, 1872, and closed after only 21 performances.  In spite of the failure of the play, Bizet was able to rearrange some of the music into the popular L’Arlesienne Suite #1.  The first movement (Overture) begins with an energetic theme, borrowed from the traditional Christmas carol “March of the Kings”.  After development through various sections of the orchestra towards a climax, the march fades, and is replaced by the saxophone theme associated with L’innocent, the brother of the hero, Frédéri.  The Overture finishes with emotional and heroic lyrical themes representing Frédéri, himself.  The second movement is a light and wistful Minuetto, which serves as an intermezzo to decelerate the listener for the dreamy and romantic 3rd movement, the Adagietto.  In the 4th movement (Carillon), the energetic pace returns with the French Horns mimicking church bells.  The audience is offered a brief respite, with a reprise of the dreamy music, before the French Horns return to close the composition with the Carillon motif.


West Side Story opened as a very successful Broadway Musical in 1957, and was released as a popular movie in 1961.  The musical is loosely based on a book by Arthur Laurents, with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and conception and choreography by Jerome Robbins.  It was inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet.  Some of the favorite melodies you will hear in this suite for orchestra are: “I Feel Pretty”, “Maria”, “Something’s Coming”, “Tonight”, “One Hand – One Heart”, “Cool”, and “America”.


Jean Sibelius (1865 – 1957) was a Finnish composer of the late Romantic Period, whose music played an important role in the reinforcement of the Finnish national identity.  His mastery of the orchestra has been described as prodigious, and the intensity of Finlandia confirms that claim.  Finlandia, Op. 26 was first written in 1899, and revised in 1900.  The piece was composed for the Press Celebrations of 1899, a covert protest against increasing censorship from the Russian Empire.  In that performance, Finlandia was the last of seven pieces, each presented as an accompaniment to a tableau depicting episodes from Finnish history.


The Oak Ridge Community Orchestra performance will be presented on the stage in Market Square.  If you are unfamiliar with that location, you can find it adjacent to Union Avenue between Walnut Street and Gay Street in downtown Knoxville.  Parking is available in parking garages and parking lots in the downtown area.  While in Market Square to hear the Oak Ridge Community Orchestra, take advantage of the opportunity to visit dozens of visual art booths, a culinary arts stage, other performing acts on three stages, and so much more.  For more information on the Dogwood Arts Festival, visit


The Oak Ridge Community Orchestra (ORCO) is a 501(c)3, non-profit, volunteer organization, performing under the baton of Conductor and Music Director, Dr. Marcelo Urias.  Anyone wishing to regularly participate in the orchestra is encouraged to contact the Personnel Manager, Cyndi Jeffers, at  Usually, we can accommodate additional string players, and occasionally there are openings in the brass, woodwind and percussion sections.  The orchestra welcomes experienced musicians of all ages.  The Oak Ridge Community Orchestra is a rewarding venue for instrumentalists who enjoy playing for an appreciative audience, with music ranging from Baroque through Classical to Contemporary.  For more information about the ORCO visit