The DePauw University Orchestra kicks off its 2017–18 season on Sunday, September 17 with virtuosity and grand imagery. Mozart’s overture to the opera The Marriage of Figaro will open the afternoon program, followed by Respighi’s The Fountains of Rome and a whirlwind contemporary work by American composer Jonathan Newman. Professor Orcenith Smith, the ensemble’s music director, will conduct the concert at 3 p.m. in the Green Center’s Kresge Auditorium on the DePauw University campus. 

“Like every team effort, we analyze our accomplishments throughout the year and develop strategies for improvements,” says Smith. “Our music selections are designed to do just that and to entertain, too. The opening overture to Mozart’s comic opera The Marriage of Figaro is fast, humorous and filled with dramatic interjections, while the exquisite tone poem The Fountains of Rome, by Italian composer Ottorino Respighi, provides reflection on four famous fountains, depicting the activity around each at different times of day, from serene to frenzied.”

Juxtaposing the two pieces will be Newman’s work Blow It Up, Start Again, which was performed at the BBC Proms in 2015. “Its energetic, mechanical sound is a whirlwind of an experience,” adds the conductor. 

Later this fall, the University Orchestra will also participate in DePauw’s annual Family Weekend, performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with faculty pianist May Phang for the finale of the School’s new Family Weekend Fall Gala (7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23), featuring the four major ensembles within the DePauw School of Music. The Orchestra will also open ArtsFest 2017 (3 p.m. Sunday, October 29) with the premiere university performance of the Carnegie Hall commissioned work The City by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts. 

General admission tickets for student orchestra performances are $5; tickets for seniors over 65, youth and all students are free. For additional information or to purchase tickets online, visit or stop by the GCPA box office, located on the ground floor of the Green Center at 605 College Ave. The venue’s box office is open from noon–4 p.m. Monday through Friday and beginning one hour prior to each performance.