Friday, November 08, 2013 4:11 PM
RALEIGH -- The Triangle Youth Philharmonic will premiere a work by well-known composer and North Carolina Symphony musician Terry Mizesko at a concert on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013 at 3 p.m. in Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh.
Commissioned by the Philharmonic Association, “Tuscarora” is part of a project celebrating the organization’s 25th anniversary and is supported in part by the Education Fund of WCPE 89.7 radio. “Four North Carolina composers have written works for us and three were premiered last spring,” says Artistic Director Hugh Partridge. “Terry’s topic fits in perfectly with the Philharmonic Association’s five-day festival “Celebrating North Carolina in our 350th year.”
The inspiration for “Tuscarora” was a News and Observer column written five years ago by Bob Simpson about the Neusiok Trail, an old trail that followed the Neuse River in Craven and Carteret Counties in the Croatian Forest. Mizesko wanted to learn more, and a Google search turned up a paper about the Neusiok band, a part of the larger Tuscarora tribe.
Although a native of eastern North Carolina, Mizesko had never read or heard anything of the Tuscarora. “The story was at once wonderful, horrific, embarrassing and shaming,” he says. “The more I read, the more I was drawn to the history of these people and their demise at the hands of European colonizers. I realized that the history I studied as a youth was completely unobjective, even non-factual and totally skewed. I felt that I would like to compose a piece depicting the lives and fate of the Tuscarora people.”
When the Philharmonic Association approached Mizesko about composing a work for the festival, he was delighted at the opportunity to compose the work he had been thinking about for so long. “I knew how good [Partridge’s] program is and how wonderfully his young musicians perform. I decided that this would be the perfect vehicle for the musical tale of the Tuscarora people and I enthusiastically accepted the commission.”
“The members of TYP have enjoyed working on “Tuscarora” and having contact with Mr. Mizesko who has attended two full and one sectional rehearsal,” says Partridge. “The musicians had the opportunity to ask questions, which they did with enthusiasm. He was surrounded by many students who wanted to have time with him.”
Says Mizesko, “It is my hope that upon hearing “Tuscarora,” the listener will become interested in not just the history of the aboriginal people in the New World, but will earnestly search for the real history of our nation—with all its warts and blemishes—and begin a soul searching that may one day cleanse our national history from its blackest stains—the near systemic elimination of its aboriginal people and the enslavement of Africans.”
The November 24th concert will also feature North State by Hunter Johnson and City of Oaks by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Robert Ward. Please visit The Philharmonic Association website for a complete schedule of events for the five-day festival.
The N.C. Symphony is a unit of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
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