It’s hard not to see images in your mind’s eye when you hear Igor Stravinsky’s famous Rite of Spring symphony. If nothing else, you remember seeing Disney’s 1940 cartoon movie Fantasia that used the score to depict the dramatic creation of the universe and prehistoric Earth.
In celebration of TheRite of Spring’s 100 birthday, the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Music Director, Sarah Ioannides, will perform this passionate and “avant-garde” work Saturday, May 4, at 7 p.m. in Twichell Auditorium at Converse College. In addition to hearing this emotionally stirring concert, patrons will also get a glimpse into the mind of students who will exhibit their visualization of the music in an art exhibit.
“This concert will touch people on many different levels,” conductor, Sarah Ioannides said. “…we will take it a much bigger step further in presenting it to the community. We will show people what this music might actually look like to from the young artists perspective.”
For the past several weeks, high school students in Spartanburg School Districts 1, 2 and 7 have been asked to listen to the recorded symphony and to create visual art—paintings, drawings, sculptures—that reflects the music. This exhibit will be shown in part on the night of the concert. It will be shown in its entirety at Chapman Cultural Center starting April 18.
The accompanying art exhibit is being created by students in grades 9 through 12, involves six schools, and both music and art teachers. More than 300 pieces of artwork are anticipated being produced. From that large pool of contributors, four local judges—Kathy Zimmerli Wofford, Arts Teacher for the Chapman Cultural Center; Sarah Ioannides, Project Director for the Rite of Spring Schools Arts Project; Richard Higgs, Dean of Arts at Converse College; and Tom Rickis, incoming president for the Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg—will select the final exhibitors.
To give all the students who participated the opportunity to have their work shown, a comprehensive slide show is being created and shown at the Chapman exhibit, during the concert, and at other related events, such as Spartanburg High School’s Spring Concert on April 11.