A pair of long-time East Idaho staples are pairing up to provide a musical journey through the solar system tomorrow evening in Idaho Falls.
The Idaho Falls Symphony and Idaho National Laboratory are both celebrating their 70th year in two fields that might seem worlds apart. Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Civic Center for the Performing Arts in Idaho Falls the orchestra will perform Gustav Holst’s “The Planets.”
The evening begins with a presentation on the planets and mankind’s fascination with them from the Idaho National Laboratory at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7:30 p.m.
Thomas Heuser, music director and conductor of the Idaho Falls Symphony, is in his 9th season as the lead of the orchestra. He’s also the director of the San Juan Symphony based in Durango, Colorado and Farmington, New Mexico.
Heuser flies into Idaho Falls from his home in Colorado for the week-long rehearsal sessions during the orchestra’s season.
“In order to be ready for the first rehearsal we have a lot of people working behind the scenes to make the music available and to create practice parts so that the orchestra can be prepared for when we’re all together,” Heuser said.
The Idaho Falls Symphony is made up of musicians from Idaho Falls, Rexburg, Pocatello, Jackson Hole, Salt Lake City and other places. Among them are multiple Music Department faculty members from BYU-Idaho.
“The Planets” was written in the early 20th century by English composer Gustav Holst and is made up of seven movements, each one dedicated to a different planet. Earth is skipped over in the series, and Pluto had not yet been discovered.
The well-known piece is among the most popular for large orchestras and is believed to have inspired other noteworthy works, such as John Williams’ theme for Darth Vader.
“I think it stands the test of time because of the beautiful melodies, the incredible rhythmic drive, but also the sort of fantasy—the visualization of these different planets and the moods that they exert on the human psyche,” Heuser said. “So, it’s a very unique kind of program symphony that has the seven movements based on the different planets and just an incredible variety of colors in the orchestra.”
More information on the event is available on the Facebook and Instagram pages of the Idaho Falls Symphony.