Alabama Symphony performs at UM

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra performed at the University of Montevallo March 22 in a free concert in Palmer Auditorium. (Reporter photo/Katie Hurst)

By KATIE HURST/ Lifestyles Editor

MONTEVALLO — Beautiful music from the violin, bass and French horn filled Palmer Auditorium Tuesday night as the Alabama Symphony Orchestra performed on the University of Montevallo’s campus.

The March 22 performance was free to students and the community and was sponsored by the Michael E. Stephens College of Business and the Shelby County Commission.

The university’s president, Dr. John Stewart, said the performance was appreciated by the university and community.

“We are very grateful to the Alabama Symphony Orchestra for sharing their amazing talents with us,” he said. “I’ve personally been looking forward to this for a long time.”

Stewart said although the university’s accomplishments in business, science and math are often overlooked, it has always been known for its focus on fine arts.

“One thing people do know about us is that we are deeply, deeply devoted to the fine arts, and this is an indication of that,” he said. “This is our identity.”

The ASO performance included Haydn’s Symphony No. 59, also called the “Fire Symphony” and Brahm’s Serenade No. 1, Op. 11.

Adjunct instructor of music at UM and principal bass with the ASO, Joseph McFadden, was the featured performer for Bottesini’s Double Concerto No. 2.

McFadden has been principal bass of the ASO since 2009 and has performed on stage with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Nashville Symphony.

Many UM students attended the performance to see McFadden perform with the symphony on campus March 22.

Rita Wright, a senior at UM, said the performance was a unique opportunity for her to see the ASO.

“It’s not very often that you are able to see the symphony orchestra in a free event,” she said. “It’s a real treat.”

L.D. and Laura Ralp, of Alabaster, said they drove to Montevallo for the performance because of their love for the symphony and their love for UM. The two had their first date on the campus 25 years ago and returned to Palmer Auditorium for the performance with their two children.

Cyrena Marshall, from Montevallo, said she appreciated the free performance as a nice way to spend a Tuesday night.

“I’ve always enjoyed the symphony and this was close to home and a fun thing to do,” she said.