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Civil War Symphony at UMSL

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 1 University Blvd Saint Louis MO 63121  See map

Missouri was the site of more than 1,000 battles during the Civil War, trailing only Virginia and Tennessee.


That staggering fact often surprises many people not familiar with the state’s pivotal role in the conflict. The 150th anniversary of Missouri’s involvement in the Civil War was the inspiration for a new composition by Barbara Harbach, professor of music at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.


The University Orchestra will perform “A State Divided – Missouri Symphony for Orchestra” during its 2012 Fall Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Nov.1 in the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Theater at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL. The concert is free and open to the public.


The symphony will play out in three movements, each representing a major chapter in the history of Missouri’s involvement in the Civil War. Each movement will be prefaced by a narration by Louis Gerteis, professor of history at UMSL, placing the movement in the context of the Civil War.


Gerteis specializes in the history of the Civil War era.  He’s authored four books. The most recent “The Civil War in Missouri: A Military History,” was published this year.


Harbach’s new composition expands her musical work based on St. Louis and Missouri landmarks including “Freedom Suite for String Orchestra,” inspired by the Dred and Harriet Scott legal struggle for their freedom, and “Harriet’s Story for Soprano, Violin, and Piano,” inspired by Harriet Scott and Harriet Tubman.


Harbach has a large catalog of works, including: symphonies, operas, string orchestras, musicals, works for chamber ensembles, film scores, modern ballets, pieces for organ, harpsichord and piano; choral anthems; and many arrangements for brass and organ of various Baroque works.

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