The Springfield Symphony will perform “Ragfare,” a work written by University of Missouri professor of composition Stefan Freund, in a pair of concerts on Saturday, May 8 at the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts in Springfield, MO.
Freund (pictured), who’s also a cellist, conductor, and the artistic director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative, originally composed “Ragfare” for the Columbia Civic Orchestra to play at the reopening in 2008 of the renovated Missouri Theatre in Columbia.
Inspired for the occasion by the music of Scott Joplin, Freund says that he “wanted to write a piece that would celebrate the rich musical heritage of Missouri.” The music that resulted offers “ragtime-style figures, like syncopated tunes and octave-leap ostinatos, in the context of a fanfare.”
Since premiering in 2008, “Ragfare” was revisited by the Columbia Civic Orchestra in 2018, and also has been performed by the Missouri Symphony Orchestra (2009), and by members of the St. Louis and Kansas City symphonies at the Missouri River Festival of the Arts in Boonville (2015).
The upcoming performance of “Ragfare” by the Springfield Symphony will be as part of a program titled “Locally Grown” that also will feature arrangements of Joplin works including “Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer,” W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues March,” the folk song “Frankie and Johnny,” “The Missouri Waltz,” and more.
Kyle Pickett, the orchestra’s music director, will conduct, with ragtime pianist and storyteller Gary Ellison serving as featured soloist.
The program will be presented at 2:00 p.m. for the general public, and again at 7:30 p.m. for season ticket holders and as a livestream online.