Spotlight Columns

Folsom Symphony salutes America in ‘Land that I Love’

By April 25, 2011

As a nation we have come a long way from our humble beginnings. More than two centuries later the “grand experiment” continues.

Likewise, the Folsom Symphony has come a long way since its inception at the Folsom Lake Symphony Orchestra years ago. Concerts held in community churches and at local schools have become grand performances at Folsom’s Three Stages facility on the campus of Folsom Lake College — a venue that exceeded initial expectations for bringing revenue to the local economy.

It seems, therefore, appropriate to conclude the 2010–11 season on May 14 with an homage to the greatness of America: a land of opportunity for those with the courage to “go for it.”

“Land that I Love” will feature nine moving works — including one by a composer who lives right in our Sacramento area.

The evening opens with a drum roll and American composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein’s “Overture to ‘Candide.’” This is one of the most frequently performed overtures nationwide.

“On the Trail” is the work of American composer and pianist Ferde Grofé, who was also known as the “Prime Minister of Jazz” during the early 1930s. This piece is taken from his famous work the “Grand Canyon Suite.” Close your eyes and picture the little donkeys on the trail as they mosey along.

Music from Richard Rodgers’ and Oscar Hammerstein II’s “Oklahoma” follows.

Immediately after this Broadway homage is “Victory at Sea,” composed by Rodgers for the 1950s television series. Inspired by the heroic sacrifices of America’s veterans during World War II, some consider this part of his best orchestral work.

“Il Silenzio” is by Italian composer and trumpet player Nini Rosso. If you love “Taps” this is a beautiful adaptation. (This is also the official hymn of the Slovakian foot ball club FC Spartak Trvava).

What would a patriotic celebration be without a march by John Philip Souza? “Semper Fidelis” (Latin for “Always Faithful”) is the Marine motto: Semper Fi and this is the official march of the corps. It was written in 1888 at the request of President Chester A. Arthur.

“Westward Ho” was composed by a local American composer,William Macsems, who lives right in our Sacramento area. There are four movements in this piece: “Square Dance,” “The Cowboy,” “Folk Dance” and “The Last Frontier.”

The Silver Screen presents the final compositions of the evening.

“Silverado” by American composer Bruce Broughton was nominated for an Academy Award in 1985. It was the first major film score.

“The Theme from the Magnificent Seven” by Elmer Bernstein brings the evening to a rousing conclusion. Also nominated for an Academy Award, this work has become an American pop icon — appearing in everything from movies to cigarette commercials to Euro-Disneyland Paris.

From humble beginnings, the Folsom Symphony is truly now “the premier orchestra of the Folsom Lake Region.”

“Land that I Love” will be performed one evening only, on Saturday, May 14, at 7:30 p.m. Stage One (part of the Three Stages) at the Folsom Lake College Performing Arts Complex is located at 10 College Parkway (just off East Bidwell Street) in Folsom. Parking is free.

Single tickets are $22 to $42. To purchase call (916) 357-6718 or visit

Send your event for consideration in Susan’s column to [email protected]




Susan Laird


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